... [99 Nights in Logar is] crafted with care, respect and a hard-earned and profound understanding of its readership. It is funny, razor-sharp and full of juicy tales that feel urgent and illicit, turning the reader into a lucky, trilingual fly on the wall in a family loaded with secrets and prone to acquiring more ... The ensuing adventure is witty and engaging, somewhat allegorical, thrumming with the histories of foreign wars and with memories of lives lost and childhoods cut short ... While the novel is written in English, it deprioritizes the Western reader. This is its most interesting accomplishment ... Kochai has created an exciting and true voice.
This is...a funny, lightly surreal evocation of life in rural Afghanistan which partly aims, in entertaining American readers, to rouse their sympathy for the real-life Afghans who have been suffering under U.S. occupation for seventeen years now ... it’s driven by a profusion of tales within tales, which begin and break off, resume and recur, swerve or blossom into one another ... The magical elements don’t seem so much more far-fetched than the drones in the sky, and the book’s comic register turns out to be wildly elastic ... The comedy helps restore a sense of the weight and substance of individual Afghan lives for readers so inured to the large numbers of reported deaths over many years ... Toward the end, a crucial story that keeps surfacing in tantalizing fragments, about the death of Watak, Marwand’s uncle, is finally told in its entirety—in Pashto ... For these few pages, no concession at all is made to the English-speaking reader who up till now has been so lavishly entertained
[The book is] something more than well crafted; it’s phenomenal ... this is more than a coming-of-age novel ... Kochai’s book has a big heart ... When reading writers from places such as Afghanistan we burden them with the additional expectation of bringing us revelations that we are too lazy to find in our news feeds. And here Kochai rises to the task with a truth that three generations of thinktanks, after hundreds of billions in war effort and more billions in aid effort, haven’t been able to unearth.