Regular price: $19.95

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

"Two people, one city, different times; connected by a memoir. Can love exist in a city destined for decades of misery?" 

Adnan leads a weary existence as a bookshop owner in modern-day, war-torn Baghdad, where bombings, corruption, and assault are everyday occurrences and the struggle to survive has suffocated the joy out of life for most. But when he begins to clean out his bookshop of 40 years to leave his city in search of somewhere safer, he comes across the story of Ali, the Gardener of Baghdad. Adnan rediscovers through a memoir handwritten by the gardener decades ago that beauty, love, and hope can still exist, even in the darkest corners of the world.

©2014 Ahmad Ardalan (P)2017 Ahmad Ardalan

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    6
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    6
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    6
  • 4 Stars
    4
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A charming cross-cultural love story.

This is a story within a story. Adnan, the book shop owner, discovers an old handwritten memoir hidden in a book in a corner of his shop. He begins to read the memoir and becomes engrossed in the depictions of the real people. He ignores his family and his business while finishing the memoir. He is then obsessed with finding out what happened to the people described. He tracks down family members of Ali in order to hear the rest of the story. Reaching the conclusion of this real-life saga helps Adnan decide whether to leave Baghdad with his family.

This story is told in a fresh, simple style. It takes the reader into 1950's Baghdad and Iraq. The story is engrossing. It is the story of young love between an English woman and an Iraqi gardener. Some elements of the story strain credulity--the fact that Adnan's wife is okay with him reading a book for 3 days, no real reason for the young woman to like Ali in the first place, and the flawlessness of both main characters. Some of these things can possibly be explained by culture or that the main characters are newly in love. For the most part, the story is charming. The love story causes the reader to remember what it is like to be a young person in love. The characters are likable and the narrator does a good job. This story is very clean. I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Ginny
  • California
  • 12-28-17

Wonderful story!


It was during a long day at work and thinking of selling his bookstore, Adrian comes upon a book that he did not recall seeing there before. Taking the book in hand, he realizes that is tye memoir of a young man who fell in love with an English woman. Adian is captivated and reads the entire memoir of the young man who wrote it more than 40 years ago.
The Gardener of Baghdad is a beautiful and heartwarming story of two young people of different race and religion who fell in love and their struggles to be together. This story does not only captivates you with its characters but gives you an insight of how it was ub Iraq.
This is a great story, one to read or listen to, whichever you prefer.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

An impressive look at a time and place now gone.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. I'm glad AudioBoom gave me the opportunity to listen to The Gardener of Baghdad because it's probably not something I would have picked up on my own, and I'm very grateful I had the chance to experience it. The storytelling had a few minor problems, one of which was word choices that occasionally rang false given the time, location, and the narrator's - the book's narrator, not Mr. Schaffer's - non-native fluency in English. But the story was mostly a credible one, with a particularly satisfying finish. (And it's in the "mostly" that the story loses a star: no woman could really have been THAT beautiful or that perfect, etc.) The largest part of the book takes place in the mid-50s in Baghdad, and though there were constant political tensions, it nevertheless was a city of learning, culture, and order. The protagonist is given refuge for a time with Kurds in the north, and it is heartbreaking to know how their land/culture has been ripped apart in the recent past. I'm truly glad I listened, and I'd recommend the book to anyone wanting a glimpse of a world now gone.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

What a beautiful love story!

This is a very romantic, well written story of love and determination. I also learned some history about Iraq in the 1950s. I highly recommend it.

I received this audio-book free for an honest review by the author, narrator, or publisher. Thank you!!!

If you found this review helpful would you please take a moment to click yes below, thanks!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Touching story

It took me to a Baghdad, I knew little about. The passion between Ali, The Gardener of baghdad and those around left me emotional. I enjoyed the details about the gardens, the hidden love story, the difficulties that lovers might face. The narration was flowing gently with the words written.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Ok

This story was sweet and yet you can’t help but think of the unrest that continued even long after this story to today. The narrator was off putting as it would have been so much better done with aribic tone instead of just the normal sounding one. I wanted to feel apart of the Iraq Ali was talking about but the voice use kept me from it. Perhaps had I read it in my own mind his voice would have been so much better. Anyway, I did enjoy it. I received this book at no charge in exchange for an honest review.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Becca
  • Wisconsin
  • 12-27-17

Flawed, but Charming little read

I was given this free audiobook at my request and am leaving a voluntary review.

I have a hard time even rating this book, since I'm so down on how I felt about it. If I could give it a 3.5 in every category, I would. In many ways, this book felt almost great. The characters were almost well developed, the setting was almost immersive, the writing was almost skillful. The romance, on the other hand, was barely believable, but I did root for them. By the end, I wanted to know what came of Ali and Mary as much as the shop owner did. However, the telling was overdramatic, the emotions were extreme, and the dialogue was generic and stilted. I did like the story well enough, though, thus the 4 stars. As I mentioned, I was hooked on their story enough that I had to finish, especially once it switched away from the memoir and back to modern time.

The narration was solidly okay. As we heard Ali's voice the most, though, I would have preferred the narrator use a more natural, lower tone for him. I found the Ali voice to be very grating compared to the others, and I think I would have preferred to read it rather than listen.

Overall, not a bad book.