Frankenstein in Baghdad Q1: The Book

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“Do you remember, sir, when we started seeing the specter of The One Who Has No Name?”

What did you think of this book? Did it meet your expectations? How was the pacing? The ending? The writing?

Comments

  • 0

    I was glad to have read it, but wasn't altogether sure what I thought of it! I went in not really knowing what to expect. I found it more built around characters than plot, which is no bad thing as so many books are basically just plot. And the characters (including the background presence of the city of Baghdad) were very unlike anyone I meet in rural Cumbria, or used to meet in London for that matter. So there was a sense in which the book just kind of offered itself on its own terms, irrespective of anyone's response to it!

    The pacing? No comments really. It didn't drag, for sure.

    The ending? I found myself surprised to have arrived at the end so quickly, as I felt there surely had to be more that I needed to read about. So I guess for me it felt a bit truncated. I have no idea how it could have continued ,except with more of the same, so maybe that's the answer.

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    I think there’s maybe a reason for how and where it ended, but let’s try to unpack that over discussion.

    It was not quite what I expected, but I wouldn’t say I was disappointed in it. I think I was expecting something more immediate and events focused. Instead, I found it somehow distant, and the events happened mostly off stage. It was very character driven, and we see the events in terms of how they affect the characters. That’s kinda cool, actually. But I feel the cover blurb suggested otherwise.
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    I think it was more the "literary" end of fiction than the "genre" end, hence the focus on characters and setting over plot and events. It was very clearly an allegory for events in Iraq, and a wider consideration of power and justice.

    I didn't have much expectation of the book before starting, as I knew nothing about it.

    I found it a bit slow to get going, with a lot of introduction of characters before they went into motion. It finished at the right time, when the book had said what it wanted to say.

    I enjoyed it! It was a change from our usual fare and that alone was refreshing. The fact it was well-written and thought-provoking as well is a bonus.

  • 1

    Really liked it. Had no real expectations going in. I especially liked the details of public daily life - was good world-building. Thought the ending and character development was well done. After I finished it I read somewhere that there was quite an editing job on the translation, presumably to make it more palatable for English readers, so I do wonder what the differences in Arabic were.

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    > @BarnerCobblewood said:
    . After I finished it I read somewhere that there was quite an editing job on the translation, presumably to make it more palatable for English readers, so I do wonder what the differences in Arabic were.

    Something I'd like to know too!
  • 1

    Did I like it? Hell if I know. The experience of reading it gave me no pleasure. Am I glad I read it? Hell yes.

  • 1

    @clash_bowley said:
    Did I like it? Hell if I know. The experience of reading it gave me no pleasure. Am I glad I read it? Hell yes.

    I agree with this. The book was more "valuable" and "rewarding" to read than "pleasurable" or "fun".

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