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The Devil's Double

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  189 ratings  ·  25 reviews
In 1987, Latif Yahia was taken to Saddam’s headquarters to meet Uday, Saddam’s eldest son, and told that a great honour had been bestowed upon him: that because of the great likeness between them, he had been chosen to be Uday’s double. For many Iraqis it would have been the highlight of their lives, but for Latif, a peace-loving man who did not agree with Saddam’s brutal ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published April 22nd 2010 by Arrow (first published 1994)
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The Devil's Double is the ostensibly true life story on which the Lee Tamahori film of the same name, released earlier this year, was based. The movie, starring Dominic Cooper as both Saddam Hussein's son Uday and his body double or 'fiday', Latif Yahia, in the Iraq of the late 1980s, was hands down my favourite of 2011. This book was out of print at the time but, unsurprisingly, has been reissued in the wake of the film's success. Obviously, I had to get my hands on a copy and was keen to learn ...more
Apr 02, 2008 Betty rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: adults and history buffs
Recommended to Betty by: the author Dr. Latif Yahia

When this author invited me to be his friend on GoodReads, I checked his profile and then accepted. When I learned that he was the man I had read about years before--the one who was forced into being a "body double" for Saddam Hussein's evil oldest son, Uday--I was intrigued enough to read the book he had written about his ghastly experiences.

As you might know, political leaders have often been targets of assassination, and in Iraq there's an institution called
Unique tale that Yahia Latif's one, forced to become the double of Saddam Hussein's son. As much as I consider myself relatively informed of what's going on in the world, I was surprised by the everyday horror of Iraqis' lives. There is a "1984" feeling, not being able to trust anyone completely, always afraid to be taken away for the slightest comment, if not out of pure bad luck. The systematic use of torture, the mass graves opposed to the vulgar exhibition of wealth and depravity of the Huss ...more
Interesting and Educational, Excellent Book,
Latif Yahia has seen things most people cannot even imagine. As a double for Uday Hussein, son and possible successor of Saddam, Latif witnessed acts of depravity and torture that almost sound like something out of a Marquis de Sade novel. This book will open your eyes to the relative value of human life; to the ruling elite of Iraq, people are as expendable as bad batteries. Yahya himself endured harsh torments at the hands of a man who called him a "
Kev Reilly
Perhaps Uday was worse than Saddam...

Latif Yahia was a childhood 'friend' of one of Saddam Hussein who claims that in the late 1980s he was tortured, threatened & ultimately blackmailed into becoming Uday's double/decoy. This book chronicles mid 1988 until an unknown time in 1996.

How much of this story is accurate, manipulated or completely false, is up for debate. Latif's tale has been questioned by some but the majority of it seems legitimate (the international community knew certain thing
This is a book I've been interested in reading ever since I saw trailer for the film, starring Dominic Cooper, whose look for the film is excellent and convincing. The story is about an Iraqi soldier, Latif, who is forced into becoming the body double, or 'fiday', of Uday Saddam Hussain, Saddam Hussain's eldest son. Sadly the film didn't live up to expectations, and it's one that I would actually recommend seeing before reading the book. The book was gripping, often fast paced, and hard to put d ...more
Mick Mulligan
By far one of my favourite books!!!
All i will say is READ and you will understand what I mean. frightening account of a real life body double...and much much more...
Katherine Blankenship
While it took over 8 months to finally track down a copy I can honestly say it was well worth the wait. Yahia paints a picture of absolute horror, made all the more painful when the reader remembers the book is autobiographical. After finishing I was left in a place of relief in Yahia's escape, but also disturbed by the sheer disregard for human life seen in these pages. If you come across a copy of this I urge you to read it, not only because of it's rare nature, but because underneath the pain ...more
I'v seen the movie last september and I found it great, and I became interested in the subject and wanted to know more. The books tells the real story of Uday Husseins fidday (double). I heard some people tell before about the cruelty that happened in Iraq and couldn't believe it. After reading I was shocked about the cruelty, but I also think that the world must know what happened and maybe still happen in other countries. How people can torture other people with this cruelty. We can't ignore t ...more
Tina Maison
Harrowing at times, but good read.
I was interested in this book b/c it seemed like it'd be interesting. It was, because it was like watching a train wreck. It was an easy read in the sense of its being a linear narrative. It was a difficult read because of everything awful the regime was and did and represented. And then it just...ends. And that's it.
Jennifer Bucholtz
This was an amazing non-fiction book about a man recruited (i.e. forced) to be the body double for Uday Hussein during the late 1980's and early 1990's. I could not put the book down. I knew the Hussein regime was brutal, but this book really opened my eyes to the daily atrocities Saddam and his son, Uday, committed.
Good book about the abuses of Uday the son of Saddam Hussein by his look a like. I played a role in the end drama but I'm glad I'm not mentioned. Other players, American and Iraqis, are also not mentioned.

It is not a book for the squimish. There are some graphic descriptions of torture.
In this book, you will know something that you might heard about it from having double for some people who are protecting them from danger. You can see how Iraq's people were suffering from Saddam and his son.
Very eye-opening and nice to be able to finally have an 'inside'window in what's going on over there. It reads very easily and explains everything well. Definite buy.
Real story - brutal, but true as the life in Iraq as copy of dictator's son. Change from a normal, average person into a brutal man.
Steve Kitch
amazing details into the real life of saddam and the troubles in iraq post 1980.
Ringside view into Saddam/Uday's life. Just wish the writing style was less flowery
Dec 08, 2011 Dara marked it as to-read
I can not find a copy of this book anywhere!!!!! Any Suggestions?
Omid Fattahi
Fairly self-serving. Terrible translation and editing.
A thrilling autobiography , poorly written
Apr 28, 2011 Kathrina marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Movie production begins this summer.
A superb book. Loved every bit of it..!
Mediocre at best, I'm afraid.
Mónika Sindler
Mónika Sindler marked it as to-read
Feb 20, 2015
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Latif Yahia written a couple of books, the first titled ( I Was Saddam's Son ) in 1994 in German, have sold over one million copies worldwide in twenty languages. and the second ( The devil's double ) in 2003... and his New Book ( THE BLACK HOLE ) in 2006-2007 This Book has been banned in Books Stores in USA and IRELAND and he LIVE THERE, and all because hi didn't say nice things about The America ...more
More about Latif Yahia...
The Black Hole  I Was Saddam's Son The Black Hole,This book is a sequel to The Devil's Double, which was made into a feature film of the same name. (The Book the American CIA don't want you to read.) The Hangman of Abu Ghraib: The True Story of the Man Who Became the Hangman for the Most Notorious Prison in the World Forty Shades of Conspiracy

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