Aaron and Ahmed

Overview

An emotional look at the root causes of terrorism from MacArthur Prizewinning author Jay Cantor.

What causes terrorism?

After his fiancée dies during the 9/11 attacks, the question plagues Aaron Goodman. It makes him give up his career as a doctor to become an interrogator/torturer at Guantanamo Bay. And yet, he’s still no less obsessed. He begins overseeing experiments of how meme theory might program people into becoming suicide bombers. ...

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Overview

An emotional look at the root causes of terrorism from MacArthur Prizewinning author Jay Cantor.

What causes terrorism?

After his fiancée dies during the 9/11 attacks, the question plagues Aaron Goodman. It makes him give up his career as a doctor to become an interrogator/torturer at Guantanamo Bay. And yet, he’s still no less obsessed. He begins overseeing experiments of how meme theory might program people into becoming suicide bombers. (Could there be a science behind terrorism?) Still nothing – until he meets Ahmed, a Gitmo prisoner who might know how the jihadists are using a variation of meme theory in their camps.

To finally learn the truth, Aaron and Ahmed’s search will take them from Gitmo to the jihadist camps in Pakistan right back to Ground Zero in New York City. But where do Ahmed’s real loyalties lie, and will Aaron’s exploration into terrorist camps make him as much of a threat as those he’s protecting his country against?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The war on terror is transmuted into a quasi-mystical odyssey in this hardheaded, thoughtful collaboration between novelist Cantor (Krazy Kat) and artist Romberger (Seven Miles a Second). Narrator Aaron Goodman is a therapist who lost his wife on 9/11, and in trying to avenge her death, ends up dispiritedly helping to torture Guantánamo detainees. There, in a place of brutal and randomly improvised experimental interrogations, he connects with one thoughtful prisoner, Ahmed, ultimately hatching an undercover scheme that will take the two of them back to Pakistan. Cantor's tragic narrator becomes subsumed in self-doubt once he's in Ahmed's hands, worrying if he's being played for a sucker even while his fate and heart become inextricably intertwined with Ahmed's. The narrative spins off down a line of historical and philosophical inquiry about words and beliefs as dangerous viruses that evokes everything from The Manchurian Candidate to the novels of Neal Stephenson. While the story is, on the surface, a dramatic piece of post-9/11 paranoia and espionage game playing (Cantor's vibrantly dark text delivering more potently than Romberger's jagged, somewhat generic art), it turns into a brave, occasionally frightening investigation of the very nature of belief. (Apr.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781401211868
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Publication date: 4/12/2011
  • Pages: 144
  • Product dimensions: 10.28 (w) x 6.96 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

As a novelist, Jay Cantor's novels have all been New York Times Notable Books of the Year. As a screenwriter, he's worked for Walt Disney, Columbia, Universal, and HBO among others, as well as being a story consultant on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

He's won fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Ingram Merrill Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, and was a recipient of a MacArthur Prize "genius" award for his entire body of work.

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