Audie Award Nominee, Narration by the Author or Authors, 2013
Hayat Shah was captivated by Mina long before he met her: his mother's beautiful, brilliant, and soulfully devout friend is a family legend. When he learns that Mina is leaving Pakistan to live with the Shahs in America, Hayat is thrilled.
Hayat's father is less enthusiastic. He left the fundamentalist world behind with reason. What no one expects is that when Mina shows Hayat the beauty and power of the Quran, it will utterly transform the boy.
Mina's real magic may be that the Shah household, always contentious and sad, becomes a happy one. But when Mina finds her own path to happiness, the ember of jealousy in Hayat's heart is enflamed by the community's anti-Semitism-and he acts with catastrophic consequences for those he loves most.
©2011 Ayad Akhtar (P)2011 Hachette Audio
" [A] heartfelt first novel.... Akhtar's characters drive a story that's compelling and believable even at its most alien. American Dervish offers a rich look at a nearby world that many Americans don't know nearly enough about." (Entertainment)
"Loss of innocence-sexual, of course, but also cultural and religious-is the subject of Ayad Akhtar's poignant American Dervish, set in a Muslim-American community in the early 1980s.... With characters full of contradictions and complexity, this debut novel is refreshing for its lack of the political and religious hand-wringing so common in the post-9/11 world. But it's also resonantly familiar in its depiction of youthful obsession and the desire to belong." (O, the Oprah Magazine)
"a compelling debut with a family drama centered on questions of religious and ethnic identity.... Engaging and accessible, thoughtful without being daunting: This may be the novel that brings Muslim-American fiction into the commercial mainstream." (Kirkus, Starred Review)
This was an excellent book! Its so easy for me to forget how I thought as a child. This book makes that logic so clear- like those hidden 3d books, the story shifts from the reasoning of adults to the reasoning of children but both seem so clear and unambiguous when focused on to the exclusion of the other. Also gives a fascinating peek into the lives of Pakistani Americans- a view most outside of the community probably don't get to see much. I didn't want to stop listening.
What a fascinating story of religious fundamentalism. Though the main characters are Muslim, it also includes Christians and Jews and how fundamentalism in any of these can have very negative consequences. In addition, it is a coming-of-age story by the main character, Hayat. The narration is what made this book come alive for me. Akhtar was able to include various Pakistani English accents so that I had a real sense of individuals. This could be a great book club choice since there is so much to discuss regarding religious outlook and concepts of God.
I love well written books and moving narrators! I am a realism SCI-FI buff. I find non-mushy romance intertwined in a story appealing.
Yes, especially to recapture the nuance of religious history, teaching, beliefs, convictions and the spirit of life dancing throughout harsh reality, innocence, injustice and endings.
The complicated relationship between the beautiful woman, Mina and naive, soul-seeking, Hayat.
His voice capsulated me and I was there!
Yes I did have extremes of both laughter and tears!
Say something about yourself!
Really enjoyed this story, especially the insight into the Koran from a American Muslim boy's point of view. Great performance!
The Muslim cutural enlightning moments and there were many.
Direct realistic contact with the Muslim axperience.
Hospital scene at the end and the meeting with Nathan right after.
The depth of hatred for Jews was something, if true and I'm sure it is, that will probably last as long as there are Arabs like the ones in this book.It's nice to be a person whose life is not ruled by extreme religion. Life is a struggle without that.
Withthe author narrating his own works it was possible to truly hear the inflection and tone he was attempting to create in his writing.
I love hearing an author read his own work, and with his experience in theater, Ayad Akhtar does a splendid job, adding so much to the written word.
One of the striking things about this book is that it feels like really new - and important - territory for an American novel.
highly recommended! If you care about the American novel, you don't want to miss this.
I have always loved to read, and now I really enjoy listening to my books as well!!
American Dervish was an interesting, eye-opening novel. I enjoyed it very much.
This purchase was one of my many "bargains" that I pick up when Audible offers audiobooks cheap! And I was pleasantly surprised when I listened to it. It has a very good story and is narrated beautifully by the author. I truly enjoyed learning about the Pakistani culture and traditions (or the somewhat Americanized versions). It had some sad parts, but nothing tragic and unsettling. Definitely worth a listen--
The more you love books... the more books you love!
I would like to compliment the author on his narration. I found Ayad's reading to be as skillful as any big name voice actor and his handling of the many accents authentic and masterful - each character vibrant and recognizable. Bravo!
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, even though parts were hard to read. It helped me understand where Muslims' and Jews' slants on life come from. The book makes one realize what influence older people with slanted viewpoints have on younger minds and how people are driven to violent acts by something they were taught at a young age. The narrater/author did a fabulous job and it made me want to know more about him and his past.
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