Censoring An Iranian Love Story by Shahriar Mandanipour
Finished reading on September 30th, 2015
I started reading this book some time in the summer and got a little over a hundred pages in and then left it on might night stand for months. Then I picked it up on Tuesday and finished a little less than 200 pages in the next 24 hours or so.
The book takes place in Tehran, Iran, where there is a love story about to begin between two young people who seem to be in their twenties – Sara and Dara. They start by sending each other encrypted messages using library books.
The narration in this book however is something that will draw your attention – it is narrated by the author and in-between there are his thoughts and even seemingly conversations with a censor. The censoring and the plot make the novel feel like there’s always someone watching the main characters, and you end up being really worried about them all the time, as there might be bad consequences to a young man and woman who are not related, being found spending time together.
It is also interesting because Sara is being courted by a young well-to-do Sinbad, and the thoughts Dara has about it are quite scary and manic.
It was definitely interesting – partly because of the different culture, but also because of the way the book is written.
It also has many references to classic works of literature – never a bad thing in a book.
The end was very surprising.
And to finish up, a great quote from Dara’s father:
“According to the latest scientific research, only twenty percent of men in the world have brains, the rest have wives.”
from Censoring An Iranian Love Story by Shahriar Mandanipour