#good read

Just finished my latest book. It’s so good it must be shared.

Mahbod Seraji’s Rooftops of Tehran is a story set in 1970s Iran and tells of the relationships that develop between a neighbourhood group of teenagers, circling around two best friends: Pasha and Ahmed. The description and explanation of Persian culture is absorbing. The author is Iranian by birth and uses the book to describe some of the cultural differences he remembers when he moved from Iran to the USA aged 19. He remembers how odd he found Western funerals given that Middle Eastern cultures are so outwardly emotional, illustrating how readily they tend to cry or express feelings. He provides an intoxicating account of the rich comradeship of a small neighbourhood in the capital.

All this set in the political scene of the 1970s where there was strong anti-American sentiment for the foreign power’s support of the reigning Shah, and therefore tacitly his secret police and reign of terror. America had supported the Shah in arranging a coup to overthrow Iran’s democratically elected Prime Minster in the 1950s. Paradoxically, many Iranians in the story are yearning to leave for the safety and educational prospects of America.

It’s great. Should definitely feature on your ‘must read’ list. I think I’m adding it to my ‘top ten favourite books ever’. Ooooh, there’s your next blog.

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