“An Ishmael of Syria” by Asaad Almohammad

An extremely interesting and timely read. The main character, Adam, is a young Syrian man living in Malaysia. He watches in horror as his country implodes, and has to deal both with his disagreement with the positions of his friends and family, and the racism and anti-Syrian prejudice he experiences from others.

The narrative jumps back and forth between past and present, first and third person, Syria and Malaysia. The prose style varies between polished and rough around the edges, and Adam himself swings back and forth between sensible and almost incoherent with rage and sorrow at what his country is undergoing and the international response to it. The overall effect is disjointed and occasionally disconcerting, but the text crackles with energy and emotion. This is not the easiest read, but it provides a perspective that is largely lacking in the Western narrative on the current events in Syria.

My thanks to NetGalley for providing a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review.

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