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Frankenstein in Baghdad
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International Booker Prize > 2018 MBI Shortlist: Frankenstein in Baghdad

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message 1: by Hugh (last edited Mar 13, 2018 04:18AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars


Meike (meikereads) I am so happy to find this entry from the Arabic world on the list, and I really enjoyed the story, the political angle and Saadawi's wild imagination. Here's my review.


Neil | 1859 comments I thought this book was excellent. I have to also say I thought it was even excellenter (cough) after I read Meike’s review.


Meike (meikereads) Neil wrote: "I thought this book was excellent. I have to also say I thought it was even excellenter (cough) after I read Meike’s review."

Thank you so much! :-)


Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 8496 comments On another GR forum someone asked the significance of the colour pink (there are officers wearing pink shirts, pink folders, documents on pink paper).

Any thoughts?


WndyJW | 4598 comments Neil wrote: "I thought this book was excellent. I have to also say I thought it was even excellenter (cough) after I read Meike’s review."

I agree, Neil. I started a review a couple of times, but could not write a brief review without telling the story and there was nothing I could add to what Meike had written.


Meike (meikereads) WndyJW wrote: "Neil wrote: "I thought this book was excellent. I have to also say I thought it was even excellenter (cough) after I read Meike’s review."

I agree, Neil. I started a review a couple of times, but ..."


You guys are too nice, thanks!, but I have to say that I really enjoyed reading many other reviews, because there is so much to discover in Saadawi's work! Plus: Neil's review was the first one I read, and it really made me want to get my hands on this book!!!


message 8: by Ctb (new) - added it

Ctb | 197 comments Because of its recycling narrative, this book would be easier to read digitally, so I could search proper nouns, and "hotel", "guard", etc.

I don't want an e-reader, but the search function was an unexpected boon while I was online re-reading most of the stories for Mookse Madness.


LindaJ^ (lindajs) | 521 comments I read this in audio and believe I would have enjoyed it more in print.


message 10: by Ctb (new) - added it

Ctb | 197 comments Has the meaning of many references to pink been understood?

I can't remember all references (e-reader would be helpful), but don't members of the Tracking and Pursuit Department wear pink shirts? It's a rogue group, free-styling, improvising its mission and methods to remain relevant and increase its visibility, and partially affiliated with (Western) Coalition forces.

If anything can be believed about the men in Tracking - or anyone in the novel - they were assassins. Pink might refer to pink mists of blood on their shirts.

These articles about post-Hussein Baghdad ("What's With the Hot Pink in Baghdad?") mention sudden profusions of color - pink, red, and orange - as a reaction to the drabness of the toppled regime, to the point of gaudiness and tastelessness.

Another article mentions pink folders used to store prisoner files by security police.

https://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/15/wo...

https://www.npr.org/sections/pictures...

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/20...

As an American, I wonder if I understand 30% of the metaphor, allusion, symbolism, etc. in the novel.


Trudie (trudieb) I am just finishing with this one now and I started out loving it but I thought it rather lost it’s mojo there in the end or I lost my patience.

Admittedly, I am really not a great reader of allegory. I would have liked this with fewer digressions and a tighter focus on key characters.

It did have some outstanding sections so still worth the read.


message 12: by Antonomasia (last edited Jan 07, 2019 08:31AM) (new) - added it

Antonomasia | 2630 comments Really interesting seeing references to Frankenstein in Baghdad in this news feature on the city today: https://www.theguardian.com/cities/20...
- the novel becoming part of the way the modern Baghdad is talked about in English. Definite incentive to read it.


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