Review of Jihadi: A Love Story by Yusuf Toropov

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About Jihadi

A former intelligence agent stands accused of terrorism, held without charge in a secret overseas prison. His memoir is in the hands of a brilliant but erratic psychologist whose annotations paint a much darker picture. As the story unravels, we are forced to assess the truth for ourselves, and decide not only what really happened on one fateful overseas assignment but who is the real terrorist. Peopled by a diverse and unforgettable cast of characters, whose reliability as narrators is always questioned, and with a multi-layered plot heaving with unexpected and often shocking developments, Jihadi: A Love Story is an intelligent thriller that asks big questions.

Complex, intriguing and intricately woven, this is an astonishing debut that explores the nature of good and evil alongside notions of nationalism, terrorism and fidelity, and, above all, the fragility of the human mind.

My Review

Absolutely brilliant, a read with a labyrinth of complexities demanding the perusers razor sharp focus and intelligence.

The layout of the book creates a multilevel story requiring the reader to savor at a somewhat languid pace otherwise the intricacies will be unappreciated. You’ll find yourself caught in the tangled web of truth, there are blurred lines on who to believe and authenticity.

Jihadi, government, politics and extreme circumstances. As the story unfolds you will experience shock and awe as well as disgust and loathing. Thelonius Lidell is a man caught up in a mess, he’s memorable along with his unimaginable story.

A challenging read well worth your time and effort. Masterfully crafted, reeling you in from the onset leaving you a mess at the end – no doubt you will be digesting what you have read long after the conclusion. A riveting, frightening yarn.

Yusuf Toropov will all certitude is a master storyteller, nothing less than impressive.

About Yusuf Toropov41qQTKOSMmL._UX250_

Yusuf Toropov is an American Muslim writer. He’s the author or co-author of a number of nonfiction books, including Shakespeare for Beginners. His full-length play An Undivided Heart was selected for a workshop production at the National Playwrights Conference, and his one-act play The Job Search was produced off-Broadway. Jihadi: A Love Story, which reached the quarter-finals of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, is his first novel. He currently lives in Northern Ireland.

Orenda Books (May 1, 2016)

Woman at Point Zero by Nawal El Saadawi

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“A man does not know a woman’s value, Firdaus. She is the one who determines her value. The higher you price yourself, the more he will realize what you are really worth.”

Saadawi brilliantly describes the predicament of Firdaus, a woman sentenced to death for a slaying in self-defense.


“Everybody has to die. I prefer to die for a crime I have committed rather than to die for one of the crimes which you have committed.”

Firdaus tells her life story which is heartbreaking, a story often retold in many regions throughout the world. A woman’s independence in a patriarchal society, female circumcision and subjugation of women are unfolded in the telling of Woman at Point Zero. Saadawi an accomplished feminist author creates a self-analysis on why males behave they way they do. She points the story in the direction of how men view women. This story should not be looked upon strictly towards third world countries but the entire world.

“Every single man I did get to know filled me with but one desire: to lift my hand and bring it smashing down on his face.”

An emotional story, a courageous heroine giving insight to issues frequently ignored as well as a hard look at attaining respect, and the nature of power.

Firdaus is an incredible woman, a steady voice of strength for women suffering oppression and senseless abuse in the name of religion or cultural traditions. A woman defining heroine.

“Yet not for a single moment did I have any doubts about my own integrity and honour as a woman. I knew that my profession had been invented by men, and that men were in control of both our worlds, the one on earth, and the one in heaven. That men force women to sell their bodies at a price, and that the lowest paid body is that of a wife. All women are prostitutes of one kind or another.”

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Published September 15th 1997 by Zed Books (first published 1973)
Paperback, 112 pages
ISBN13: 9780862321109