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I absolutely love this novel. I’ve read it before twice but I wanted to listen to it while I went around the house and got stuff done. Well, I got tons of stuff done and finished it in less than a day - I was so enraptured with the story yet again (as well as by the excellent reading from Patricia Kalember), the hours flew by until, sadly, the story was over. The mark of s great book is that, while you felt it ended well, you still didn’t want it to end.
I didn’t know much about Islam before I read this (besides what I’d learned in comparative religions) and I was surprised to learn upon further research that, besides the fictitious countries of Wasabi and Matar and their history, most of the finer points were true. Women are systematically repressed and discriminated against in the most brutal ways in the Middle East and, while America can do much about it, the flow of oil prevents it.
I don’t know why this isn’t required reading alongside Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal”. It’s a great satire with fun/dynamic characters, along with action, romance, intrigue, politics, humor, and drama. Most all of Christopher Buckley’s novels are this way and I’ll be a fan of his work until the day I leave this Earth. He is one of my literary rockstar heroes and I would give an awful lot to meet him and pick his brain about his process.