Fahim Speaks: A Warrior-Actor's Odyssey from Afghanistan to Hollywood and Back

Fahim Fazli with Michael Moffett. Warriors Publishing Group, $14.95 paper (214p) ISBN 978-0-9821670-7-6
The story of an Afghan refugee turned smalltime Hollywood actor should be a captivating tale, particularly if that actor then returns to wartime Afghanistan to serve as an interpreter for the U.S. Marines as they battle the Taliban. But Fazli's memoir of leaving Afghanistan in the early 1980s, his immigrant struggles in the United States, and his silver screen triumphs as an actor in movies and television shows that included Rambo III, 24, and Iron Man fails to captivate. Even after his return to wartime Afghanistan as a military interpreter, the book suffers from flat, declarative prose that shows little ear for a great life journey. This may reflect the influence of Moffett, a Marine lieutenant colonel and field historian for Marine Corps University, whose use of military jargon and procedural language makes an astounding tale read like a battle report. The earnest decency of both writers' admirable values—which are frequently interjected throughout—leaches away the power of the author's story by telling, not showing, the fervent and heartfelt love an immigrant can have for his homeland and his adopted country in times of war and peace.
Reviewed on: 07/08/2013
Release date: 02/01/2012
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