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All Our Broken Idols

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4.23  ·  Rating details ·  35 ratings  ·  11 reviews
To the god of old things
To the gods of the riverbank
To the god of hunters

Assyria, 7th century BC. For Aurya and her daydreaming brother, every day is a struggle till their fates become inextricably bound to that of King Ashurbanipal, and they find themselves bound for the beautiful, near-mythical city of Nineveh.

Twenty-six centuries later, British-Iraqi archaeologist Katya
...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published July 14th 2020 by Bloomsbury Publishing
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Average rating 4.23  · 
Rating details
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Annarella
May 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this great and well researched story that mixes past and present creating a great plot and featuring a cast of fascinating characters.
I found it enthralling and I couldn't put it down because I was fascinated by what I was reading.
It's the first book I read by this author and won't surely be the last.
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
Sebasthian Wilnerzon
Aug 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
At its best, a thematically beautiful story of how history is made; in its weaker portions, slow and somewhat oddly paced, but always enjoyable. Curiously, the two are often the same moments.

The story flows seamlessly and it is beautifully written, but there are times where the language and the soft, steady flow of the narrative actually hurt individual scenes -- action scenes, mostly, which rarely feel very fast-paced; but also expository, calmer scenes where no major progress is made in the
...more
Padmaja Sreenivas
All Our Broken Idols travels between lives lived centuries apart with an ease i am almost jealous of. Aurya and Katya live parallel lives in the book, each struggling with the past, present and future. They are young women centuries apart, yet Aurya's loss of her mother echoes in Katya's grief for her father.

Aurya and her brother Sharo find refuge with King Ashurbanipal's entourage and escape from the past in their village only to get into an entangled future in Nineveh. Sharo's gift is also
...more
Eileen Granfors
Paul M.M. Cooper's new book caught my eye with a blurb on Twitter. Ancient Iraq/modern Iraq; archaeology, brother/sister; civil war; ancient gods/modern gods;; ancient love stories/modern romance.

Lots of boxes ticked off! I jumped into his novel ALL THE BROKEN IDOLS

In ancient Iraq, Aurya and her brother Sharo live a life below the level of common peasants. Their drunken father does not bother to feed or clothe them, and their mother is dead. Sharo is a seer of a somewhat autistic modality. He
...more
Paul Mcguire
Oct 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A memorable journey to the past through the eyes of characters living in Ancient Assyria and those looking back to learn about their world. Cooper artfully weaves two storylines together separated by thousands of years in a way that feels connected and purposeful. Some might find the ending leaves a little to be desired but as Cooper says in one of the final chapters, "No story is ever about the ending." I highly recommend this to fans of historical fiction and those interested in archeology. ...more
Peter Phillips
Jul 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Probably the best book I've read for a couple of years. It's a bittersweet tale set 3000 years ago and in 2014. The way it flipflops between past and present between chapters is sublime and does not jar at all. Personally I preferred the parts set in 2014 but i guess that's all down to personal taste.

The first half of the book is a slow burn but once you get there the rewards are worth the wait. My advice is to rattle through the book as fast as possible to get the most from the plot. By the end
...more
Kyle Hoekstra
Can't resist a story set in ancient Assyria. An accomplished follow-up to River Of Ink and it's also a companion of sorts to Paul Cooper's Fall of Civilizations podcast. I wrote my BA dissertation on the years after the collapse of Nineveh and I loved seeing familiar motifs and themes emerge in fiction. Not sure if the thematic depth and myth was exploited as much as it might have been and I feel like Cooper made a decision to constrain flourishes in his writing. Still, it makes the novel fast ...more
A
Jun 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 stars. Not every day you read a well-researched historical fiction about Assyria and its people. Honestly the first 50-60% was kind of slow and I was tempted to leave it as DNF. But after that the story (or stories?) really take off. The end is sad but beautiful. At the end I really enjoyed the book.
Don Dealga
Sep 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Bittersweet moving parallel tales of two remarkable young women millenia apart form the core of this book. The settings of ancient Assyria and more contemporary Northern Iraq form the backdrops for the twin narratives with the common site being Nineveh-Mosul. The two lead characters have lost a parent and this pervades their consciousnesses - the search for the missing mother and father, the yearning to know what happened to them. The technical aspects of the novel are well researched, ...more
Ivan Valev
Jun 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Phenomenal read. Is it history? Is it fiction? Both? How do you tell the difference? And how sure can you be there is one? Front to back, a perfect book.
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Paul Cooper was born in South London and grew up in Cardiff, Wales. He was educated at the University of Warwick and the UEA, and after graduating he left for Sri Lanka to work as an English teacher, where he took time to explore the ruins both ancient and modern. He has written for magazines, websites and also worked as an archivist, editor and journalist.

He is on Twitter as @PaulMMCooper

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