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This Life or the Next

A Novel
Narrated by: Assaf Cohen
Length: 8 hrs and 32 mins
Categories: Fiction, Literary
4 out of 5 stars (61 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From award-winning author Demian Vitanza comes a groundbreaking novel - his first to be translated into English - about one man’s alienation, radicalization, and disillusionment on the violent front lines in Syria.

Tariq Khan is a Pakistani born and raised in Norway. An outsider in his own country - adrift between two worlds divided by class, race, and culture - he’s always been searching for home. Alongside a flock of other streetwise young men, each looking for direction and each easily susceptible, Tariq finds his cause in the Muslim revival.

Idealistic, driven by faith, and empowered with purpose, he’s drawn to radical Islam - his last resort for achieving a sense of belonging, for embracing and being embraced. It’s only when he enlists in the war against Assad that Tariq’s eyes are truly opened. Dispirited with the violence, faced with the consequences of his choices, and increasingly distanced by the brutalities of jihad, Tariq contends with spiritual struggles that are his alone. So are the stories he will tell to make sense of his life.

In this daring and unprecedented work of literary fiction, Demian Vitanza explores the power of memory, the lure of rebellion, the search for meaning amid chaos - and the toll that such a journey can take before finally finding one’s way home.

©2017 Demian Vitanza (P)2018 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved. Translation © 2018 by Tanya Thresher

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

a pretty powerful study of a young Muslim male

I wasn't thrilled about the subject matter at first, but I persisted and discovered the main character is much like most of the young OEF/OIF Vets I treat for PTSD. Young, idealistic, and misdirected. this book really helped me see the underlying reasons people seek to be a part of war and terror activities. I wish young men and women from all communities and spiritual/political bases could gain wisdom by reading this rather than going to war.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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This life or the next

Troubling but interesting story from totally different mind set and culture. Narrated okay. Not something I would recommend to my circle of friends.

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Unrealistic and silly story

The sarcasm in this book is frustrating to listen to, and the story is lacking.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful