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The Devil's Double

3.93  ·  Rating Details  ·  218 Ratings  ·  27 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 it was amazing  ·  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
Roger Charles
Mar 28, 2016 Roger Charles rated it it was amazing
A great read that is truly hard to believe. Do I believe it? YES but it's so extreme it could only happen in a dictatorial society, I guess, for Uday Hussein lived truly wheels off. He had no boundaries or rules. None. Hard to believe but I no doubt it all happened as Latif states in his book.

The book also examines one's resolve to do right and one's values. It's a book that may give insight on how Nazis in Germany did all those horrific killings during WWII. Self preservation is a huge motivato
Jul 17, 2011 Redwinter rated it really liked it
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
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
Sep 06, 2013 Eve rated it liked it
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
Jan 02, 2012 Angele rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 "
Mick Mulligan
Jan 30, 2015 Mick Mulligan rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 03, 2011 Katherine Blankenship rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 26, 2012 Sille rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Lim Ting
Oct 12, 2015 Lim Ting rated it it was amazing
Great book!
Tina Maison
Sep 11, 2014 Tina Maison rated it really liked it
Harrowing at times, but good read.
Aug 09, 2009 Rebes rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 16, 2013 Jennifer Bucholtz rated it it was amazing
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.
Jun 05, 2011 Rich rated it liked it
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.
Sep 25, 2012 Mousa rated it really liked it
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.
May 13, 2013 FoundAlaska rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
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.
Jan 05, 2009 Anna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: truestories
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
Dec 02, 2008 Steve Kitch rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
amazing details into the real life of saddam and the troubles in iraq post 1980.
Oct 11, 2011 Ganesh rated it liked it
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
Aug 11, 2013 Omid Fattahi rated it liked it
Fairly self-serving. Terrible translation and editing.
Dec 11, 2011 Abdulrahman rated it it was ok
A thrilling autobiography , poorly written
Apr 28, 2011 Kathrina marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Movie production begins this summer.
Mar 28, 2012 Jay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A superb book. Loved every bit of it..!
Mediocre at best, I'm afraid.
Faryaal marked it as to-read
Apr 27, 2016
Fiona Wright
Fiona Wright rated it liked it
Apr 23, 2016
Montgomery78 is currently reading it
Apr 20, 2016
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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
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