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Publisher's Summary

Declan Walsh is one of the New York Times's most distinguished international correspondents. His electrifying portrait of Pakistan over a tumultuous decade captures the sweep of this strange, wondrous, and benighted country through the dramatic lives of nine fascinating individuals. 

On assignment as the country careened between crises, Walsh traveled from the raucous port of Karachi to the salons of Lahore, and from Baluchistan to the mountains of Waziristan. He met a diverse cast of extraordinary Pakistanis - a chieftain readying for war at his desert fort, a retired spy skulking through the borderlands, and a crusading lawyer risking death for her beliefs, among others. Through these "nine lives" he describes a country on the brink - a place of creeping extremism and political chaos, but also personal bravery and dogged idealism that defy easy stereotypes. 

Unbeknownst to Walsh, however, an intelligence agent was tracking him. Written in the aftermath of Walsh's abrupt deportation, The Nine Lives of Pakistan concludes with an astonishing encounter with that agent, and his revelations about Pakistan's powerful security state. Intimate and complex, attuned to the centrifugal forces of history, identity, and faith, The Nine Lives of Pakistan offers an unflinching account of life in a precarious, vital country.

©2020 Declan Walsh (P)2021 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

What listeners say about The Nine Lives of Pakistan

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

The significance of the unsaid

I already knew 99% of the facts contained in this book. Other than that, political compulsion has caused the author to not provide any solution to the problem, which is a shame. Not a worth the time for an Indian or Pakistani.

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Good Book, could have been better performed.

The person who rendered the book should have been Indian /Pakistani. it would have have been a more genuine experience that way, enabling the listener to be transportqed to the lanes, nooks and crannies of Lahore, Karachi, Pindi, Dera Ismail Khan etc.

I missed some personal connection. While I get that it was a book about the ground realities in Pakistan, it would have been better, had their been glimpses of what was going on in his mind, initially when it was a new country for him, the things in their culture he found confusing or fascinating, and later, when he was spending time in Waziristan, meeting nefarious gangsters etc.

Overall, it was a good book though.

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  • Dave
  • 23-04-21

Excellent book on Pakistan

An excellent book on the history and politics of Pakistan interweaved with the experiences of the decade that Declan Walsh spent in the country as a journalist. Declan describes his travels through the country and the larger than life characters that he comes across, as well as the reach of the Pakistani intelligence service and Pakistan's fraught relationship with India from Partitian to the present day. A must-read book for those interested in South Asian / Pakistani history and politics, you won't be disappointed.

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  • Michael Sweeney
  • 02-03-21

Fascinating country

With the worlds fifth largest population and a worldwide diaspora, it is remarkable how little understood Pakistan is. This is a series of essays from an Irish journalist. I much preferred the writing when he focused on the historical context or the dealings with ordinary Pakistanis, who are more remarkably varied than outsiders may think. The military and political strong men he encounters often seem remarkably alike.

The stentorian narration of Roger Clark detracted from my enjoyment. It felt as if he barked, rather than spoke, the whole thing.