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Man Booker International Shortlist 2018: Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi


Third up in Book Worm’s reading through the International Man Booker list is Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi.

Synopsis from Goodreads: From the rubble-strewn streets of U.S.-occupied Baghdad, Hadi a scavenger and an oddball fixture at the local cafe collects human body parts and stitches them together to create a corpse. His goal, he claims, is for the government to recognize the parts as people and to give them proper burial. But when the corpse goes missing, a wave of eerie murders sweeps the city, and reports stream in of horrendous-looking criminals who, though shot, cannot be killed. Hadi soon realizes he’s created a monster, one that needs human flesh to survive first from the guilty, and then from anyone in its path. An extraordinary achievement, at once horrific and blackly humorous, Frankenstein in Baghdad captures the surreal reality of contemporary Baghdad.”

Book Worm’s Thoughts:  I really enjoyed this new imagining of the classic story of Frankenstein and his monster. While the story is based on a much older novel, I loved the differences between this and the original. The novel is told from various viewpoints and it took me a while to get into the swing of it. However, once I had worked out what was going on, I was completely swept up in the story. I loved the both the diverse characters that showcased Baghdad as a multicultural centre and the subtle political commentary hidden within the story.

Here are my ratings:

Writing quality: 4/5
Originality: 4/5
Character development: 2/4
Plot development: 4/4
Overall enjoyment: 2/2
Total: 16/20

We want to hear from you. Have you read this book? What did you think? Does it appeal to you?

Ranking to date (click on the links to read the other reviews):

1. Vernon Subutex One (16/20)
1. Frankenstein in Baghdad (16/20)
2. The White Book (14/20)


5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Sounds tempting. Thanks for the review.

    Liked by 1 person

    June 23, 2018
  2. I loathed Shelley’s Frankenstein so I’ve hesitated about reading this one. But I keep seeing it everywhere I look….

    Liked by 1 person

    June 24, 2018
  3. Book Worm #

    I would say it is very different from Shelley’s book and it has an interesting message I think you might enjoy it…


    June 28, 2018

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Man Booker International Shortlist 2018: Like a Fading Shadow by Antonio Munoz Molina | The Reader's Room
  2. Man Booker International Shortlist 2018: The World Goes On by Laszlo Krasznahorkai | The Reader's Room

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