Sunday, November 29, 2009

Non-Laughter Reviews: LITERARY FICTION

by Mahbod Seraji
Literary Fiction
Penguin, 2009

Apprentice Writer's first guest review! Her guest reviewer is none other than Mr. Apprentice Writer. He was chosen for this distinguished post for two reasons: 1. it is still November, and AW is in a last-days-of-Nanowrimo frenzy, and 2. Mr. AW was born in Tehran. Presumably not on a rooftop, but close enough that his interpretation of the novel could have more depth than that of his spouse.

A little context: AW won a copy of this novel during Book Blogger Appreciation Week from the wonderful 'Literary Escapism' site. She showed it to Mr. AW, who at first made no particular reaction. For the Gentle Reader's information, Mr. AW is NOT a leisure reader. Apart from what he is required to read for professional reasons or child homework support reasons, his reading material is pretty much exclusively formed by the newspaper and the odd technical manual. Novels do not come into play. Imagine AW's astonishment when he finished this book within a very few days after beginning it.

Here is what he said:

"I was ready to find flaws in the author's accuracy of descriptions but all the little details of everyday life sound authentic. From the way the teenaged boys talk to each other, to the description of the houses, to the expectations people had of each other. It was amazing how well written the story was, given that the author only left Iran at age 19.

I think this is a worthwhile book not just because it tells a good story in a well-written way, but because it can help people from other countries to get a better picture of what life in Iran was like, as opposed to all the terrible news footage that forms many Western viewers' picture of Iranians. I also think that it shows that love, and relationships between boys and girls/men and women, are quite different in other places than how things work in the West.

I read the story in three days and would immediately have started the next by the same author if it had been published."

Learn more about the author and the book here.



Thomma Lyn said...

Sounds like a fascinating read, and thanks to Mr. Apprentice Writer for an excellent review! :)

Wylie Kinson said...

This does sound like an interesting read! Thanks to Mr. M for his review.

Julia Phillips Smith said...

First of all...I LOVE that cover...

And what a great review from Mr. AW! I can imagine that the West's view of Tehran is incredibly skewed. Glad to hear he enjoyed a change in his reading, and REALLY glad to hear you finished NaNo!!!


M. said...

Thanks everyone! Mr. AW will probably blush in a most manly way to hear your praise.