None of this goes to say that My Life: From Brigand to King is not a fascinating read, as it is quite the adventure tale, if a bit on the cruel and bloody side. It follows its protagonist from his extremely humble beginnings, into his initial entry in a life of murder and mayhem, through an ever-expanding series of criminal enterprises, and eventually to the Kingship (and his speedy downfall). Frankly, his character is painted in a way that immediately brought to mind some people that I've known from more-or-less that part of the world, so it had a glimmer of truth to it there. However, much seems difficult to believe here too, as his exploits are one "never before achieved" daring attack after another, always with intense bragging involved.
As I've noted before about Sufi books (and one has to assume that any book from Octagon has at least some Sufi subtext), one has to take a step back and try to see what's being transmitted along with the story ... and, frankly, I'm at a loss to identify what that would be in this book. There is one "magical" element, a talisman given to him (along with a prophesy of him becoming King) by a wandering Mullah, which is a constant part of his rise, but this is never particularly described, analyzed, nor discussed, just mentioned as a touch-stone of why he felt he could not be defeated. This hardly a teaching story makes. Aside from this, there was precious little else that I could point to and say "perhaps this is the real message", but perhaps I'm simply not seeing something that might be evident to somebody else.
Anyway, this is an OK book ... I really can't recommend you running out to buy it, though, unless you have a burning interest in (supposed) Afghan history, or are a big fan of this sort of literature. Being from Octagon, it is both still in print, and expensive ($30 in hardcover), and you're not saving much via the Amazon new/used vendors ($10.80 for a "like new" copy), so maybe look for it at your local used book store instead!