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American Dervish Audiobook

American Dervish: A Novel

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What the Critics Say

" [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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (255 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Lady Lotus 02-25-14
    Lady Lotus 02-25-14 Member Since 2016

    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.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Beautifully Real!"
    Would you listen to American Dervish again? Why?

    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.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The complicated relationship between the beautiful woman, Mina and naive, soul-seeking, Hayat.


    What about Ayad Akhtar’s performance did you like?

    His voice capsulated me and I was there!


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Yes I did have extremes of both laughter and tears!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebecca L. Barbacci Maplewood, NJ, USA 03-14-13
    Rebecca L. Barbacci Maplewood, NJ, USA 03-14-13

    Say something about yourself!

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    "A beautiful story and performance!"
    What did you love best about American Dervish?

    Really enjoyed this story, especially the insight into the Koran from a American Muslim boy's point of view. Great performance!


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The Epilogue!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    dal CARY, NC, United States 02-01-13
    dal CARY, NC, United States 02-01-13
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    "What a sad, tragic, enlightning, memorable tale."
    Where does American Dervish rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Top 10%


    What was one of the most memorable moments of American Dervish?

    The Muslim cutural enlightning moments and there were many.


    What does Ayad Akhtar bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Direct realistic contact with the Muslim axperience.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Hospital scene at the end and the meeting with Nathan right after.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    AmyK023 Minnesota, USA 10-17-12
    AmyK023 Minnesota, USA 10-17-12 Member Since 2016
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    "The author's narration makes the story poingnant."
    Where does American Dervish rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Withthe author narrating his own works it was possible to truly hear the inflection and tone he was attempting to create in his writing.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fran Sussman Chester, NY USA 09-10-12
    Fran Sussman Chester, NY USA 09-10-12 Member Since 2011

    FDR

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    "Profoundly moving, brilliantly written and read"
    Would you consider the audio edition of American Dervish to be better than the print version?

    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.


    What other book might you compare American Dervish to and why?

    One of the striking things about this book is that it feels like really new - and important - territory for an American novel.


    Any additional comments?

    highly recommended! If you care about the American novel, you don't want to miss this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Trish Virginia 09-06-12
    Trish Virginia 09-06-12 Member Since 2010

    I have always loved to read, and now I really enjoy listening to my books as well!!

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    "Very Good Novel--"

    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--

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pax Kirtland, OH, United States 09-03-12
    Pax Kirtland, OH, United States 09-03-12 Member Since 2011
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    "I loved it!"
    Where does American Dervish rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of my top favorites.


    Any additional comments?

    I love to read books that expand my worldview by taking me inside another culture. This was a very engrossing, well-written and narrated story, and I loved it. I read and listen to audiobooks a lot on my travels, and I'd definitely recommend this one to others!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Krispian 08-22-12
    Krispian 08-22-12 Member Since 2013

    The more you love books... the more books you love!

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    "Brilliant story, excellent narration"
    Would you consider the audio edition of American Dervish to be better than the print version?

    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!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    margaret Terrall 08-20-12 Member Since 2004
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    "A Very Compelling Story"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gary Regan New York 08-20-12
    Gary Regan New York 08-20-12 Member Since 2014

    With Lotsa Love from gaz regn

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    "A Brave Book"
    Where does American Dervish rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This was one of the most moving, and enlightening, books I've ever listened to


    If you could rename American Dervish, what would you call it?

    If I could re-name this book I'd probably call it "Just Another American Family"


    Any additional comments?

    Like many Americans, I know little about Muslim family life, and I was drawn to this book because I wanted to learn a little about Muslim culture. Boy did I pick the right book.

    American Dervish is written without apology, it delves into the soul of a young boy growing up in a Muslim family in America in the 1980s. He struggles with his religion, takes it to extremes, then settles down when he sees the bigger picture.

    The family, and their friends, are comprised of many different characters, each with their own views on religion--both theirs and other folks' beliefs--and each of them lives their life in America on their own terms. Some are radical--though not uber-radical--and some try to fit into American society by befriending people from other religions.

    Guess what? They are like any other American family. This book is such a treat.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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