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This is the place to comment on the book. If you liked it or didn't, I would appreciate any comments. If you'd like to know more about the characters or the places in the book, this is the place to find out about them

Monday, August 3, 2015

The stunning approach to Tehran

“As we crested a hill, the motorway a moving piece of liquid metal, the city of Tehran came fully into view. I was stunned. It was spectacular. Set in a deep bowl, it was back set by huge, snow capped mountains. The edges of the city were clawing their way up these peaks, but like a wave stinging the cliffs, they failed to make any significant ground; merely fingers trying to claw their way up.
"They ski on those mountains," Faizullah pointed out. "Those ones at the back of the city." Easily one of the most dramatic entries to a city I had ever seen.”

Excerpt From: Jamie.B Ernstein. “The Last Jew of Kabul.”
Desert Storm

““The desert itself had already treated us to an array of yellows, ochers and blues. Yet, as we headed into the harshest area, all the colours blended into a strange colourless glow; a black hole for light. A storm was gathering in the south and sand was blowing high in the sky, absorbing all the wavelengths of light. It became increasingly difficult to distinguish between the hazy, blue sky which sat unmoving above us and the dark maelstrom to the south. There was no clear border. I still find it difficult to fathom the ease with which the desert made all these colours indistinguishable from each other, yet so different.”

Excerpt From: Jamie.B Ernstein. “The Last Jew of Kabul.”

Isfahan Bridges

“The main roadway was pedestrian only, but as busy as any bridge in any major city in the world. We moved to the sides to avoid the main throng. Men walking rapidly with expensive briefcases, women in their best finery carrying shopping bags. Office workers late for their meeting and young men dressed in their sharpest threads, on their way to meet either a lady or a group of lads. It was a people watchers' dream location.
I moved into the more sedate arches and recesses running down each side of this simple, yet sophisticated structure. Unplanned, Faizullah moved to the left, while I moved to the right. Separated, we each discovered our own secrets of the people of this bridge.”

Excerpt From: Jamie.B Ernstein. “The Last Jew of Kabul.”
The Towers of Silence

“We rose early the next morning to climb the Towers of Silence, rising up on the summits of two pointed desert hills, set on the outskirts of the city, where desert sands meet metropolitan concrete”

Excerpt From: Jamie.B Ernstein. “The Last Jew of Kabul.”

Masjed-e Shah Mosque

“It was but a short distance over the paved pathways, diagonally across the square, to Masjed-e Shah Mosque. I think, without doubt, that this is the most beautiful building in the world, though by now I had said this three times. Granted I have never been to the Taj Mahal, thought by many the world over to hold the title of world's most beautiful building and it certainly has a more romantic history, but I have still travelled extensively and visited many great buildings in many countries. Most, if not all, have been used to either worship a deity, or represent power in some way. But Masjed-e Shah Mosque, to my eyes, is just pure and simple beauty. To this day, I can picture so clearly the magnificence of the blue and white spectacle that opened before me. Crisp, neat and immaculate in every way, yet intricate, fragile and fine. Enormous and awe inspiring, yet delicate and light. Bright light. As if bathed by the heavens. I was truly awestruck.”

Excerpt From: Jamie.B Ernstein. “The Last Jew of Kabul."

“Naqsh-e Jahan Square”

“We were sitting in what is said to be the most beautiful square in the world, Naqsh-e Jahan Square. Well, square is a poor term really, because it is very rectangular, but let's not rest on semantics. It is, surely, the very magnificent heart of Isfahan, if not all of Iran, if not the entire Islamic world, if not the entire world.”

Excerpt From: Jamie.B Ernstein. “The Last Jew of Kabul.”
Royal Achaemenid Tombs

“But however remarkable Persepolis was, it was our next stop that really knocked my socks off. I thought that it would take something really special to impress me after Persepolis, but the Royal Achaemenid Tombs succeeded in doing just that. Massive, carved reliefs, cut into a sheer rocky cliff, appeared to be more what I would expect to see in the Valley of Kings, in Egypt, such was their colossal size. They imposed themselves on all around them, diminishing everything within sight. I was simply stunned by their immensity. They reminded me of Petra, in Jordan; made so famous by Indiana Jones in the movies. These tombs a ready-made set for a follow-up movie.”

Excerpt From: Jamie.B Ernstein. “The Last Jew of Kabul.”



“The ancient complex was far from disappointing; a long abandoned city of statues, pillars and carvings left over by time. Its scale dwarfed my lofty expectations; a city as much as a palace. Many of the statues were remarkably well preserved, with the majestic Griffins - half lion, half eagle, in particular, having magically managed to avoid the ravages of both time and climate.”

Excerpt From: Jamie.B Ernstein. “The Last Jew of Kabul.”

“While walking deep into the gardens, I came upon a large open square, where pale chequerboard tiles covered the ground like a giant game of chess. The whole "board" was bordered by a spring green mass of mature trees, giving the area a soft, dappled appearance. Along the edges were several concrete benches, almost all taken up by small groups of elderly people meeting, greeting and chatting. The peaceful, relaxed air made me want to stop and sit; to watch the Shirazy world meander slowly by. I wondered if I would ever rise again from this scene, a modern day Rip Van Winkle perhaps, who falls asleep for a hundred years and wakes to find the scene before him unchanged apart from the people having long been replaced by their grandchildren.”

Excerpt From: Jamie.B Ernstein. “The Last Jew of Kabul.”
The Last Jew of Kabul

Chapter 2

"The Most Beautiful Room in the World"

“The rectangular room ran the whole length of the courtyard outside, but was only half as wide. The whole floor was covered from wall to wall with worn, burgundy Persian carpets; rich and welcoming. Yet their different shades and patterns were completely lost in the extravagance of the whole room. Two parallel rows of pillars ran down the length of the room, each one moulding with the exquisite ceiling in a clever architectural puzzle. The lower half of each pillar was round, with simple spiral patterns carved all the way up to the half way point, where the pillars magically metamorphosed into a quadrate, at which point the tiling started. Beige, with patterns of blue and black, the tiles themselves were magnificent. But it was the low ceiling that was the true jewel. Another myriad of patterns and colours, tiled to perfection in small alcoves created by each quartet of pillars, ran the whole length of the room, far outdoing the amazing tiling that I had so admired outside, just minutes previously. The walls to my right were thankfully plain stone, while to my left, the brightness of the outside courtyard was revealed, shown through a long line of[…]”

Excerpt From: Jamie.B Ernstein. “The Last Jew of Kabul.”

The Last Jew of Kabul - now published

Fantastic news
My newest novel is released

The Last Jew of Kabul

- History, Travel and Love - A Journey Through Iran and Afghanistan

Available from Smashwords at