Academic journal article Literacy Learning: The Middle Years

Prince of Afghanistan

Academic journal article Literacy Learning: The Middle Years

Prince of Afghanistan

Article excerpt

Title: Prince of Afghanistan

Author: Louis Nowra

Publisher: Allen & Unwin, 2015

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

With a title as suggestive as this, one could honestly mistake this novel for depicting a luxurious story of wealth and prestige in the Middle East. Yet, this novel refreshingly presents a story of survival, companionship and hope from an Australian perspective during the War in Afghanistan. The Prince? An Australian Army dog trained to detect landmines, unfortunately thrust into the care of his master's mate, whose equal misfortune catapults him into desperate circumstances.

From the first sentence, 'I am falling from the sky', to the very last full stop, readers are strapped into a rollercoaster journey that begins as Mark parachutes into a remote location in the Afghanistan mountains on a mission to retrieve foreign hostages from their Taliban kidnappers, with his mate and his mate's dog in toe. After the return mission goes horribly awry with the Taliban bombing the rescue helicopter, Mark soon realises that he and the dog are the only survivors. A reluctant and unfortunate union quickly becomes one of necessity, as Mark aims to navigate his way out of one perilous situation to the next on his way back to base, a dreaded five day walk through enemy territory, gruelling desert and unyielding terrain; a journey neither Mark nor Prince could have made alone. …

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