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Old 11-10-2018, 11:19 AM   #1
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Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi

'From the rubble-strewn streets of U.S.-occupied Baghdad, Hadi--a scavenger and an oddball fixture at a local café--collects human body parts and stitches them together to create a corpse. His goal, he claims, is for the government to recognize the parts as people and to give them proper burial. But when the corpse goes missing, a wave of eerie murders sweeps the city, and reports stream in of a horrendous-looking criminal who, though shot, cannot be killed. Hadi soon realizes he's created a monster, one that needs human flesh to survive--first from the guilty, and then from anyone in its path. A prizewinning novel by "Baghdad's new literary star" (The New York Times), Frankenstein in Baghdad captures with white-knuckle horror and black humor the surreal reality of contemporary Iraq.'

Winner of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF) for 2014 and a Man Booker International Prize Nominee for Shortlist for 2018.


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We're trying out discussion sections as an encouragement to keep those reading on a more similar timeline and perhaps foster more discussion. These are only softly recommended however and not required at all. Anyone can discuss any part or aspect of the selection at any time.

Recommended discussion timeframe starts-

The first quarter, pages 1-72: immediately

The second quarter, pages 73-144: Saturday the 17th of November

The third quarter, pages 145-216: Saturday the 24th of November

The fourth quarter, pages 217-288: Saturday the 1st of December


This is the MR Literary Club selection for November 2018. Everyone is welcome so feel free to start or join in the conversation at any time; the more the merrier!


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Old 11-19-2018, 01:04 PM   #2
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I'm listening to the audiobook, and so far I'm enjoying it. It's really immersing me in the culture/reality of modern-day Iraq which I like and I think is one of the points of topics like this month's.
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Old 11-19-2018, 01:59 PM   #3
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I borrowed it from the library and have just started reading it.
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Old 11-20-2018, 02:06 PM   #4
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I should add, though I’m enjoying it, it is macabre! Definitely a different sort of book from others we’ve read recently.
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Old 11-20-2018, 05:15 PM   #5
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I started the ebook last night with a quick read of the short prologue Final Report but this morning I could not remember anything of what that was about ; probably because it was after midnight when I read it .

So, will get into it properly today sometime - it looks and sounds interesting.
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Old 11-21-2018, 11:31 AM   #6
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I will be late to this discussion as we had to put our 13 year old cat down this weekend. I have been having a really hard time focusing on my actual people's-lives-depend-on-it legal work, so pleasure reading is almost out of the question. I will catch back up eventually.
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Old 11-21-2018, 06:49 PM   #7
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I’m really sorry to hear about your cat. Our pets are well-loved family members so make sure you take some time for yourself too.
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Old 11-22-2018, 10:30 AM   #8
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I’m so sorry to hear that about your cat. Like Bookworm_Girl said, pets are family.
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Old 11-23-2018, 09:02 PM   #9
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Am also sorry to hear of the loss of your cat companion.

We are cat fans here, currently with three of them (we work on the "anothercat principle"), and know how attached they can become in their own little independent way.
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Old 11-25-2018, 09:17 AM   #10
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Back in the saddle as it were. I read about half the book in one sitting yesterday. Enjoying it immensely, even if I have to keep looking words and places up that are not covered by my Kobo dictionary.
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Old 11-25-2018, 06:01 PM   #11
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I am also about halfway through and enjoying it.

I like the way the author does not let irreverence get in the way of honesty in writing humor. Along that line I keep thinking of the likes of Waugh's Black Mischief and Naipaul's servant's tale as the prologue to In a Free State.
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