The Sirens of Baghdad

The Sirens of Baghdad

A Novel

Book - 2007
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"Yasmina Khadra may well be the most powerful and serious writer in French since his Algerian compatriot Albert Camus." Philadelphia Inquirer The third novel in Yasmina Khadra's bestselling trilogy about Islamic fundamentalism brings readers into Baghdad. Forced to leave the University of Baghdad when the Americans invade Iraq, a young man from a small desert village returns home, where he witnesses three events that transform him. First, American soldiers at a checkpoint kill the sweet and beloved "village idiot." Several days later, an American plane bombs a wedding on the outskirts of the village. And then one night, soldiers looking for terrorists come to the young man's own home and humiliate his father in full view of the terrified family. Consumed by the desire to avenge this unspeakable act, the youth leaves the village for the city. Baghdad is going up in flames. The young man searches for a place to stay before being taken in by a radical group and convincing its members that he is willing to do anything to help their cause. After proving his mettle by participating in several attacks, he is sent to Beirut to undertake a super-secret mission that will take him to London. As the time to board the plane nears, he struggles to reconcile his mission with his moral principles. A masterful and chilling look at violence and its effects on ordinary people, The Sirens of Baghdad probes situations few writers dare examine. Powerfully written like Khadra's previous novels, it explores the depths of human nature and shows that, even in the most horrific circumstances, good can prevail.
Publisher: New York : Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, 2007, c2006
ISBN: 9780385521741
Branch Call Number: FIC KHA
Characteristics: 307 p. ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: Cullen, John


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May 09, 2018

A wonderful, but sad, novel. My second novel by this author. I'll be reading more of his work.

WVMLStaffPicks Feb 01, 2015

Set in present-day Iraq, this story is told through the eyes of a young Bedouin man who comes from a traditional village. Violent encounters with the American forces ensue. Through humiliation, loss and despair comes a transformation of his character. This novel helps us to understand how the suffering and sense of hopelessness experienced by Iraqis today could turn people towards radicalism.

ambrosianyc Oct 14, 2014

This book gave an insight on what would cause someone who seemingly is totally appalled by any violence to be so consumed with hate that their only solace at night is they need to defend their honor by killing. I am not at all for anyone killing innocent people but this book gave a perspective of someone on the other end of the spectrum

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