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American Dervish: A Novel (Anglais) CD – Livre audio, Version intégrale


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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

"Akhtar, the star and director of the 2005 terrorism drama The War Within, offers what promises to be one of the most complex treatments of Muslim immigration and fundamentalism to come from an American-born (albeit first-generation) writer."―Boris Kachka, New York Magazine

"Whether you believe religion is a precious gift from God or the greatest scourge of mankind, you will find yourself represented in these pages. With brilliant storytelling and exquisitely balanced points of view, Ayad Akhtar creates characters who experience the rapture of religion but also have their lives ripped apart by it."―Manil Suri, author of The Death of Vishnu and The Age of Shiva

Présentation de l'éditeur

Hayat Shah is a young American in love for the first time. His normal life of school, baseball, and video games had previously been distinguished only by his Pakistani heritage and by the frequent chill between his parents, who fight over things he is too young to understand. Then Mina arrives, and everything changes.

Mina is Hayat's mother's oldest friend from Pakistan. She is independent, beautiful and intelligent, and arrives on the Shah's doorstep when her disastrous marriage in Pakistan disintegrates. Even Hayat's skeptical father can't deny the liveliness and happiness that accompanies Mina into their home. Her deep spirituality brings the family's Muslim faith to life in a way that resonates with Hayat as nothing has before. Studying the Quran by Mina's side and basking in the glow of her attention, he feels an entirely new purpose mingled with a growing infatuation for his teacher.

When Mina meets and begins dating a man, Hayat is confused by his feelings of betrayal. His growing passions, both spiritual and romantic, force him to question all that he has come to believe is true. Just as Mina finds happiness, Hayat is compelled to act -- with devastating consequences for all those he loves most.

American Dervish is a brilliantly written, nuanced, and emotionally forceful look inside the interplay of religion and modern life. Ayad Akhtar was raised in the Midwest himself, and through Hayat Shah he shows readers vividly the powerful forces at work on young men and women growing up Muslim in America. This is an intimate, personal first novel that will stay with listeners long after they finish.



Détails sur le produit

  • CD: 8 pages
  • Editeur : Little, Brown & Company; Édition : Unabridged (9 janvier 2012)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 1611136172
  • ISBN-13: 978-1611136173
  • Dimensions du produit: 14 x 2,5 x 14,9 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
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Format: Relié Achat vérifié
This is a strange novel and the first strange element is that it sounds like an autobiographical story in the first person, and yet the name of the story teller and main character in the novel is not the author's.

Apart from that the story is fascinating because it concerns the crisscrossing conflicts in the mind of a Pakistani Muslim living in the USA and confronted to the fundamentalist Muslims in the Päkistani community in Milwaukee; then to the open American society that preaches autonomy, independence and self-building for every individual, though showing how only a small minority can succeed along that line; and finally to the Jewish community.

The fundamentalist Muslims consider submission to the authority of the Quran, to the father and to the husband is the center of life itself. Submission to a set of rules that are amplified by exile and a non-Muslim environment becomes a straightjacket that cannot be evaded not untied.

To succeed in American society you have to look after yourself and only respect one rule that is "Be successful!" The means are never very clear or clearly discussed. That side of the novel is in a way like a void and can give you a vertigo because the concrete reality of surviving or living in the USA is not explained or explored though kind of identified with the side effects of it, mistresses and alcohol.

The confrontation with the Jews is explored in details and it is definitely dramatic and traumatic. It all turns around verse 62 of Surah 2, The Cow. The prophet in this Surah tells the story of Israel and how they were made the chosen people by God and how they betrayed that God over and over again till they were rejected.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 159 commentaires
69 internautes sur 78 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Intriguing and bittersweet 2 janvier 2012
Par Julie A. Smith - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Title explanation: A dervish is a person who gives up everything for Allah.

In 1990, Hayat, from a Pakistani family, is in college. The death of his "aunt" Mina causes him to reflect on her story, and on events that occurred as he was growing up. It tells of his parents' less-than-happy marriage, and the different ways in which his parents shaped his views, as well as of Hamad's immersion in the Quran, with the resultant initial rigid set of beliefs that spur him to actions that he is ashamed of later in life.

Mina Ali is his mother Irshad's best friend from Pakistan. After an arranged marriage to a husband who allows his mother to abuse her, followed by a divorce when Mina is in the maternity ward, Irshad and Naveed (Hayat's father) persuade Mina's parents to allow her and her 2-year-old-son, Imran, to stay with them in America.

How do I describe this one without spoilers? As a reader who is always interested in other cultures, but especially fascinated by stories of other cultures living in America, this was a mind-opener. The parallels here between fundamentalist Christians and their strict, close-minded sets of beliefs and hard-line Muslims are equally full of intolerance.

Mina is a lovely, intelligent woman, and the choices she makes based on her religion are rather tragic in consequence.

Seeing how Hayat's beliefs were whittled and shaped reminds me of my own spiritual growth, and will likely remind you of your own.

I loved the characters and the story. I felt very invested in Mina, and her story is one that will resonate with you as well, dear reader.

The story of Nathan, Naveed's best friend and colleague, the son of a Holocaust survivor, is bittersweet.

There are injustices here, and adultery, and women whose potential is quashed. It is sad in places, hopeful in others, but very real and impactful.

I highly recommend it.

QUOTES

"Hayat, her intelligence has been the curse of her life. When a Muslim woman is too smart, she pays the price for it. And she pays the price not in money, behta, but in abuse."

"I know that you won't understand why I burned your Quran, but there was a reason. It's because you're different. You can't live life by rules others give you. In that way, you and I are the same. You have to find your own rules. All my life I've been running away from their rules, Hayat. All my life. You will be the same. Don't ask me how I know it, but I do."

"So what do I do? I ask her, like any normal person would, 'Why, Najat, does your husband beat you? Hmm?' "
Mother was absorbed in the moment, as if reliving it.
" 'Because we need it,' she says. 'Because it's something about our nature. Something that needs to know its limits.' My jaw hit the floor, Hayat. I looked at her and thought to myself, this is an insane asylum . . . "

Writing: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Plot: 5 out of 5 stars
Characters: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Reading Immersion: 4.5 out 5 stars

BOOK RATING: 4.6 out of 5 stars
26 internautes sur 31 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Wanted To Like It More Than I Did 28 janvier 2012
Par Jill I. Shtulman - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Hayat Shah - the only son of Pakistani Muslim parents living on the outskirts of Milwaukee - is very likeable, the type of person you can imagine sitting down and talking to way into the night. In the first few pages of the novel, he is getting ready to share his life story to a young Jewish woman with these words: "You may not like me very much if I tell you what happened..."

But we do. As readers we do like Hayat as he reveals the good, the bad, and the ugly of his story, which begins when his mother's best friend Mina departs from Pakistan and her controlling ex-husband with her small son. Hayat - at the cusp of adolescence - develops a serious crush on Mina, who encourages him to immerse himself in the Qur'an. Pretty soon, Mina falls for a Jewish doctor - the partner of Hayat's father and his new sense of purpose merges with his growing sense of "love" and confused feelings of betrayal.

It's not only an intriguing but also a timely premise, as thoughtful Americans strive to gain greater understanding of "what it means to be Muslim." And I believe the book has much to offer a young adult or mass market audience who likes a linear story with an educational twist. The story has an interesting protagonist, a story arc, and has much to say about the push and pull of secular, mystical, and religious Islam, the evolving role of women, and the confusion that accompanies growing up Muslim in America.

However, like many plot-driven made-for-TV movies, American Dervish doesn't dig nearly enough, not providing its characters with enough of an inner life, and sacrificing depth for a fluid story line. The result is often platitudes and melodrama, with messages strongly telegraphed.

Here is Hayat's mother, speaking to him: "Listen to me and never forget what I'm telling you. If you give yourself to filth and garbage, you will become filth and garbage. You will become the sum of what you desire...Promise me you won't end up like him." And here is Mina's Jewish suitor, Nathan: "The way he has those people beholden to him. It's revolting and immortal. And it has nothing to do with real Islam. Nothing at all." Or mother talking about her friend Mina: "I keep telling her the fact that Nathan's Jewish is a good thing. They understand how to respect women, behta. They understand how to let a woman be a woman, to let her take care of them."

Ayad Akhtar - an actor, playwright and novelist - is obviously striving to contribute to Muslim-Jewish (and Muslim-American) understanding, which is a very worthy goal and a good thing. But by leading the reader to conclusions and by simplifying premises, the book just doesn't rise to high literary standards. In a world where "unhappiness hovers" and "nerve ends teem", the novel is ultimately lacking. (2.5)
11 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Islamic Faith, American Culture, & Pubescent Yearning Collide 18 janvier 2012
Par NanMcRam - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
A Pakistani family--Naveed, the father (a physician); Muneer, his wife; and Hayat, their son--live a seemingly mundane life in Milwaukee. Then Mina, the life-long best friend of Muneer, and her son, Imran, come from Pakistan to live with the family after Mina's divorce. Mina meets Nathan, a colleague of Naveed's; Hayat's insecurities surface when he feels his own relationship with Mina is being threatened; and thus, the collision begins.......

This book is exquisitely written! We are treated to glimpses of Islamic history and the Quran, enmeshed with the superlative plot. Strong character development is @ the helm of this terrific tale. Ayed Akhtar is a DIALOG GENIUS. The dialog so aptly evokes the personas of the cast of characters that their personalities are virtually tattooed on their foreheads. I can't remember when I last encountered such incredibly concise, descriptive dialog.

POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT: The author leaves adequate possibility for a sequel at the end of the story, i.e.,Hayat's post-pubescent relationship history and the uncertainty of Mina and Nathan's ultimate involvement...NMR
16 internautes sur 20 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
An Open Mind 13 janvier 2012
Par Mike - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
By taking us into a community that most of us don't know, except as stereotype, and seeing it through a child's eyes, this book has the vitality and vibrancy of something entirely new. American Dervish brings us into the heart of a Muslim boy in the Midwest who is trying, like all children, to make sense of the world he lives in. His immigrant parents are caught between assimilation and the pull of their culture of origin. The boy's own journey into emotional and spiritual discovery opens a door on absolutist thinking -- one of the more pressing issues of our time. The joy is that the door to transcendence is also opened, and the characters are so well realized that story feels entirely authentic.
While this is an adult book I would recommend it to any parent looking for an excellent read for a teenager. It is a treatise on keeping an open mind.
12 internautes sur 15 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A lovely book 10 janvier 2012
Par Gentle Reader - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
AMERICAN DERVISH is a beautiful novel. With luscious prose, Akhar tells the story of Mina Ali through the eyes of the young narrator Hayat Shah. The novel takes on so many relevant issues and Akhar handles them all with sensitivity and authority. A great love story, highly recommended.
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