Then the Fish Swallowed Him

Review :

Amir Ahmadi's first novel in English provides a window for Westerners into daily life in Tehran through the eyes of Yunus Turabi, an everyman bus driver, while delivering a universal tale of corruption, abuse of power, and the malleability of human nature. The depiction of the world inside Evin prison at times carries the gravity of an extreme closeup and the slow yet gripping quality of a Clarice Lispector novel. Meanwhile the narrative arc of Yunus's relationship with his interrogator creates page-turning suspense. Flashbacks to the narrator's childhood and adult exploits provide rich characterization and the compelling reveal of his seemingly isolated romantic relationship. The ending left me gutted, though perhaps with the slimmest glimmer of hope.

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