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

The Father Of Locks

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  25 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Baghdad, the capital of the world, is a city crowded with stories, and founded on secrets. But some secrets, and some stories, can be deadly...Ismail al-Rawiya is a thief who dreams of being a poet. He is drawn to Baghdad, and to the court of the Khalifah Harun al-Rashid, where fabulous wealth can be attained by those who survive the rivalries, the politics and the whims o ...more
Paperback, 332 pages
Published 2009 by Dedalus Limited
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 Father Of Locks, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Father Of Locks

Community Reviews

(showing 1-54)
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Liviu
This is a gem of a book - a must for any lover of Arabian Nights as myself, written in its style as stories within stories and taking place where else but in the Baghdad of Harun Al Rashid, but with a modern sensibility that fits the story perfectly.

While the plot despite its side-complications is fairly predictable, that is not the main attraction but the atmosphere, the stories themselves and of course the characters.

Most notably the title one, Abu Nuwas aka "Father of Locks" so named for h
...more
Simon Fairbanks
Feb 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"I have an idea for a story which will contain all the other stories in the world," says one character in Andrew Killeen's debut Arabian detective novel, The Father of Locks.

In many ways, this is exactly what Killeen himself has achieved. The Father of Locks is fundamentally a detective story but this primary plot is often put on hold whilst a character tells another story to provide back-story or history or religious fable. In this respect, it shares much with the Middle-Eastern fairy tales of
...more
Luke
Sep 02, 2014 rated it liked it
Another day, another Orientalist mystery! Andrew Killeen's book is almost custom-made for the Dedalus imprint, in its exploration of lugubrious living and the nuances of history. Set in Baghdad (largely) around 800AD, this is a very descriptive tale of poetry, rivalry and rooting with its roots in reality. Most of the characters existed, and a glossary at the end of the book provides potted histories of those mentioned.

The problem with this book is - like The One Thousand and One Nights which K
...more
Vivienne
Last year Andrew Killeen gave a talk at our local library and I quickly fell under the spell of his story-telling skills. As with The Khalifah’s Mirror, this is structured as stories within stories in the fashion of The Thousand and One Nights though without fantasy elements. In this début novel by Killeen there is more of the back story of its narrator, Ismail al-Rawiya, who had been born in Cornwall but kidnapped by pirates as a boy and sold into slavery. There is also a much appreciated listi ...more
Chade66
Aug 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
This was an interesting book gifted to by a friend (Thanks again!). I probably wouldn't have gotten around to this one if he hadn't pushed me to read it.

Its middle eastern fantasy, which I haven't read much of and quite the crazy ride.

Give it a spin!
John
Apr 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Almost written to strict Dedalus guidelines, this is mighty fine Gaiman-ish story-telling in the 1001 Nights (or Arabian Nightmare) style. Nice to see Islam as civilisation and the Christian West as barbarous, traitorous gits too.
carelessdestiny
Aug 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nicely-plotted
I loved this reckless jumble of stories gathered around a rather perfunctory plot involving child kidnapping and international espionage. It's wildly imaginative with inventively sketched characters and an exotic historical feel - very enjoyable.
Anne
Sep 23, 2013 rated it liked it
Reviewed on www.whichbook.net
Drew Bassett
Aug 21, 2016 rated it liked it
A novel and entertaining read, set in historical Baghdad. If you like tales within tales, this one has plenty!
John Weller
Apr 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
If you enjoyed One Thousand and One Nights...
Alex
Feb 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned, fiction
Great, interesting story set in Baghdad of the Abbasid Caliphate.
Slickdpdx
rated it it was amazing
Sep 22, 2010
Bonnie Chan
rated it really liked it
Mar 26, 2016
Renata
rated it it was amazing
Feb 16, 2015
Andrew
rated it really liked it
Nov 19, 2013
Icefyre
rated it it was amazing
Apr 09, 2016
Karl
rated it it was amazing
Jul 04, 2015
Nat Miller
rated it really liked it
Feb 23, 2014
Colin P McDonald
rated it liked it
Sep 13, 2015
Malcolm Paulson
rated it really liked it
Feb 25, 2013
Leon Rowley
rated it it was amazing
Jan 29, 2012
Patrick Worms
rated it it was amazing
Oct 14, 2011
Jacquelyn Benson
rated it liked it
May 16, 2014
Susanti Priyandari
rated it it was ok
Nov 07, 2011
Harry Sumnall
rated it really liked it
May 13, 2014
Kelly
marked it as to-read
Aug 28, 2009
Rick
marked it as to-read
Aug 30, 2009
axe
marked it as to-read
Sep 01, 2009
Jonathan
marked it as to-read
Jan 03, 2010
Melon109
marked it as to-read
Jan 03, 2010
Artesia
marked it as to-read
May 03, 2010
Chris Harris
marked it as to-read
Nov 18, 2010
Dale
marked it as to-read
Jan 03, 2011
Steven Harbin
marked it as to-read
Jul 09, 2011
Thomas
marked it as to-read
Nov 10, 2011
Martha
marked it as to-read
Feb 09, 2012
Julia
marked it as to-read
Feb 19, 2012
Benny
marked it as to-read
Mar 12, 2012
Avi
added it
May 30, 2012
Karen
marked it as to-read
Aug 23, 2012
LenaLena
marked it as to-read
Oct 17, 2012
Amy
marked it as to-read
Oct 30, 2012
Ery
added it
Dec 06, 2012
Тамрико
marked it as to-read
Dec 06, 2012
Eve
marked it as to-read
Dec 06, 2012
Jen
marked it as to-read
Dec 18, 2012
julio
marked it as to-read
Dec 18, 2012
Shangching
marked it as to-read
Dec 25, 2012
Marija
marked it as to-read
Jan 10, 2013
linda
marked it as to-read
Jan 19, 2013
Addict's Book
marked it as to-read
Feb 26, 2013
Carly
marked it as to-read
Mar 05, 2013
Kate
marked it as to-read
Apr 05, 2013
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
“I formed the impression that nature had given him little patience for fools, while society had cruelly decreed that he spend a great deal of time in their company. Consequently he lived most of his life in a state of simmering annoyance.” 0 likes
“Where would I be if I went round paying my debts? What would happen to my reputation? You might as well ask me to give up drinking, or blaspheming, or sodomy!” 0 likes
More quotes…