Sidharth Vardhan

Review of ‘Frankenstein in Baghdad’

(A review by ofFrankenstein in Baghdada novel by Ahmed Saadawishortlisted for International Man Booker 2018For English translation by Jonathan WrightFirst written on May 20, 2018) Shouldn’t it rather be called Frankenstein’s Monster? The book sure picks up the atmosphere of Iraq suffering from aftereffects of war and terrorism. The very idea of making a complete dead body out of parts of victims of bomb blasts which couldn’t be identified with their owner is something that could occur easily to someone living in Baghdad and, for whom, bombs are a daily occurrence. In fact, the characters who seem to be prospering the most are those gaining from ruins – one of them gets rich by buying old junk from those migrating out and other by buying or illegally occupying their properties. Then there is the fact that monster like Baghdad contains elements of various communities. Another element would be religion: “There were people who had survived many deaths in the time of the dictatorship only to find themselves face-to-face with a pointless death in the age of “democracy”—when, for example, a motorbike ran into them in the middle of the road. Believers lost their faith when those who had shared their beliefs and

Review of Man-Tiger

(A review by Sidharth Vardhan of Man Tiger (2004) by Eka Kurniawn Even if you leave alone magical realism, there is a hint of Marquez in this author’s prose. If that doesn’t sell the book, I don’t know what will. Just look at this: “After two days in the hospital, Komar asked to be taken home and said firmly to Mameh, “Don’t call for any more doctors. I’m healthy enough to wait for my grave to be dug.” “The city government was said to have given him a plot of land in the heroes’ cemetery as a reward for his service, something he described as an invitation to die quickly. “ The references to classics and mythological tales celebrate storytelling traditions. In fact, the story itself is a retelling of an ancient myth. The story itself, told in a non-linear manner and from a shifting point of view, though is very simple – that of two dysfunctional families. The tiger seemed to me no more than symbol of repressed anger of a kid over domestic violence (child becomes tiger the way Bruce becomes hulk) and mistreatment of his mother and about how hard and violent instincts of a community which has found peace

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