In an unnamed Middle Eastern security state, a young Arab-Indian hacker shields his clients — dissidents, outlaws, Islamists, and other watched groups — from surveillance and tries to stay out of trouble. He goes by Alif — the first letter of the Arabic alphabet, and a convenient handle to hide behind.
The aristocratic woman Alif loves has jilted him for a prince chosen by her parents, and his computer has just been breached by the state’s electronic security force, putting his clients and his own neck on the line. Then it turns out his lover’s new fiancé is the “Hand of God”, as they call the head of state security, and his henchmen come after Alif, driving him underground.
When Alif discovers The Thousand and One Days, the secret book of the jinn, which both he and the Hand suspect may unleash a new level of information technology, the stakes are raised and Alif must struggle for life or death, aided by forces seen and unseen.
©2012 G. Willow Wilson (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
Story takes the reader into parts of a culture and land that is unfamiliar, yet exciting. A mixture of religion, culture, technology, and adventure appeals to a wide variety of readers.
Sanjiv managed to portray different voices for each character. I found this not only entertaining, but useful as a listener.
Altogether a great listen that compels me to desire more.
I really did enjoy the book, even though it's kind of a new genre for me ... what i liked most about it is that it took me away from everyday life to a new mysterious existence .... it's also challenging in some aspects ... as it did challenge many of my firmly held beliefs ...
one thing i know for sure ... i will never look at a "veiled" woman the same way again ... which is quite cool really
I don't have time to actually read anymore... does that make me undignified?
Honestly, this isn't a bad story. I listened to it during my commute and sometimes while at work. IF (and this is a really big IF) you don't mind the narrarator making the most bizarre and uncharacteristic voices for some of Wilson's characters. It really took me out of the story sometimes. One of the djinn characters had the voice of some creepy rapist/pedophile. Even though he's one of the best written characters, I just couldn't handle it. Obviously written by a man, because every time the boy protagonist meets a new woman character, he is always "uncomfortable" at the way that they look him up and down. I appreciated some of the imagery, having grown up on the Arabian Peninsula myself. Accurately described social dynamics. If you can get past the weird performance, as well as all of the pseudo-mysticism (it's like he forgets about it sometimes), then you might enjoy this.
well probably not. it ain't Samuel Beckett
This type of underdog computer hacker story reminds me a lot of Ernest Clines Ready Player One
He provided a clear voice that was strong and seperated the characters well
All of the muslim religion stuff was cool and unique. As i am a recovering catholic I've been exposed to a lot of Catholic dogma and I didn't know much about muslim religion, this provided a fun overview of the magical realism of Islam
I can't understand people who say a book is terrible because its muslim propaganda. I picked this book up to spite those close minded prejudice people and was pleasantly surprised in how much I enjoyed it. Forget the nay sayers who are anti anything that isn't jesus centric, or are American brainwashed. I don't read to be closeminded and perpetuate ignorance. Pick this book up! especially if you like underdog adventure stories and don't mind a bit of the fantastical. Plus it provides some crazy good insight about close minded Americans and enlightens you to different philosophical views while still remaining a page turner. That says something. Trust me it ain't for stupid people
Tagged a fantasy—and rightfully so, but for those believing they don’t like fantasy I encourage you to suspend a modicum of belief in order to enjoy a wonderful adventure that informs us about culture, religion, philosophy, politics, and technology.
Absolutely! It is more than just an entertaining story. It is a window into a culture that we often see in two dimensions through the filter of governmental and extremist actions.
Alif and the girl next door of course.
Sanjiv's performance was spot on. He is an excellent linguist capable of many varied accents. He had studied the text and was spot on with his reading, building to climaxes and softening to a whisper at all the write times.
I found this listen entertaining though not engrossing. The author presumes that things are understood without explanation. I find it questionable the abilities of the actions by those in the book. The book highlights the good though of the Muslim and Islam people, something lately misunderstood.
I was hoping for a rich picture of the middle east, interesting characters, and some fun fantasy. Instead, the characters are barely developed and the creatures are so unimaginatively written (lots of faceless blobs), that I couldn't bring myself to care about them.
The biggest disappointment was the ridiculous idea of a guy writing code so quickly, mindlessly and amazing that it simply melts computers. The explanations of how and why things work are way beyond the normal suspension of disbelief that the reader expects in a fantasy novel.
Lastly, it was more an advertisement for Islam than I expected. I felt like the author's agenda was to show how this religion is so wonderful. I don't mind reading religious fiction, but I want to know about it ahead of time. If you want a good book that includes the Djinn, I would send you elsewhere—The Golem and the Jinni is far more developed and interesting.
The reader's exaggerated performance of the supernatural characters was distracting and terribly annoying. He also made the American convert sound like a witless idiot, when her character was plainly not written that way.
I was very disappointed, and more than a little irritated.
This book is a very entertaining adventure story that also gives a great picture of some serious issues, from repression in today's Arabian peninsula to the hubris of technology geeks who think that computers can solve life's basic dilemmas.
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