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The Bad Muslim Discount  By  cover art

The Bad Muslim Discount

By: Syed M. Masood
Narrated by: Pej Vahdat,Hend Ayoub
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Publisher's Summary

Following two families from Pakistan and Iraq in the 1990s to San Francisco in 2016, The Bad Muslim Discount is an inclusive, comic novel about Muslim immigrants finding their way in modern America.

“Masood’s novel presents a stereoscopic, three-dimensional view of contemporary Muslim America: the way historical conflict in the Middle East lingers in individual lives, the way gossip travels in a close-knit immigrant community.”  (The New York Times Book Review)

It is 1995, and Anvar Faris is a restless, rebellious, and sharp-tongued boy doing his best to grow up in Karachi, Pakistan. As fundamentalism takes root within the social order and the zealots next door attempt to make Islam great again, his family decides, not quite unanimously, to start life over in California. Ironically, Anvar's deeply devout mother and his model-Muslim brother adjust easily to life in America, while his fun-loving father can't find anyone he relates to. For his part, Anvar fully commits to being a bad Muslim.

At the same time, thousands of miles away, Safwa, a young girl living in war-torn Baghdad with her grief-stricken, conservative father will find a very different and far more dangerous path to America. When Anvar and Safwa's worlds collide as two remarkable, strong-willed adults, their contradictory, intertwined fates will rock their community, and families, to their core. 

The Bad Muslim Discount is an irreverent, poignant, and often hysterically funny debut novel by an amazing new voice. With deep insight, warmth, and an irreverent sense of humor, Syed M. Masood examines universal questions of identity, faith (or lack thereof), and belonging through the lens of Muslim Americans.

©2020 Syed M. Masood (P)2020 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Masood offers sharp observations on religion, violence, and politics, and his clever choice to place the characters’ disparate experiences in parallel challenges Islamophobic stereotypes." (The New Yorker)

"A born storyteller, Masood has crafted a fast-paced page-turner with plenty of insightful commentary on religion, family, love, and national politics in this debut novel that is expertly written and a joy to read; highly recommended.” (Library Journal, starred review)

 “Explosive...A rich meditation on religion and personal identity.” (Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about The Bad Muslim Discount

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A great well developed story.

Masood creates real characters that you can’t help but care for and root for. This is one of my favorite books of the past year.

7 people found this helpful

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Great book with two perspectives

This is a great book that gives you two Muslim’s perspective on religion. It also gives you two perspectives on how two boys with the same parents and up bringing could be so different. Peppered with humor, tradition, and politics. Very enjoyable specially if you don’t know much about this culture.

4 people found this helpful

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Amazing

One of th best books I've read in a while. Really poignant but also managed to make me laugh out loud at various points. Both narrators were excellent and really added a lot of the book. Extremely enjoyable. I listened to it in less than 24 hours.

3 people found this helpful

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One of the most enjoyable audio books I've heard

Outstanding narration. Both readers truly engaged with the text. At times humorous, at times achingly sad, and ultimately a story about humanity and all its complex facets.

3 people found this helpful

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My opinion as a Muslim

Religion is about faith and even though sometimes it’s required to be a blind faith, not many people are the same as the characters in the book.

Anwar’s mom is THE WORST!
I loved the multiple narrators and the different point of views for one whole story, the background that the author provided for each character and how they developed.

They have been multiple mispronunciation from the Quran and Qais name and other from Pej Vahdat, and I understand the difficulty knowing he’s a non-Arabic speaker.

Some of the chapters or opinions in the book would be considered blasphemous, and it would definitely be banned from being released in multiple Muslim countries. Safwa’s fear of her father is understandable but that she kept on defending him even after all that he’s done and giving him excuses for all the violence is not acceptable. And Anwar’s brother with “I always do what’s right” who dictated what’s right? He almost got his brother and an innocent girl killed because he didn’t know what to do expt obey orders that were given to him as a child. He didn’t develop any personality or character at all.

2 people found this helpful

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Fabulous

Don’t let the cover deceive you, this is one of the best written novels that I have read. Not only were the characters well developed and the plot perfectly executed, but several quotes and thoughts continue to resonate with me. I do not want this one to end! Sequel please?!

2 people found this helpful

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Great until the end. Skip the last 2 chapters

Loved it until the end when the author decided to ruin the story with a quick "anti American" chapter, "America's are afraid of black, brown, native American and Japanese people" Apparently 🙄 According to the author, America sounds awful. Weird...you would think people wouldn't want to come here.

1 person found this helpful

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very thought provoking

I found myself unable to put down this audiobook...it offered perspectives I'd never imagined or thought of...I guess that's the mark of a good book: the ability to see old topics in a new light or a different version of a perspective

1 person found this helpful

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Not a keeper

The narration was great, but I did not enjoy the story as much as I'd hoped, but it did make me think, which is always a good thing....

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Engaging and beautiful story

This is one of the best books I've read/listened to. The story is incredibly captivating and unique. It sheds light on Muslim voices we don't hear much about through media sources, which I greatly appreciate. The narrators did an outstanding job.