Book Jacket

 

rank 5914
word count 28584
date submitted 28.09.2008
date updated 10.12.2009
genres: Fiction, Literary Fiction, Popular ...
classification: adult
incomplete

A Discourse addressed to the Infidel* *...or a Muslim's apology.

EarlGrey

What's the fallout from the War on Terror?

 

Publisher..? Welcome...
Literary Agent..? Thanks, but I already have one.
Authonomer..? I ain't playing swapsies no more so pls only read if you have time to waste. Or you're actually curious...


This novel will appeal to anyone tuned into today's hot issues, but a monolithic diatribe it ain't - I promise it will surprise.

 
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tags

9/11, cultural conflict, entropy, family, islam, life, literary fiction, love & hate, muslims, pornography, religion

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95 comments

 

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andyroo wrote 1721 days ago

Not much more to say really. This is written with professional fluidity and is easy to slip into. The topic, as you say, is molten lava hot, and is a brave topic to tackle. I think that you attempt it respectfully, whilst not flowering anything up. To coin the old phrase; you tell it how it is. Should demand an audience with it's political relevance, and has the stones to back up it's promises.

Andrew

deltawriter wrote 1725 days ago

Well written, good use of dialogue and stage direction. I found the into to each character to be remarkably effective. Deft touch on the culture, and the clash. No, I don't suppose young Stanley will ever get it.
stuart phillips
High Cotton

Urania wrote 1755 days ago

Hi Earl, this is staggeringly good writing, excellent characters and a powerful subject. You've presented the cutlural topic in a way that is accessible and honest. Insightful and elegant, you really do have a masterpiece on your hands. Play on! Shelved with pleasure

Pat Black wrote 1742 days ago

Fascinating stuff, and two of those chapters - the appraisal of life, and how we all settle into a queasy type of comfort, and the later part about the beetroot-faced footy fan, were extremely sharp, extremely smart pieces of commentary. It'll be fascinating to see how these characters and chapters fit together later on; but it's clear you're a highly skilled writer, and taking on themes that are at the sharp end of British political debate as we speak. Look forward to seeing this higher in the charts

All the best

Pat Black
Snarl

Kim Jewell wrote 1777 days ago

Hi Earl!

This is a fascinating view into a world I know very little about. I'm always eager to learn about other people, other cultures, so will continue on this journey with you. Am pausing to shelf, and I'll be back for more. Excellent, elegant writing! Heavy topic, brave author! My hat's off to you.

Kim
Invisible Justice

Lenore wrote 1316 days ago

A Discourse addressed to the Infidel
Having read through chapter 7, I felt I needed a break. I'm not sure why, but the tension was palpable. Visions swirled — my brother moving permanently to Mexico from the US, political cat-fighting, my grown sons' financial worries, maybe a new grandchild, terrorist attacks at the airport. There is an overwhelming powerless feeling that I am so small and so unimportant in what other powerful people may feel in a significant move. Yet all we want is to be happy, enjoy my family, have some sex, eat some good food. We all have simple lives; we all have aspirations, not that ambitious, really, but aimed at feeling satisfied, happy in our own way and ... secure. Without a television, a newspaper, without knowing... perhaps similar to what a drug could issue. But, unlike decades ago, we are now so exposed , and so tormented, so ill at ease. We al have different agendas, but today, they seem to be demonically noble - saving the world. Your book captures the day to day and the worldwide ramifications of those who are different from us and what we are all thinking.

I would, on a technical sense, ask if the reader would consider a different pitch, something that more adequately conveys what we are about to read. Just a thought. The author might also label the beginning, as one would a play - the characters of the drama. Stared and will back as soon as I am able.

Lenore
Surviving the Seaweed

Nick Poole2 wrote 1624 days ago

ARISE, AUTHONOMY GHOST!

Ease those weary, withered limbs from your coffin. Push away the stone from the mouth of the tomb.

You have one last task to perform. One last, sacred shelf to confer.

Whether you were plugger, spammer, gusher or troll, whether you flirted or fought in the forum or beavered away in the shadows, now is the time for your resurrection.

One last time. Marshall your strength, muster the last vestiges of your power and carry out your final Authonomy act:

Back my book, MIRROR IN THE SKY.

Then, only then, you may rest easy in your Authonomy grave.

Nick Poole2 (formerly known as NickP)

Francesco wrote 1695 days ago

I was curious...my book has much about how Islam was wiped from the face of Western Europe.
This is good and you put across your thoughts with intelligence and power.
Backed.

Panaxus wrote 1695 days ago

An intriguing and unconventional beginning with beautiful, almost poetic, description ... requiring, though, a more than passing interest in Islamic culture and its pressures in the modern world. Once published in conventional form, I would definitely spend the time necessary to read the full book. Bon chance!

Panaxus
NO RAPTURE

T.L Tyson wrote 1719 days ago

This is great. The topic is one that I do not know much about but as I read I found myself immersed. You describe everything so well without over doing it or bombarding the reader with too much information.
The dialogue really furthers this piece, as it really does capture the characters and lets the reader in on little snippets of what is going on.
You have a well written piece of work here.
Backed.
T.L Tyson-Seeking Eleanor

andyroo wrote 1721 days ago

Not much more to say really. This is written with professional fluidity and is easy to slip into. The topic, as you say, is molten lava hot, and is a brave topic to tackle. I think that you attempt it respectfully, whilst not flowering anything up. To coin the old phrase; you tell it how it is. Should demand an audience with it's political relevance, and has the stones to back up it's promises.

Andrew

deltawriter wrote 1725 days ago

Well written, good use of dialogue and stage direction. I found the into to each character to be remarkably effective. Deft touch on the culture, and the clash. No, I don't suppose young Stanley will ever get it.
stuart phillips
High Cotton

sodyt wrote 1735 days ago

Hi Earl.
Fiesty stuff, great characterisations, smoothly written with some neat sly chuckle touches thrown in for good measure. Shelved with pleasure. Expect it to go far. Eric

Pat Black wrote 1742 days ago

Fascinating stuff, and two of those chapters - the appraisal of life, and how we all settle into a queasy type of comfort, and the later part about the beetroot-faced footy fan, were extremely sharp, extremely smart pieces of commentary. It'll be fascinating to see how these characters and chapters fit together later on; but it's clear you're a highly skilled writer, and taking on themes that are at the sharp end of British political debate as we speak. Look forward to seeing this higher in the charts

All the best

Pat Black
Snarl

Urania wrote 1755 days ago

Hi Earl, this is staggeringly good writing, excellent characters and a powerful subject. You've presented the cutlural topic in a way that is accessible and honest. Insightful and elegant, you really do have a masterpiece on your hands. Play on! Shelved with pleasure

Ali Withers wrote 1764 days ago

Hello Earl, Your book's very interesting and I'm curious to see where the characters are going. I, too, had a whole heap of confusing reactions to the prologue I originally had for mine, so I changed it around and re-named it Chapter 1!! But I didn't get rid of it altogather. I do think scene setting, or introducing characters can sometimes be a really useful incitement to read on, particularly if you're setting your story in a topical and geopolitical context. I wish you'd upload some more chapters, I'd like to read on.

Best wishes
Ali (Baby Boomer).

macdibble wrote 1768 days ago

The structure of the beginning is quite literary in that a string of characters are introduced, none are allowed their own voice as they are all part of something higher but not much happens to each of them except there is a build up of mood and the sense of underlying menace.

I see the images you are conjuring, the beauty and the growing menace and it seems like all the words are there but it's not quite grabbing the reader the way it should. It's not sucking them in so that they read the dense sentences slower and have time to savour. Well IMHO it's not, and that's nothing new for me when I read literary fiction.

I'd suggest thinking about the reader and the psychology of reading. Simplifying some of the more complex sentences, remembering that the last part of the sentence is the bit that sticks with the reader, may help. There are a few sentences that have been condensed to the point that they're clever... but jarring the flow as they have to be read more slowly in order to be understood. No point being a clever writer if most of your readers skip over it.

Clearly you're a competent writer, clearly this is a good story, clearly I'm the wrong type of critiquer for it. I'm just not getting into it. Good luck with it tho. You've got other great feedback so far, and hopefully my little nit picks are something you can use.

soutexmex wrote 1773 days ago

I really like this which is why I SHELVED this. This is the opposite of my book.

I liked both pitches.

The only thing I think you can correct is the very long paragraphs. You can do better; keep up the pace.

I hope you can comment on my book when you get time. Cheers!

JC
The Obergemau File

Urania wrote 1774 days ago

Fascinating premise, brave subject. Well written, although multiple POVs are really difficult, you manage to get away with this - just about although it is a little confusing. I think you have a lyrical style but would like to know more about what to expect from the plot in the pitch. Backed to give you encouragement and think it has great potential.

Kim Jewell wrote 1777 days ago

Hi Earl!

This is a fascinating view into a world I know very little about. I'm always eager to learn about other people, other cultures, so will continue on this journey with you. Am pausing to shelf, and I'll be back for more. Excellent, elegant writing! Heavy topic, brave author! My hat's off to you.

Kim
Invisible Justice

Jane Alexander wrote 1777 days ago

The prologue really turned me off, I have to say. Too many people introduced too soon somehow. I found my eyes wandering. Very glad I didn't give up though as, once I got to Chapter One, the story took off. This is the way I personally prefer to meet characters, in situ, engaging.... I'm interested as to why the little introductions upfront.
You're a fine writer and this has all the makings of a great novel. I've only read the first three chapters though, but on the basis of these (ignoring my response to the prologue) I'll back.
Jane

anthonysaunders wrote 1777 days ago

This is really very good, written with a great deal of sympathy for the characters and with much more clarity than I was expecting, given the subject and theme. These characters come alive immediately and your dialogue shows us more about them and their relationships. I've read three chapters so far and will put this on my shelf.

Keefieboy wrote 1778 days ago

Earl, this is fascinating. You write really well and with great insight. Characterisation is superb. Just a few minor nitpicks: in the prologue 'cognising majesty' - recognising, knowing, being aware of? Throughout the book you refer to the Holy Month as Ramazan: I lived in the Middle East for many years and it was always 'Ramadan'. Typo on ch 6: kindof -> kind of.

As many other commenters here have mentioned, it would be nice to know a bit more about you and where you're coming from. Great work, and on my shelf.

N J Spahi wrote 1778 days ago

Sorry again to bother - but are you ZADIE SMITH? sounds very 'her'. The sentences are constructed the same way and your observations are sharp and insightful. Brilliant characterisation, making the reader feel so close the protagonists. I like the bit about the football hooligan comparison and also starting with the HULK excellent..NJ

N J Spahi wrote 1778 days ago

excellent...NJ

N J Spahi wrote 1778 days ago

I get the distinct feeling that you are already a famous writer and using this site as a focus group. I think its great. Very well written, apart from a few sentences that I wasnt quite sure about. I think you may have a couple of commas missing as well - maybe its just the way I read. NJ

N J Spahi wrote 1779 days ago

ps. I think you need to correct the last sentence in the Prologue, Imtiaz - 'I am Death', rather than 'I am become Death.' Take care.

N J Spahi wrote 1779 days ago

I really like your work. I hvnt had a lot of time to read it through but as an initial comment, I like the prose and descriptive writing. The opening section in Chapter 5 is excellent. I was randomly picking up chapters. If you have a more detailed synopsis this would be useful.
Pls feel free to take a look at mine, when you get a chance.
Good luck.

edquinn wrote 1779 days ago

Hi Earl,

Liked your synopsis. I take time to read stories that show the diverse paths people take in life. I wasn't too hot on the cliches you started off 'Salman' with although I did enjoy the Sociology part.

Your character Aadam is stand out...a real crowd pleaser. I warmed to him immediately.

Adding this to my shelf.

Much appreciated

Ed Quinn (Donkeys kill more people)

JohnRL1029 wrote 1782 days ago

Love the multiple POVs putting light on a culture I have very little knowledge of. Each character stands out and has its own unique voice, which is very important. You pull this off well. The character's commentary on life is genuine. A good read. WL.

C.P. wrote 1782 days ago

This is a well written piece. Well thought out and thought provoking. There were places that I thought it could be pared down a little. I ended up skimming parts. In the first chapter you use, ‘A penny for your thoughts,' twice. Should get rid of one. Over all though I think this is very good. And I do hope it does well. Shelved. C.P

Clare Simon wrote 1784 days ago

As someone who spent a year in a pretty hard-core, isolated Muslim community, I'm finding this fascinating. I'm trying to work out whether you, Earl, are Muslim, or an 'infidel' who is very good at channelling (open-minded) infidels' ideas of what British-reared Muslims think. Whatever you are, this is a really interesting, thought-provoking read. I like the way the various characters' stories twist together and separate (why am I thinking of the DNA double helix???) and your sparse, straightforward style. I've read all 15 chapters, and while I've enjoyed finding out how the various characters have come to be where they are at the end of chapter 15, I can't help wondering whether it's time for something 'big' to happen now, but then it is rather late as I write this so maybe it's more about me feeling deflated than any deficiency in your book... Good luck with it. (And, if you are Muslim, Ramadan Kareem!)

Steve Ward wrote 1789 days ago

Earl,
Great writing, I was drawn into this story trying to figure out where Aadam was coming from. Definitely fed up with 9-11 but the reader goes on searching for his actual views, well done. I love your advice to Pasha die before you die. The story is a little hard to follow in places but a little editing would go a long way. You make the characters come alive and the dialogue is right on. Would like to know more about the Capital Actions Project. Fun read, good luck with it.
Steve Ward
Test Pilot's Daughter: Revenge

John Booth wrote 1790 days ago

Hi,
The prologue is interesting, pen portraits of people not long enough to bore, though I question whether any reader will remember them by the end of the first chapter. There's nothing to bind them into the story.

First chapter is good in places, but the overuse of adverbs in the speech descriptions stands out. I'm told agents and publishers hate them and I'd edit both them and the 'he said' 'she said' text out unless its needed to know who's talking. Your dialogue is strong enough to explain itself. 'Pointedly' etc are unnecessary.

By the end of chapter 2 it just seems to me as if you are trying too hard. The descriptions intrude on the narrative like too much sugar in coffee. Phrases like 'with childlike wonder' distract and confuse (well, they did me)

Of course, this is only my opinion and what do I know?

Good luck with this

John

Robert Burke wrote 1795 days ago

This is an ambitious undertaking: it is literary, it analyses different perspectives on the war on terror, and attempts to convey underlying racial tension in society, social commentary. I thought the first chapter captured each setting and POV very well. I like some of the descriptions, especially of Dubai as a slice of the East served on a Western plate.

It becomes more unsettling in the second chapter, although I thought the pace slowed down and found myself skipping over chunks of dialogue, particularly the TV discussion and the meeting with the customer - I think this could be trimmed while still conveying what is intended.

Overall, the writing is good and it is an original theme for a novel - shelved.

Ayrich wrote 1795 days ago

Speaking of timely work....
Shelved.

Eric Rhodes wrote 1931 days ago

Hi Earl,
This story is very well written and would find quite an audience. I find these issues fascinating and it's good to see them undertaken. Shelved. Eric

mmd wrote 1970 days ago

Earl, This is a great story. At chapter 4, I'm very much into it. Your adjective phrases pack a punch, however some are injured by punctuation. I didn't make notes as I was reading, however one section of the prologue had a few such issues, so that's the one I'll pick on. Commas are always at issue. Most of us hate them, they seem to interrupt the power of a statement, but are so brow-beaten by editors that often end up using them when unnecessary....example: no one noticed save the girl (some words deleted here for simplicity) another issue: colon. colon is like a list thing. another issue: colon. ...medium sized blue flag: he was a Chelsea fan would work better, be more powerful with a semi-colon. ..neither was their any movement-save the girl..doesn't need a dash. Finally 'but' Consider how many times you use 'but' and how you might eliminate it. Without it, many of your sentences would be more powerful. On my shelf for now because of the quality of the story. mmd

Christopher Roy Denton wrote 1993 days ago

Hi 'Earl'!

I just read the prologue and chapter one of your novel.

Please don't be offended by my opinions here. I'm trying to be constructive.

Your writing style is fluent and the characters feel real. However, I didn't enjoy reading the prologue. The reason for this is that the different characters were introduced so rapidly, I felt like I was being hit by machine gun fire. I didn't have time to get to know the characters and build any empathy for them. Basically, it was like a list of names, occupations, places, with no story to make it interesting.

Chapter one is a vast improvement on that. We get to know Aadam very well and feel his thoughts. But there are a couple of things which concerned me. The first was that this apparently very important meeting is held in the foyer. I mean, if it's a £1million deal, surely they'd kick the people out of one of the other meeting rooms, or hold it in a hotel/conference centre room nearby. Don't Aadam or George have an office where they can meet their clients? The second is Aadam's lack of focus on the meeting. I understand that you're using his lack of focus on the important meeting and the pull of the TV show to demonstrate Aadam's thoughts and opinions. But, I just don't feel it's credible that an obviously clever and ambitious man like Aadam would allow himself to be distracted so easily from an important meeting. He's just not that stupid. The first part is okay, where he's watching the TV before the meeting begins and then is woken up by George. But the idea that he'd turn his back on the meeting so he can read the subtitles on the screen is a bit far-fetched for me.

Sorry to be so negative. I can see that the premise of the novel is a good one and the characters are very real.

Best wishes,
Chris :-)

Alice Adams wrote 1999 days ago

I must confess to a certain amount of Islam-fatigue, what with the media saturation over the last few years, but the title of this book really caught my eye. I was very glad it had as I read the prologue - right from the outset there are complex and convincing insights into the thoughts of the characters that really grabbed me.

It was impossible to read the first few chapters without looking for clues to get a handle on where the author is coming from on the issues, as it's subject matter that engenders strong responses. I wavered during the first chapter, as the first half made me worry that it could drift towards a simplistic rant, what with the slightly clichéd response of the character's colleague to his name being ‘Adam’, but the next few chapters allayed my fears.

You have a great command of language and communicate powerfully the emotions of your characters. The writing was occasionally unclear e.g. Nazneen is ‘pissed at losing her stage to bitch’ – I had to read this several times and still wasn’t 100% sure what this meant.

Anyway, this is going onto my bookshelf and I wish you all the best with it.

Alice

jasonrriley wrote 2000 days ago

Earl

I hope you find these short comments helpful. They are, but one reader’s humble opinion. Feel free to ignore them, or print them out and burn them. But I only write them in the hope of improving your novel -- with the ultimate goal of publication.

I really enjoyed your first five chapters. I think I know where you're going with this, and if so, your work has a greater purpose in demonstrating the unity of the human condition. From the beginning, I care about your characters. Your multiple perspective appraoch is, I think, effective in moving your narrative forward. Like the many strands of a tapestry, I see them taking shape as a cohesive unit. Your writing is professional, and your story held my interest -- I would read on.

My only concern at this point is one of tense. Chapter one is written in the present tense, while the remainder is past. I thought perhaps only one character's tale would take shape in present tense, yet Aadam's Prologue is written in the past, while chapter one is present, and the remaining passages are past (until the last few lines of chapter 5, where the present tense seems to bleed back in).

The present tense is easy to enjoy -- once the reader is acclimated to it -- but chapter two returns us to the present, almost as soon as the reader has become accustomed to the tense. I don't want to say it's irritating, exactly, but it is a mild annoyance. I can trust you that there is a good reason for it, but the flipping around, right at the beginning, will likely be off-putting to an agent/editor reading this as a submission. You don't want to give a reader any reason to stop reading, and that switch will be reason enough for some readers, I'm afraid.

If there is an artistic or literary reason for swapping the single chapter's tense to present, I would set that chapter in italics -- give the reader a visual cue that says "this chapter is different for some reason -- trust me: I am the author, and I did this on purpose."

The slip in the last several lines of chapter five, however, should be corrected to the past tense.

I do like the story, though, and I wish you much luck with it.

Cheers,
Jason

barnyard73 wrote 2001 days ago

I've read the first five chapters, Earl Grey, and I am in awe. This is certainly one of the best things I've read on Authonomy and it deserves to reach the top.

It is sharp, contemporary, unapologetic... excellently crafted, intelligent and witty. (Loved the Trisha skit!)
I feel educated, and will return to the lessons soon!
(Will shelve once my computer lets me!)

AnnabelleP wrote 2002 days ago

Hi Earl,
I've only read the Prologue but I'm looking forward to reading the rest.
Your writing is going to give me an insight into something I have very little experience of and I feel sure that I'm going to learn a huge amount. I like a book that teaches me something new and this is so well written, I'm hooked!!
Best wishes,
Anna

AnnabelleP wrote 2002 days ago

Hi Earl,
I've only read the Prologue but I'm looking forward to reading the rest.
Your writing is going to give me an insight into something I have very little experience of and I feel sure that I'm going to learn a huge amount. I like a book that teaches me something new and this is so well written, I'm hooked!!
Best wishes,
Anna

TJ Rands wrote 2005 days ago

hi earl,
firstly this fantastically original.
secondly it is superbly written.
i don't know how long you spend people watching, but you have a great eye for detail and the emotion that comes with it. you've created your characters as well as anyone i can think of. and i love the way you introduce them in the first chapter.
nitpick-last line of imtiaz-i am become death-typo? excuse my ignorance if it isn't.
totally intrigued to see where it goes.
will find a place on my shelf after a bit of rejigging-TJ

Joanna Stephen-Ward wrote 2005 days ago

The way you introduce your main characters is good. They will stick in the mind. Aadam's chapter leaves the reader guessing. The tension sparks in the dialogue between George and Aadam.

It's going on my WL till I have space on my shelf.

One small thing. The pitch is a little hard to understand ... got a bit confused about the cousins.

Joanna

Joanna Stephen-Ward wrote 2005 days ago

The way you introduce your main characters is good. They will stick in the mind. Aadam's chapter leaves the reader guessing. The tension sparks in the dialogue between George and Aadam.

It's going on my WL till I have space on my shelf.

Joanna

Paul Ebbs wrote 2005 days ago

Ok this is special. You have awesome command and control of your subject matter and you have an authentic voice that lifts this book way above the Authonomy norm.

Your opening came at me like a Londonstani Under Milk wood. Wonderfully perceptive and characterful. You really are very good and I hate you LOL

Once we get into the chapters proper you're again rolling around like a marble in the head of your MC giving us erudite analysis, tight description, and raelly spot on dialogue. There is an authenticity here which is exceptional. Your sequence with the Anchor is funny and knowing and politically savvy.

My only nit is that the tone can be slightly too portentous at times. A lighter touch would certainly help in places. But you really can write in a clear and utterly convincing way.

Freddie Omm wrote 2008 days ago

hey earlgrey

ive read ch 6 and the opening and got a good taste of where youre coming from. i like this book. i have written something which occasionally overlaps with your stuff. but as a thriller. i'm backing you, but would also welcome your insight into an issue both our books will face - dealing with this controversial topic - will publishers touch us? i have tried to avoid sensationalising and stereotypes, reckon you do so too...

cheers,

freddie

dking97 wrote 2008 days ago

What a powerful opening! The prologue is written in a style that perfectly matches the intent (as far as I can tell). The words and the voice are one. Quite impressive.

And then the Nazneen chapter is written differently, in the girl's voice. Not entirely different, but different enough to know.

OK, I've got a crazy day going on but I can already tell I like your writing. Its some of the best I've seen in terms of flow, prose, and all those catchwords.

I will be back in Feb sometime (keeping you on my shelf for safekeeping) to read more, and comment on plot. But from the blurb I can tell this will be a powerful one.

Dave

S Richard Betterton wrote 2011 days ago

Hey Earl,
a few randon comments as I go:
prologue: I like the introduction of the individual characters. Diff pov's, diff tenses: no problem. Gives us a chance to fully focus on each. And some great lines in there.
Imtiaz: 'I am become death.' Maybe this is how he speaks, I'm not sure, but jars a bit.
chap 1: again really well written - controversial with the anti 9-11 views, but why shouldn't a character have controversial views?
chap 2. another tense change, you might be losing your mainstream audience here who can't cope with the jumping around, but it works for me.
chap 3: this is feeling a lot like a film.
chap 4: I like Pasha. I'm often awake at that time. And this summer I visited Isaac Pasha palace in Eastern Turkey, so feel a vague connection.
As I said, the comments are rather random. Sorry.
All I can say is this is very good writing. Brave and different. Shelf.
Cheers,
Simon

sestius wrote 2016 days ago

Earl - as promised, a read of 'Discourse'. This was excellent stuff. Not mty preferred choice of subject matter, but that is irrelevant. I'm here to crit others' writing styles, and I can appreciate it whn someone writes so well. I can see this being very successful. It has a very commercial feel to it (and I don't mean that in a bad way). It's a tight read, your use of words is economical and the cadence of your sentences is smooth and considered. Some random thoughts as they occurred:

- yoru first paragraph is very clever, and although the name headings to introduce the various characters jarred a little at first, I can't immediately think of a better way of achieving your end;
- I liked the imagery of the solitary bird in chpt 1;
- effective use of italics is always appreciated;
- "[But] there's no going back..." so soon after another 'but' (and, indeed, just before another) - what about "and" for the one in square brackets? I don't think you need the contrasting sense of a 'but' there;
- "Ultimately[,] though[,] most people...": need the commas there, and delete the tab at the start of the paragraph;
- "the artist at work": nice;
- "only [him] and his chums": 'he' instead of 'him';
- great end to chpt 1;
- "upholstered to the ostentatious demands...": excellent;
- some more tabs need to be deleted at the start of certain paragraphs (unless this is intentional - but if so, why?);
- "Ramazan": a variant of 'Ramadan', presumably? My dictionary didn't recgonise it - perhaps I need a new one;
- "Company": capital 'c'? Really?

This was great stuff, Earl (a pseudonym, I can only presume?). I shall give you a moment on my shelf. Best of luck with this - sestius

Sandrine wrote 2016 days ago

Earl, this is a fantastic, brave, and absolutely zeitgeisty book. I can't do anything BUT shelve it for the weekend.

afesmith wrote 2017 days ago

Hi Earl,

Some initial comments …

Generally I found the prologue a bit uneven. I think it’s because it was such a mixture. Some sections were people’s thoughts, reflections about particular things. Some were events. Some were present and some were past. I don’t necessarily have a problem with this – I mix persons and tenses myself. But I just didn’t feel that I understood the purpose of this prologue. Are you introducing your main characters in such different ways for a reason? Will some of their stories be told first-hand and some in a more narrative style? Looking further on, this doesn’t seem to be the case, which makes me wonder why you chose to present the prologue in this way.

More specifically, I didn’t understand what happened in the Nazneen section. They say the snow’s coming, but when she looks out of the window it’s a glorious summer day … ok, reading on, they’re just referring to the fact that the mountains are getting snowier so winter’s coming? This may just be a culture thing, but to me ‘the snow’s coming’ means it’s about to snow. So I didn’t get it. Why would they all rush outside because of that? Also ‘cognising’ didn’t sit well with me.

I found chapter 1 much easier to get into and more engaging. But I couldn’t help feeling that if Aadam is so easily distracted from his business, and so likely to speak his thoughts aloud, he would have got into trouble with his boss long ago. If his lack of focus is because he’s been fasting, so is maybe finding it harder to concentrate, you need to make this clear.

Having said that, I found his thoughts on what the people on TV were saying interesting. A perspective that we don’t get to hear enough of. And I did like the ‘What’s it short for’ bit. Unconscious assumptions and prejudices all summed up in one sentence. Great.

Overall, I think it’s interesting, but it hasn’t quite gripped me yet. And I’ve run out of time to read any more today. But I’m going to keep it on my watchlist and hopefully come back to it before too long, so I can make up my mind one way or the other.

Denis wrote 2018 days ago

I think Ruth has said it all, everything I wanted to say. This has a different dimension from the usual. It's interesting, controversial and thought provoking. I felt that the business meeting went on for a bit too long. We'd got the gist early on; the apparent racism counterpointing the one-sided view from the television all in stark contrast to Aadam's thoughts. Liked the way you introduced the characters one at a time, very focused.
Watchlisted.
Denis.

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