Friday, January 1, 2016

JIHADI: A LOVE STORY: "Superb debut" "A modern classic" "A Booker Prize novel yet to be discovered"

Here's a rundown of the initial reaction to JIHADI: A LOVE STORY, on which I worked from mid-2007 to November of 2015. The book is now available from Orenda Books.



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Edward F. Wilson, author of A VERY BRITISH ENDING, had this to say:

"An utterly fantastic tale ... a book for our time"

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CrimeFictionLover gave the novel four stars and called it "a highly-original, engaging, and thought-provoking literary thriller."


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Steve Wright had this to say:



"In the same way that I have enjoyed reading the likes of Kati Hiekkapelto deliver powerful social commentary within first rate crime novels, it is exciting to find Yusuf, and publishing stable mate Paul Hardisty, elevating the thriller genre to a new level of provoking intelligence."

And on Goodreads he wrote:


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Publishers Weekly has weighed in, calling JIHADI: A LOVE STORY "smart and searing" -- this from the ABNA competition, where the book was a quarterfinalist.



Mari Hannah, author of THE SILENT ROOM, called the book "intelligent, intriguing, and moving in equal measure" and added this on Twitter:


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YEAH! Magazine noted that "the quality of the writing is superb" and ran an interview.



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Liz Barnsley wrote:


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Tony Hill gave the book a great review that made me wonder whether I was dreaming:



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Michelle Newby of TexasBookLover.com wrote:


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Jeanette Hewitt wrote this Goodreads review:



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The novel got a 4.5/5.0 review from Louise Hector: "Complex, compelling, and important ... captivating throughout ... the makings of a modern classic." 

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Victoria Goldman called the book "intriguing, addictive, brutal, gripping, tragic and brilliant." And a snarky cat weighs in, too.)


And Richard Gibney wrote:




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 Cal Moriarty called the novel "a modern classic":



And Louise Beech, author of the astonishing HOW TO BE BRAVE, wrote:


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Some very nice words indeed came in from The Well Read One, Safie Maken Finlay, who called the novel "a superb debut." (I had the honor of beta reading Safie's amazing book THE SPEAR OF TIME.)


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James, an Amazon customer, had this to say

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Nasim Asl writes:

Although fictional, the experiences Toropov crafts are harrowingly realistic. As Liddell’s memoirs are contested by Firestone’s annotations, the truth becomes a fickle and morally ambiguous figure. Readers will find themselves gripped by this lack of clarity. Toropov seems to take pleasure in making his readers move between the mentalities of a diverse range of characters, forcing them to uncomfortably sympathise with characters that are, at their core, cruel and twisted as well as those who are victims of injustice.

It’s a scarring novel. Readers will be left constantly wondering and second-guessing both the reliability and veracity of the narrative, unsettled by an authorial voice that threatens to self-destruct at any moment. Populated by a range of characters from both the Islamic Republic and the USA, Toropov constantly flips alliances and questions the truth of what terrorism is within the novel. He plays with the emotions of his readers, taunting them with a lack of clarity before bombarding them with intricate detail. If you can keep up as the memoirs appear to unravel, and adjust to the complex and bold narrative innovations that Toropov manipulates, Jihadi is a novel that will haunt you.

Above all else, Toropov has created an incredibly original and engaging novel that offers a damning insight into the complex emotional and political situations that are currently building in the Middle East. Unsettlingly, his observations then look forward, revealing a glimpse into a future of terror that could be.



Ian Patrick wrote:

"Put down your phone and engage your brain with what is surely a Booker Prize novel yet to be discovered."



JIHADI: A LOVE STORY is available now from London's Orenda Books

If you'd like a review copy, please reach out to my publisher Karen Sullivan.