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The Walking

3.54  ·  Rating Details ·  108 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
Two brothers from a small Iranian mountain village-Saladin, who has always dreamed of leaving, and Ali, who has never given it a thought-are forced to flee for their lives in the aftermath of a political killing. The journey is beset by trouble from the start, but over the treacherous mountains they go, on foot to Istanbul and onward by freighter to the Azores.There, after ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published March 5th 2013 by Bloomsbury USA (first published January 1st 2013)
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Community Reviews

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May 11, 2016 Antigone rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
We must go.

Must we?

Yes. For our dignity. For our future. For a chance. This new regime is not capable of dignity. I heard just the other day, Mehri Khanoum was walking down the streets and they approached her, told her to wipe the vanity off her lips, a razor blade hidden in the napkin...just like that.

I heard, the mass hangings...

I heard a stoning in the square...

Other voices said, Sit for a minute, have a chai, let us think this through.

Iran, 1979. The Shah has fled and the conversations teem
May 28, 2014 Maree rated it it was ok
This book was very disjointed, in a way that didn't really work for me. It kept flashing back and forth between Saladin's first few days in America and his reactions to it and his journey with his brother to try to get there. I have to admit not being very patient when I read it; it seemed really slow and there wasn't really much of a plot. But seeing as it's more a book about a cultural experience, there's not always really supposed to be.

The main thing that I remember from this book is the dam
Dec 10, 2013 Hal rated it it was amazing
"These Kurds, so moody and serious, always at war with something..."

I try not to make reviews personal, but it was difficult not to for this book. I am an immigrant to Canada, but I immigrated at a very young age - I grew up here. I knew full well the struggles my parents faced in getting their lives sorted here, the culture shock that occurred from an abrupt entrance into Western culture from Kurdish culture, but I never truly understood or experienced those struggles.

This book put it all into
Jun 24, 2013 Katherine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
"His eyes were snake set, and the artist could not pull any nobility from the shape of his head" (8).
"the moon was no more than an eyelash in the sky..." (31).
"When he wakes, the surface is farther away, pulled down from his feet like sheets left behind by arisen bedmate" (42).
"This is what does not follow us when we go.
"Our grandmother's tea set, the eight gilded glasses and their saucers, antiques by now. Sentimental, we know, but no other glasses will sound the same when clinked together, no
Dec 21, 2015 Marvin rated it really liked it
The Walking, the second book in Khadivi's trilogy, is marked by the same brilliant prose as the first. (See my review of The Age of Orphans.) Where the first followed nearly the entire life of a Kurd who leaves then returns to his homeland as one of the Shah's occupying soldiers, this one takes place only over the course of about one year after the Iranian revolution. A young man (the son of the main character in The Age of Orphans) who has grown up watching American movies and longing to go to ...more
Vivek Tejuja
Feb 06, 2013 Vivek Tejuja rated it it was amazing
There are some books that you will go back to, and you can sense that while reading them. There is something about them from the first word that pulls you inside and you willingly succumb to the world the writer has created and sometimes just want to stay there. This happens to me more often than not when I read and this time it happened more so while I was reading, “The Walking” by Laleh Khadivi. The book had been lying on my shelf for a while and I was reluctant to pick it up because I had ...more
Why aren't more people reading this book?!?!? I don't hand out 5 stars all that often, but I just couldn't give this one 4 stars without feeling like I was cheating it. Wonderful novel about a brother's forced, but at the same time longed-for, journey from Iran to L.A. in the late 70's/early 80's. Intimate and soaring at the same time, with beautiful passages that make your heart hurt a little, sometimes in a good, hopeful way and others in a despairing way. Non-linear telling, mixed with ...more
Ilyhana Kennedy
Jun 27, 2014 Ilyhana Kennedy rated it really liked it
"The Walking" is the second book in a proposed trilogy, the first being "The Age of Orphans". Both of these books trace the lives of several generations of people of Kurdish descent, their struggle against oppression, their flight to freedom and the consequent effort to simply survive.
The second book has less poetic appeal but this seems somehow necessary, as it is very much a story of spareness, stark survival.
I truly admire this author's work, her literary skill, her courage to tell a story th
This is a haunting and beautifully-written novel. Laleh Khadivi's lyrical, poetic style creates a dreamlike beauty that is interwoven like a soft mist into the story that begins in Iran at the time of the Islamic Revolution and ends in America. It is at times a story of the love of family and culture but also of fear, confusion, grief, and displacement...and eventually of redefining oneself in a new country. The novel is, for the most part, the story of Saladin, one of two Iranian brothers who ...more
Michel Avenali
Feb 15, 2014 Michel Avenali rated it really liked it

Not a simple book to classify or put under a neat list of likes and did not likes. There are some books that we read for fun, or sheer excitement, and some that once you finish the last page leave a sensation akin to a memory or an experience, and that is extremely difficult to define or assign arbitrary stars of rank to. So, the best I can do is say that if you (the reader) are interested in Iranian history or culture, if you enjoyed books like The Kite Runner you will most likely f
Jul 21, 2013 Judith rated it did not like it
I selected this book because I had so enjoyed the author's first one: "The Age of Orphans", but they are as different as night and day. I couldn't even finish "The Walking", though technically speaking it was an exciting story and should have held my attention. Two young boys are forced to flee Iran at the outset of the 1979 revolution after a gruesome execution in which they are unwilling observers. Saladin and his brother Ali journey through deserts, cross the ocean, before Saladin lands in ...more
Natasha  Briggs
Jul 04, 2013 Natasha Briggs rated it liked it
This was a very interesting book. This book made me realize how precious one's life is. Some people struggle on a day to day basis to survive. The actual story was easy to read. You experience life thru the eyes of the main character and all of his struggles, losses and happiness. The only thing that I did not like about the book was that it just ended. Once the character reaches his destination in life you keep waiting for that big ending that never comes and the book just ends.

I loved the fac
Pamela Ferguson
Sep 01, 2013 Pamela Ferguson rated it really liked it
A great book! It should be required reading for all teenagers in America! Well told frightening story of two Iranian Kurdish brothers who escape with their "lives" from Iran in the late 70's when the Shah came to power. One brother wanted nothing else than to come to Hollywood and live the American dream while the other longed for returning to their homeland. The narrative moves back and forth between Iran and California and places in between. A tribute to all immigrants and their struggles. I ...more
Jun 01, 2013 Noralo rated it it was amazing
This is what I want a book to be. Measured, thoughtful, about one person and about every person.

Fast read but not a page-turner by any means. This is an extremely patient book that explores what it means to leave a home that hurt you, and what it means to arrive in a place that doesn't want you. By the time Khadivi turns the novel from micro to macro, I was invested enough in Saladin's story for it to be powerful to consider that this story wasn't just about Saladin, but the experience of a coun
Apr 04, 2013 Lissa rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
This novel, follows two brothers as they escape Iran and flee to unknown parts. One of the brothers eventually winds up in the U.S. and has to reconcile the world he imagined with what was instead waiting for him. It took me a little while to get used Laleh Khadevi's writing style, but once I got into this book I could not put it down. The book alternates not only between the characters current struggles as a recent immigrant and his past life in Iran but there are also chapters that detail the ...more
Jan 20, 2014 Trisha rated it liked it
This book is about two brothers who try to escape during the Taliban takeover. His dream was to get to la where the movies are . His mother always talked about and gave him money to go see. It's interesting to see the states through the eyes of a foreigner whose culture was vastly different. The time switches from past to future until you finally find out how he got there. The characters and descriptions of the locations weren't well developed.
Judith Yeabsley
Dec 11, 2014 Judith Yeabsley rated it it was ok
I really disliked the style of writing. It was really disjointed and the author goes on long rants to "create atmosphere" and to bring in general immigrant experience rather than just focusing on the central characters. Should have dumped it after a chapter but found I actually did want to find out what happened to the two brothers exiled from Iran. The story itself could have been fabulous for me if written differently.
May 12, 2014 Donna rated it really liked it
SALADIN always wanted to leave Iran. He does in 1979 when the revolution begins. He walks with immigrants through countless dangers. He eventually boards a ship and arrives in Los Angeles. He finds hostility due to the hostage crisis back in his homeland. Does he find a new home in this new city?

Khadivi writing is flowing.

QUESTION: When did authors give up quotation marks?? I need to see them as a reader. (That's the retired teacher in me!!)
Sep 13, 2013 Deborah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
About a Kurd and his brother who leave Iran during the 1979 Revolution. Informational, interesting.
really more 4.5 than 4.
I liked this book Very much, and really looked forward to spending time with it on the bus.
The only thing that kept it from being a "5" for me was that it became to inner-directed, too reflective for me, but the fault therein lies with me, not the writer.

Rachel Oppenheim
Jul 24, 2013 Rachel Oppenheim rated it really liked it
I liked this book and I learned a lot about the Iranian Revolution and its effect on individuals & families. However, I thought that the two main characters (brothers) could have been more developed. I would have been more invested in their outcomes if I cared more about them.
Feb 04, 2016 Diana rated it really liked it
Great book to help those of us privileged to live in a country not torn by war and terror see what a refuge's life might be like. Their bravery and determination is awesome to me. This book had me contemplating what I would do in all the situations presented in the book. Very interesting.
Aug 10, 2016 Estelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I registered a book at!
I was deeply moved by this novel. It's lyrical rhythmic prose took me deep into the character's loss, befuddlement and longing. The dislocation and disconnection of refugees is harrowing.
Oct 08, 2014 Naomi rated it it was amazing
A beautiful tale of rupture, of war, of forced immigration. This is the second book in a trilogy of a Kurdish family in Iran. I can't wait to read the other two.
A story about two Kurdish brothers escaping from the Iranian Revolution. The tale itself was devastating and Khadivi's dark style enhanced the moody tone throughout the book.
Ellen Johnson
Feb 22, 2014 Ellen Johnson rated it it was ok
Shelves: novel
I didn't really finish this. Not sure why now, I remember that I liked reading about his impressions of different places as he moved gradually from his small village to Los Angeles.
tree rated it it was amazing
Jan 27, 2014
Juliet rated it did not like it
Aug 20, 2013
Sara rated it it was ok
Nov 07, 2013
Lisé rated it really liked it
Feb 20, 2014
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