Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Colonel” as Want to Read:
The Colonel
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Colonel

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  465 ratings  ·  93 reviews
A pitch black, rainy night in a small Iranian town. Inside his house, the colonel stared at the portrait of the famous military hero –The Colonel, long executed. He thinks of his own children, one of whom died supporting the Shah, another of whom fought for the Ayatollah, another of whom -his fourteen-year old daughter- has been captured handing out leaflets against the re ...more
Paperback, 220 pages
Published 2012 by Melville House (first published 2009)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Colonel, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Colonel

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  465 ratings  ·  93 reviews


Filter
 | 
Sort order
Petra Eggs
Aug 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Petra Eggs by: Trish
This book is banned in Iran because the author will not allow the censors to edit it to reflect their own partisan view of history. It is about one family, in one night where the cold and the rain never cease. Everyone in the family is fighting for or supports a different faction, the Shah or the Ayatollah or the government regime which isn't quite the same thing. The son-in-law is out to play sides against the middle for what he personally can get out of it. The torturer who is not a family mem ...more
Hamid
Apr 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
امیدوارم یک روزی اصلش رو، با چاپ قانونی توی کشور خودم بخونم.
Tariq Mahmood
Apr 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: iran
As a Pakistani, I find the Iranian revolution fascinating. It is a lesson for all Islamist apologists in what can go wrong. Dowlatabadi does a faboulous job in presenting a very dark picture of post revolutionary period where everything is breaking down, chaos; and among this chaos the protagonist a nameless colonel is trying to live an ordinary life, pruning himself, dealing with all issues as normally as possible. It's the portrayal of human nature at its most vulnerable state. This quest for ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
داستان یک خانواده ارتشی پیش و پس از انقلاب است
Saman Kashi
جوانی...جوانی!... شخص جوان انگار قطرتاً محجوب آفریده شده، اما در وجودش قدرت و استعداد غریبی هست که با سرعت کم نظیری میتواند او را تبدیل به یکی از وقیحترین جانوران روی زمین بکند. جانوری که در طول تاریخ از هیچ کار و از هیچ رفتار جنابت باری ابا و پروا نداشته باشد. شاید با وقوف و اتکا به همین قابلیت است که همیشه مهیبترین جنایات تاریخ بر عهدهی او گذاشته میشود. سفارشی که جوان بارها و بارها موفقیت خورد را در انجام آن ثابت کرده است. چه کار و پیشهای! لیکن... ما چه؟ ما که بیخواسته و به خواسته نوالههای خمی ...more
parastoo
Jul 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
شخصیت اصلی داستان کلنلی است که نامش ذکر نشده. کلنل افسر ارتش شاه پهلوی بود. پنج فرزند کلنل هر کدام گرایش های سیاسی جدایی را انتخاب کرده و سرنوشت هر کدام بر اساس انتخابشان شکل می گیرد.
کلنل یکی از سرهنگ های ارتش شاه است که به علت اجتناب از شرکت در جنگ ظفار مورد توبیخ قرار گرفته و مدتی نیز زندانی می شود. کلنل نه چندان زیاد سرسپرده ارتش شاه است و نه دلخوشی ای به رهبران بعد از انقلاب ایران دارد. او همچنان به صورت مستقل از هر دو حکومت باقی می ماند و تاوان این استقلال خود را نیز می پردازد: در زمان شاه
...more
Night0vvl
Dec 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
اگرچه ترجمه ی کتاب بسیار خوب و روان بود اما باعث تاسف است که می بایست چنین اثری از نویسنده ای چون آقای دولت آبادی را به زبان دیگری خواند! همانطور که همه جا بیان شده این کتاب سرگذشت یک کلنل و خانواده اش در قبل و بعد از انقلاب می باشد. این داستان راوی جهتگیری های متفاوت افراد در آن زمان و سرنوشت های هر قشر می باشد. فضای تاریک و ناامید خاص حاکم بر داستان و شخصیت پردازیها بی نظیر و کاملا ملموس است. کاراکتر کلنل و به ویژه مونولوگ های وی بسیار تاثیرگذار و در نوع خود شاهکار محسوب می شود. رویهمرفته از ج ...more
Trish
This summer the Iranian government issued a postage stamp on the novelist Dowlatabadi’s 74th birthday commemorating his lifetime of work. Despite the regime’s professed respect for the art of the novelist, Dowlatabadi’s The Colonel is still not published in his own country. It was first published in Germany, where it was shortlisted for the 2009 Haus der Kulturen Berlin International Literary Award. After publication in Britain, the novel was longlisted for the 2011 Man Asian Literary Prize and ...more
Elahe
Sep 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
فقط میتونم بگم دولت آبادی عالیه
Hakan
Jun 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
İran'ın yakın tarihini beş çocuklu bir babanın ekseninde vurucu bir şekilde anlatan "Albay"ı beklemediğim ölçüde sıkı buldum. Toplumsal ve siyasal gelişmeler karşısında çocukların farklı tercihleri trajik bir hikaye oluşturmuş. Devrimin çocuklarını yemesi, bazılarının ise her devirde yolunu bulması, kaybedenin ise daima halkın olması çok güzel işlenmiş. Yalnız bunları okuyup, didaktik, toplumcu gerçekçi veya benzer nitelikte bir roman olduğunu düşünmeyin. Geri-dönüşler, iç sorgulamalar, özellikl ...more
Afkham
Nov 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
داستانی بسیار گیرا و قوی مملو از صنایع ادبی که نشان از توانایی نویسنده قهار در کاربرد به جای آرایه ها و واژه ها و عناصر داستان دارد. برهه ای حساس از تاریخ معاصر که از دیدگاهی بی طرف و صرفا ناسیونالیستی و در قالب شخصیت کلنل و خانواده اش نقل شده.

"چیزی که این رمان را در ادبیات نو فارسی منحصربه فرد می کند، صراحت آن است. نویسنده از هیچ کس و هیچ چیز دریغ نمی کند، و آشکارا با انواع ادبی، تابوهای اخلاقی و اجتماعی، حتی آنهایی که در فرهنگ اسلامی مقدس تلقی شده اند، مخالفت می کند. او با انجام این کار بر تنا
...more
Oto Bakradze
მიყვარს დასავლეთ აზიელი მწერლების პატრიოტული რომანების კითხვა.

ესეც ერთ-ერთია. მოქმედება ვითარდება 80-იანი წლების ირანში, სადაც ისლამური რევოლუცია უკვე მომხდარია და ახალგაზრდების დიდი ნაწილი ვერ ეგუება მას. პროტაგონისტი ყოფილი პოლკოვნიკია, რომლის შვილებიც მეამბოხეები არიან, ხოლო სიძე იმ დროინდელი მთავრობის ჯალათი.

მოკლედ, მძიმე მაგრამ კაი საკითხავი წიგნია.
Mahboub
شما میتوانید تمام آنچه را که می خواهید تغییر دهید, اما در پایان، تسلیم این سردرگمی میشوید و همه چیز را خراب میکنید
....
ما مجبور میشویم قبر فرزندانمان را خودمان بکنیم, اما مسعله ی تکان دهنده این است که این جرایم, آینده ای را می سازند که در آن جایی برای حقیقت و رستگاری بشری نیست. هیچ کس دیگر جرات گفتن حقیقت را نخواهد داشت.
.....
تمام اتفاقاتی که اطراف ما می افتد این را نشان میدهد, ارزشهایی که از پدران مان به ما رسیده اند دیگر کارساز نیستند. در عوض ما بذر بی اعتمادی, شک و تسلیم را کاشته ایم که به جنگل
...more
Ken
Jul 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set in the aftermath of the Islamic revolution in Iran, in a small village on a rainy night. Two policemen summon the Colonel to collect the tortured body of his daughter, a victim of the revolution.

I’m not too familiar with Iranian history, but this tough unflinching read gave me a powerful insight of this countries history.
There’s plenty of footnotes to help the reader along the way.

With my lack of knowledge of the region some of the story inevitably went over my head. But I’m glad that I’ve r
...more
Tara
*Contains Plot Summary & Possible Spoilers*

A basic grasp of 20th Century Iranian history is advisable if you plan to read Mahmoud Dowlatabadi’s The Colonel, published in English last month by Melville House Books. Readers might be able to get by on the information provided by the publisher in footnotes and a glossary, but a little time spent on Wikipedia can’t hurt. The Colonel is both a political novel and a family drama – knowledge of the former is essential in understanding the latter. T
...more
Anthony Roberts
Jan 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: iran
“The Colonel” by Mahmoud Dowlatabadi is a dark, demanding and shattering account of the immediate aftermath of the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran. The story plays out as nightmare/fable/hallucination pitting historic Iranian ideals of pride and social justice against the crushing reality of each new regime’s ruthless quest for power. At its core this is a novel about betrayal and the madness it brings to all sides. For those not acquainted with Iranian history, this may be a maddening read too ...more
Lisa
Nov 14, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I read The Colonel because it’s longlisted for the Shadow Man Asian Literary Prize. It’s the work of a distinguished Iranian author, and because it’s dissident literature subject to censorship, it’s been published only outside Iran, perhaps at some risk to its author. However I’m going to be upfront about this book: as regular readers of this blog know, I enjoy reading challenging books and books that introduce me to other cultures, but this one took me a long way out of my comfort zone. The Col ...more
Mahsa Mehrdad
Jun 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Great piece of work by Dowlatabadi. In this book, he depicts a nation as a family .He shows how each family member took a different path during the 1979 Iranian revolution and gradually alienated the others. Reading the book for me, as an Iranian reader, was like pieces of a puzzle falling into place. It shows how we are trapped in history and there is no get away from it.
It is a difficult book as it is closely linked with Iran’s historical events that the reader should be aware of in order to
...more
Bee Halton
15/03/12
Awwww am exited to read this book suggested for this months read at the International Fiction Reading Group in Norwich. When I read the back of the book it's atmosphere reminded me of Isabelle Allende's "House of Spirits" even though it is not magical realism. I'll keep you updated what I think about it.
11/04/12
Today we will discuss it and I am glad I read it even though it was really hard work. Will go into more detail later on when I know if I am allowed to publish the review somewhere
...more
Literary Review The
Feb 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
By Matt McGregor

For The Literary Review
Spring 2012 "Encyclopedia Britannica"

In 1953, the CIA arrested the civilian Prime Minister of Iran, Mohammed Mossadeq,
and reinstated Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi. Mossadeq, a democrat who had
nationalized the oil industry, was thrown into solitary confinement for three years.
He spent the rest of his life under permanent house arrest. The Americans, with the
help of the Israelis, proceeded to set up a secret police service—which would soon
include expert to
...more
Mahrah
Jan 18, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
اما آنها چیزی به تو نمیگویند! آنها تو را ناآگاه نگاه میدارند و مغز تو را میشویند تا زمانی که هر آنچه میگویند باور کنی.
Motahareh Nabavi
Nov 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Dowlatabadi has once again rendered me speechless, but I will use the few words I can summon to describe this piece. While "The Thirst" familiarized me with Dowlatabadi's immaculate prose and his ability to almost paradoxically bring to light erased political narratives by hiding them in his literature, "The Colonel" went even a step higher by piercing my heart with its bitter truths. This novel lyrically depicted the effects of the 1979 revolution on the opposing political groups, who in fact f ...more
Nazanin
Jul 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
An extraordinary combination of illusion, reality, and memory depicting a really fragile time at the history of Iran.
Really hard to read, really sad...
Davood Panahi
3.5/5
Darryl
Apr 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This powerful novel is set in a town in Iran in the late 1980s, toward the end of the Iran-Iraq war, and roughly a decade after the overthrow of the last Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, and the accession to power of Islamic fundamentalists, led by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. The main character is 'the colonel', an unnamed disgraced former member of the Shah's army, who is so named because of his former title, but also because he reveres Mohammad-Taqi Khan Pesyan, or 'The Colonel', who is c ...more
Lillian
Apr 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: iran
What a dark, tough read. There is a note at the back of the book that helped me get a grip on the darkness. It explains how Dowlatabadi came to write this novel. He had just finished writing a 10 volume, 3,000 page epic, Kelidar, that deals with life in a rural village in north-eastern Iran in the 1940's. While he was immersed in writing Kelidar, he shut himself off from the modern world in many ways to concentrate on the different time period. Upon returning to the reality of life in modern day ...more
Amir
Jan 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: english

I like the style of story telling of this book and could connect with the characters in the story (specially Amir and the colonel). I believe one can find (many) fathers (mothers) in Iran who experienced the same sad story as the colonel in the few years after Iran's revolution.

The main characters of this story, the colonel, Amir and Khezr are well presented and I could understand the reasons behind their actions.

Overall the translation is not bad but as the translator says at the end of th
...more
Mehdi Miri Disfani
Nov 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
What a story and what a night!

Colonel tells us what has happened to a nation and a country in a set of events all happening in one night! A very long night! Dark, stormy, muddy and frightening and very gloomy!

I read the book twice since I like works of Dowlatabadi and specially the use of language in his works. The second time I read it specifically to find his tune and style between the translated lines! It is a big pity that I could not read "Colonel" in Farsi.

The book goes through a set of e
...more
Harry Rutherford
Gosh, this book is grim. It starts with the colonel being summoned from his house in the middle of a rainy night to collect the tortured body of his daughter from the secret police, and he is told to bury her before daybreak to avoid any kind of attention.

The story of that night and the following day is combined with flashbacks, and we learn of one child after another lost to violence: being tortured by the Shah’s regime or the Islamic Republic, or dying in the Iran/Iraq War. Each of his childre
...more
Matin Kheirkhahan
Apr 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
I would give it a 4.5, because of the aesthetic flow and deduct 0.5 as I wish I had read it in Persian. The reason that I prefer the original Persian text is the delicacy of word choices. It was obvious that the words and names were beautifully selected such that they were in perfect harmony of the whole plot, and I believe many points are lost in the English translation.

Other than the language, the story is telling a retired colonel's fate whose offspring are representing different popular (and
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Woman Who Read too Much
  • Kissing the Sword: A Prison Memoir
  • طوبا و معنای شب
  • Strange Times, My Dear: The PEN Anthology of Contemporary Iranian Literature
  • Passenger to Teheran
  • تنگسیر
  • Vis and Ramin
  • Children of the New World
  • My Happiness Bears No Relation to Happiness
  • Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict: A Primer
  • We, the Children of Cats
  • Doing Psychoanalysis in Tehran
  • The Last Great Revolution: Turmoil and Transformation in Iran
  • Women with Mustaches and Men without Beards: Gender and Sexual Anxieties of Iranian Modernity
  • Futility
  • The Adventures of Amir Hamza
  • Little Hut of Leaping Fishes
  • An Exaggerated Murder
951 followers
Mahmoud Dowlatabadi is an Iranian writer and actor, known for his promotion of social and artistic freedom in contemporary Iran and his realist depictions of rural life, drawn from personal experience.

برنده لوح زرین بیست سال داستاننویسی بر کلیه آثار، به همراه امین فقیری ۱۳۷۶
دریافت جایزه یک عمر فعالیت فرهنگی، بدر نخستین دوره جایزه ادبی یلدا به همت انتشارات کاروان و انتشارات اندیشه سازان ۱۳۸۲
برنده ج
...more
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“How can an entire nation endure so many long silences and so many unspoken words?” 4 likes
“Who am I trying to fool? I'm well aware that at every stage of history there have been crimes against humanity, and they couldn't have happened without humans to commit them. The crimes that have been visited on my children have been committed, and still are being committed, by young people just like them, by people stirring up their delusions, giving them delusions of grandeur. So why do I imagine that people might improve? Everything going on around us seems to indicate that the values our forebears passed down to us no longer apply. Instead, we have sown the seeds of mistrust, scepticism and resignation, which will grow into a jungle of nihilism and cynicism, a jungle in which you will never find the courage to even mention the names of goodness, truth and common humanity, a corp that is now bearing fruit with remarkable speed. We're obliged to dig our own children's graves, but what's even more shocking is that these crimes are creating a future in which there is no place for truth and human decency. Nobody dare to speak truth anymore. Oh, my poor children ... we are burying you, but you should realize that we are also digging a grave for our future. Can you hear me?” 4 likes
More quotes…