"Remarkable...horrifying and genuinely illuminating...essential reading for anyone who wants to understand Iraq, but also an incredibly powerful piece of fiction" (The Times)
"Intoxicating, utterly thrilling. It is not an apology for terrorism, but a provocative explanation that will bring the Iraqi experience in terrifying detail to western bedside tables" (New Statesman)
"Khadra draws the moods and motives of his village lad-turned-apprentice jihadi with engrossing power... lets you taste the sand, dust and blood - and most of all, the despair... In his own unsettling way, Yasmina Khadra offers the kind of truth that only well-wrought fiction tells" (Boyd Tonkin Independent)
"A sad and important book" (Financial Times)
From the Inside Flap
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 which 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.--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From the Back Cover
Praise for The Sirens of Baghdad
'One of the most important books to be published in Europe this year' Independent
'An astonishing novel with overtones of Camus (think of The Fall as well as The Stranger), that shows how terrorists are made... A magisterial work of fiction." Lire
'Powerful and thought-provoking' Sunday Times
'The novel is powered by its structural resemblance to a thriller: a mystery, some scattered clues, a perilous investigation... Khadra is a passionately moral writer, but he rarely sits in judgement: he can't afford to take sides... Memorable... this is a magnificent novel, believable and moving'. Literary Review
'Gripping... the fuse lit at the beginning of the novel crackles through the story to its clever destination.' Daily Telegraph
'An insightful and moving exploration of what, post-July 7, is on all our minds' Scotland on Sunday--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.