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The Tyrant's Novel

3.46 of 5 stars 3.46  ·  rating details  ·  98 ratings  ·  11 reviews
An intelligent, moral take on a highly topical issue - this will take Thomas Keneally to a new level, gaining him a new generation of fans
Published December 1st 2004 by Sceptre (first published January 1st 2004)
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Jan 30, 2011 Paul rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: novels
Keneally writes a novel which is all about the fate of intellectuals and artists in Iraq in the UN sanctions period. He then saddles himself with two very awkward conventions which do the book no favours at all. First, I guess if you're writing about a contemporary government, you cloak the country's real name and change all the names of the towns and rivers and so forth. Maybe this is to avoid the lawyers or an icepick in the back of the head. The ghost of Salman Rushdie must appear to writers ...more
With more knowledge about the politics of the time this was written and more information about some of the people or events mentioned this would've been more enjoyable. Even without prior knowledge this was an interesting read though. Recommended if you're into politics, foreign affairs or anything along those lines.
A novel for our times - Keneally's story tells of an Iraqi asylum-seeker whose work brought him dangerously close to Great Uncle, a fictitious parallel of Saddam Hussein. Like many of Keneally's works, there is well-documented historical fact to support a tragic human story. For Australians, there is a sinister message, and an even more sinister question from this 10-year-old story: we have treated refugees incredibly badly - but why have we been doing it for so long? Nothing has improved in the ...more
Denise Drespling
Minus whatever political agenda it may have, for me, this book was a tale of a man who has suffered, been faced with extreme decisions, and suffered some more. It is an emotional journey, captivating and brought forth by a writer with great skill. Keneally has a way of showing deep emotion without making it overly dramatic. Instead, his characters suffer quietly, but realistically. I can imagine that people in other countries, not so lucky as ours to be free, face situations like this. I can't w ...more
Interesting premise
A strange political fable narrated by a writer who lives in a deliberately ambiguous geographical location (with elements of both the Middle East & Africa) under a brutal dictator, who commissions the writer to ghostwrite a novel drawing attention to the injustice of the sanctions imposed on the country by the U.S. Ingenious but not as compelling as Office of Innocence.
از این جهت که کاملا منطبق بر اوضاع سیاسی و اقتصادی ایران بود برام جالب بود. گرچه میتونه درباره‌ی هرکشور دیگه‌ای در خاورمیانه یا آفریقا باشه.
این قسمت هم برام خیلی ملموس بود که باوجود نفرتی که آلن از عموی کبیر داشت، وقتی باهاش روبرو شد ناخودآگاه احساس احترام کرد. چیزی که گاهی خودم هم نسبت به بعضی دیکتاتورها در خودم احساس میکنم و برام خیلی عجیبه.
great story-within-a-story that humanises the forgotten faces behind asylum-seeker statistics without resorting to sentimentality or two-dimensional characters, not an easy task.
Reading about Tyrant's sweetens my enjoyment of freedom. As always, Keneally writes an interesting, unusual story with strong emotional impact. Near perfect.
A thinly veiled novel of Saddam Hussein; well written. "...manages to be both bold and humble."
Mike Finn
Excellent novel about living in a Middle East tyranny.
Couldn't finish.
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Thomas Michael Keneally, AO (born 7 October 1935) is an Australian novelist, playwright and author of non-fiction. He is best known for writing Schindler's Ark, the Booker Prize-winning novel of 1982, which was inspired by the efforts of Poldek Pfefferberg, a Holocaust survivor. The book would later be adapted to Steven Spielberg's Schindler's List (1993), which won the Academy Award for Best Pict ...more
More about Thomas Keneally...
Schindler's List The Daughters of Mars The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith A Commonwealth of Thieves: The Improbable Birth of Australia Searching for Schindler: A Memoir

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