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Good Muslim Boy

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  491 ratings  ·  89 reviews
Meet Osamah Sami: a schemer, a dreamer and a madcap antihero of spectacular proportions whose terrible life choices keep leading to cataclysmic consequences … despite his best laid plans to be a Good Muslim Boy.

By the age of thirteen, Osamah had survived the Iran–Iraq war, peddled fireworks and chewing gum on the Iranian black market, proposed 'temporary marriage' not onc
Paperback, 257 pages
Published May 1st 2015 by Hardie Grant Books
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Average rating 4.18  · 
Rating details
 ·  491 ratings  ·  89 reviews

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Lea Davey
Jan 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Good Muslim Boy is one of those books that you just want to tell everyone to read. This is the story of Osamah Sami and his family - Iraqi by heritage, living in Iran before migrating to Australia. An often hilarious story of growing up in a country where music, alcohol, girls and everything else that appeals to a teenager is not only forbidden but punishable with severe consequences. Humorous adventures that tumble into each other are interwoven with the real tragedies and horrors that are also ...more
Karys McEwen
Jun 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This memoir was recommended to me by a colleague, and although I didn’t doubt that it was going to be a good read, it ended up completely blowing me away. Sami’s writing is both beautiful and accessible, and he somehow makes his stories simultaneously emotional and hilarious. While reading a chapter about the death of someone (I won’t say who!) I was moving between laughing out loud at wisecracks, and falling dead silent with morose at other turns of phrase. It was such a weird mix… weird and wo ...more
Hassan Sami
Sep 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent book, and skillfully crafted. I would highly recommend to anyone with a sense of justice and humanity. A very humorous and funny read but also moving, sad and poignant at the same time. Cannot recommend this enough.

Jul 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic read. Tragicomic and touching.
Jane Smith
Aug 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Couldn't put it down.
A remarkable memoir of a ballsy "half-Iraqi, half-Iranian, half-Aussie" "Moozlem", that encompasses a childhood blighted by the Iran-Iraq war, several "temporary marriage" proposals, a random spate of doorknockings across Iran in the hope of meeting girls wearing red, an unlicensed fireworks business, a fake medical degree and an arranged marriage that lasts less than a day because the groom makes a run for it from the wedding limo outside a 7-11.

Sami skilfully interweaves dual storylines - a ch
Read this book after watching the film "A Muslim's Wedding" which is based on the last third of this amusing memoir. The scenes of a musical comedy written by a Shiite cleric satirising Saddam Hussein and the later arrest of the theatre company as they enter the US are so crazy they couldn't be true. But they are.
Sami describes in Iran then later in Australia. His energy, smart comments and adventures are fodder for more films.
Interspersed with his life story are chapters that cover a visit to
This was a welcome surprise. The book came onto my radar before I knew it was being turned into a feature film (which I have not yet seen), and I was a little surprised to discover the film being promoted as a Muslim rom-com. The book is not that, although it does contain a little rom and quite a bit of com.

Osamah's childhood in Iran was coloured by his not quite belonging. Although he was born there, his parents were Iraqi, and in the 80s that made him the enemy. He was the Arab amongst the Per
Sep 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I just finished reading this extraordinary book – what a story. I couldn't believe I was laughing so hard in one minute and sitting in absolute shock the next. The stories are so human and beautifully written, and the main narrative is heartbreaking, moving and at times hilarious - which is what the author does so masterfully. Recommend this to every reader that loves a universal tale and great literature. Simply amazing.
Sep 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is an great and enjoyable book. Loved it.

Aska Karem
Sep 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It's the kind of book you read with your mouth open amazed that it's all true.
Good Muslim Boy, Sami tells his story with humour
You’ll never know whether to laugh or cry but it’s guaranteed to move you.

Funny, moving, humane...
You must read or listen it.

-Winner of the 2016 New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards
–Highly Commended at the 2016 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards
-Winner of the 2015 International Golden Phoenix Award for contribution to Iraqi
Benjamin Stahl
Sep 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Marvellous. Insightful. A delightful autobiography by an Iranian migrant to Melbourne, Australia. Sami brings his experiences across not as ham-fisted and obnoxiously left-wing, but rather with wisdom, compassion and a great sense of humour. I found this book equally as hilarious as it was touching. It really makes one appreciate the fascinating culture from which he came, without having it forced rightously down you throat. I would highly reccomend this.
Lee Matthews
Aug 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Entertaining and insightful window into a world so different from my own.
Susanne Mills
Sep 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Quite a lot of this book made me smile, some made me cry and some made me sad. But every word of it was enjoyable :) well worth a read and an author I’d look for again :)
Jun 22, 2018 rated it liked it
I wanted to love this but was irked by some of the irresponsibility. Interesting to learn more of Muslim culture though.
An irreverent, wickedly humorous memoir that subtly laughs at Aussies, Iranians, Iraqis, Kurds, Christians, Muslims and everyone in between, and who better to do it than Osamah Sami. Born in Iraq, raised in Iran, then emigrated to Australia, Osamah's life is a series of madcap adventures, interspersed with moments of pathos when he describes his relationship with his father and their final trip back to Iran.
Sep 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't realise until I finished this that it was the basis for Ali's Wedding, which of course I have not seen yet. Clearly, the film is based on the book's B Plot, as the A plot: a madcap epic struggle between one grieving youth and unyielding bureaucracy, does not make a great film pitch. It makes one hell of a yarn, though, in the best tradition of tellers of tall tales* everywhere. Sami infuses his story the tone of a Charlie Chaplin movie (or possibly a Pezeshkzad work), with the reader br ...more
Lots of interesting snippets of life in Iran, his hustling, and his immigration to Australia. It's always good to listen to the struggles to find a little more humanity.
The ordeal with his trip to Iran was pretty draining, and I did feel for him.

However, overall, I didn't particularly love the memoir - it was a collection of anecdotes and bits and pieces, without a framework or particular flow. Good on audio though.
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I had this book sitting around at home for about 6 months (shame on me for hogging it, thems the perks of working in a library). I read the ‘lunch with....’ Osamah Sami the other weekend and that prompted me to read it (and get a ticket to the stage play at the Malthouse). This was such a fantastic memoir - I devoured it! The machinations he had to go through when his father died unexpectedly while they were back in Iran made our experience when Mum died seamless and trouble free.
Read it!
Jan 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was a great book and I loved the way he incorporated humour into his writing even when he went through difficult times. Amazing stories and I highly recommend.
Jul 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: biography, australian
I saw the film first, and although I liked this, I found it disjointed. Jumping between timelines didn't really enhance the story
Chantale Roxanas
an absorbing read

I couldn't put the book down! confronting but beautifully told, I highly recommend this emotional roller coaster of a story.
Anita Roberts
Aug 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Osamah is a great storyteller. I saw him perform a stage version of Good Muslim Boy at the Malthouse last year. It’s amazing how much of this story he conveyed in just 85 minutes.
Aug 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The rare five stars.

So honest and human and beautiful.

Highly recommend.
Feb 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I've finally read this amazing book, it took me forever but I have been meaning to read it for so long and had never gotten round to it but now I have. It was so worth it. Osamah Sami is so funny, I was constantly laughing even as he wrote about his childhood in war torn Iran. But he also wrote in a way that was really emotional and heartfelt. I cried at the end. He wrote beautifully with honesty, heartbreak and humour. Everyone should read this book!
Cel Jel
Jul 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 27, 2016 rated it liked it
The life that this guy has had. Having to deal with his dad's death in a pretty much foreign country in a mire of bureaucracy at a very tender age. I admired the courage, tenacity and wonderful sense of fun that flows all throughout this memoir. I loved the stories of Osama navigating the Australian version of English as a teenager new to a culture and country. Also a great look at what the young people raised in Muslim culture experience in non-Muslim cultures. Hilarious misadventures and misun ...more
Kowther Qashou
Oct 27, 2017 added it
Shelves: ozlit
A really humorous yet dark read.
Sep 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Don't judge a book by its cover? This is an exeption. As original, creative and beautiful on the outside, it is within. Written so passionately by Osamah Sami, Good Muslim Boy is A must read. Recommend it to anyone.
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