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Martyr! af Kaveh Akbar
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Martyr! (udgave 2024)

af Kaveh Akbar (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
2145126,031 (4)2
"A newly sober, orphaned son of Iranian immigrants, guided by the voices of artists, poets, and kings, embarks on a search that leads him to a terminally ill painter living out her final days in the Brooklyn Museum"--
Medlem:Alsek
Titel:Martyr!
Forfattere:Kaveh Akbar (Forfatter)
Info:Alfred A. Knopf (2024), first edition, hardcover, 331 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:signed

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Martyr! af Kaveh Akbar

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Viser 4 af 4
An incredibly impressive debut. Thought provoking, wide ranging, and sometimes funny in spite of its grim subject matter.
  Unreachableshelf | Mar 29, 2024 |
Extraordinarily beautiful and tender! A gorgeous book. What a journey. ( )
  archangelsbooks | Feb 8, 2024 |
4.25/5 Stars (for now)

I was unfamiliar with Akbar's previous works prior to reading Martyr!, but am incredibly impressed by his writing. For a debut novel, this was fantastic. Having listened to the audiobook, I would really like to pick up a physical copy at some point this year and do a reread as this book contains a lot of themes I would like to fully be able to digest. I have a feeling that in time, this might become an all time favorite. ( )
  brookeklebe | Feb 6, 2024 |
CW: substantial reflection on suicide, breast cancer

Kaveh Akbar's Martyr! is an unsettling book in ways both good and not-so-good. I found it a deeply engaging read, but it's also a book I would only want to press on a very specific readership.

Let me try to explain.

Cyrus, the book's central character, was born in Iran, but as an infant he moves to the U.S. with his father after his mother dies in the U.S. attack on Iran Air Flight 665 ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran_Air_Flight_655 ). As a young man, he's a poet with multiple day jobs. In connection with doubts about the purpose of life, he's also growing increasingly obsessed with the idea of martyrdom. What is worth dying for? Will the right death give life meaning? What kind of death? Cyrus is also queer and a recently sober alcoholic.

He and his lover/friend-with-benefits Zee find out about a conceptual artist, Orkedah, who is dying of breast cancer and has "installed" herself in a New York museum as "Death-Speak," the idea being to let others see the dying process and to engage in conversation with them. Cyrus and Zee make their way to New York, where Cyrus is able to have several conversations with Orkedah. His questions about life and purpose deepen and and a lasting break between Cyrus and Zee seems imminent.

One other element, his uncle, who still lives in Iran, spent his military service riding through Iranian battlefields dressed as the Angel of death to inspire and comfort the dying—the goal being to prevent them from committing suicide, which would bar them admittance to heaven. (I have not been able to verify whether this is an imagining of the author or something that actually happened. If you know more than I do, please let me know.)

These are remarkable elements on which to build a book.

The promo material describes Martyr! as "[e]lectrifying, funny, wholly original, and profound." It is these, but, even with humor, a read exploring ideas of martyrdom is demanding undertaking. So, to get back to my comment about not-so-good surprises and to stumble into the territory of TMI—I have a history of clinical depression, well-controlled now, but not always so in my past. There are times when reading this book could have pushed me further into the self-destructive world view that was already shaping my life. I don't mean to be melodramatic here. I'm just saying that some of us at some times might find day-to-day life more difficult after spending time with this book.

Kaveh Akbar is a gifted and, as the promo materials says, a wholly original writer. If you're the kind of reader who is up for some very serious reflections (along with occasional laughs), you will probably enjoy this book. I did. If you're in a blue period, wait until you feel stronger before cracking it open.

I received a free electronic review copy of this title from the publisher via NetGalley; the opinions are my own. ( )
  Sarah-Hope | Jan 29, 2024 |
Viser 4 af 4
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"A newly sober, orphaned son of Iranian immigrants, guided by the voices of artists, poets, and kings, embarks on a search that leads him to a terminally ill painter living out her final days in the Brooklyn Museum"--

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