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Iranian Rappers and Persian Porn: A Hitchhiker's Adventures in the New Iran
     

Iranian Rappers and Persian Porn: A Hitchhiker's Adventures in the New Iran

4.5 4
by Jamie Maslin
 

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When Jamie Maslin decides to backpack the entire length of the Silk Road, he doesn’t plan, he just does. So when he gets unexpectedly stranded in Iran, a country he’s only read about in newspapers, he has to make the best of it, secretly wondering whether he’ll live to tell the tale. In this unique memoir Booklist calls “intrepid,

Overview

When Jamie Maslin decides to backpack the entire length of the Silk Road, he doesn’t plan, he just does. So when he gets unexpectedly stranded in Iran, a country he’s only read about in newspapers, he has to make the best of it, secretly wondering whether he’ll live to tell the tale. In this unique memoir Booklist calls “intrepid, observant, funny, and charming,” Maslin explores Tabriz, Tehran, Esfahn, and the ancient city of Persepolis; visits museums, bazaars, and nightclubs; eats well and drinks loads of tea, and, on one wild night, 96-proof ethanol (the possession of alcohol is punishable by hand-amputation). Maslin marvels at the subversive, contradictory world of Iranian subculture, where he is embraced by locals who are more than happy to show him the true Iran as they live it—where unmarried men and women mingle in Western clothes at secret parties, where alcohol is readily available on the black market, where Christian churches are national heritage sites, and where he discovers the real meaning of friendship, nationality, and hospitality. This is the astonishing account of one Westerner’s life-altering rambles across Iran that will rid you of any preconceived notions about this infamous land.

Editorial Reviews

Booklist - Donna Seaman
“Maslin offers invaluable insights into this oppressive and demonized nation as he marvels over its lush valleys and mountains, stark desert, and the magnificent Al Sadr Caves. Intrepid, observant, funny, and charming, Maslin explores Tabriz, Tehran, Esfahn, and the ancient city of Persepolis, and he visits museums, bazaars, and nightclubs, eating splendidly well and drinking gallons of tea, and, on one wild night, 96-proof ethanol (alcoholic beverages are illegal). Maslin describes a far more complex and hopeful Iran than outsiders usually perceive.”
Cindy Sheehan
“In a time where an understanding of different cultures is more important than ever, I’m so glad we have books like Jamie Maslin’s.
Both informative and entertaining, Maslin paints a picture of Iran in stark contrast to the caricature one fed to us by the mainstream media.
A riveting, off-the-beaten-track tale of adventure and self discovery
that can't fail to provide new insight on a country unfairly demonized in the West.”
Richard Kendrick
A timely and valuable book by a young Westerner who decides to see
Iran for himself. Maslin is naive upon his arrival—having no idea what to expect—but keeps an open mind and invites the reader along on his fascinating and colorful adventures. His experiences reveal the lies that mainstream media are telling us about the country. Having read this book, I may visit Iran in the near future.”
Simon Worrall
“Jamie Maslin follows a long line of intrepid young Britons, from
Laurie Lee to Paddy Leigh Fermor and, most recently, Rory Stewart, who set off on a journey to distant parts with little money but lots of curiosity; and return to tell their tale. Maslin has a good ear for dialogue and a keen eye. The result is a hitchhiking odyssey across
Iran that provides a fascinating, and timely, behind-the-scenes glimpse of a country the news anchors never reach
.”
Anthony Brandt
“Jamie Maslin's book is Iran from the ground up, and a total surprise to those who only know the media version of that country. A
fascinating likeness of a complicated people.””
Simon Van Booy
Bill Bryson meets Jack Kerouac. For anyone who enjoys adventure and travel, this book is a raw, gripping, philosophical, and hilarious first person account of traveling to remote and exotic destinations—you won't be able to put this book down, and you will feel close to the sincere, earnest author within a few pages.”
Donna Seaman - Booklist
Maslin offers invaluable insights into this oppressive and demonized nation as he marvels over its lush valleys and mountains, stark desert,
and the magnificent Al Sadr Caves. Intrepid, observant, funny, and charming, Maslin explores Tabriz, Tehran, Esfahn, and the ancient city of Persepolis, and he visits museums, bazaars, and nightclubs, eating splendidly well and drinking gallons of tea, and, on one wild night,
96-proof ethanol (alcoholic beverages are illegal). Maslin describes a far more complex and hopeful Iran than outsiders usually perceive.

Daily Kos
“Jamie Maslin is cool – and he has adventures far beyond anything Jack Kerouac could ever dream of.”
Publishers Weekly
Like a postcard home, Maslin's debut entertains but doesn't inform. The author went to Iran against the better advice of nearly everyone he knew and discovered a country full of hospitable people who seem to want nothing more than to get him another cup of tea. “I almost felt surprised,” he writes, “that the sun was still shining on this side of the border,” and it's with obvious delight that he discovers cultural peculiarities: two types of knockers on the doors in the city of Yazd, for instance (one to announce a male visitor, the other for females), or the ongoing use of the qanat, a 3,000-year-old irrigation system (though he's somewhat less enamored of the deep-seated Iranian affection for Irish singer Chris de Burgh). Unfortunately, Maslin's narration is awkward, and while he does provide background information, he doesn't provide sources, leaving the reader to wonder if the occasional small inaccuracy is just that or signifies a larger problem. This book is best read for its surprising snapshots of a culture largely misunderstood in the West; hard facts and analysis are better sought elsewhere. (Nov.)
Library Journal
First-time author Maslin narrates his nine weeks of low-budget travels through Iran. Without pretending to know anything beyond the headlines, Maslin finds his way into conversations with an array of guys who hang out in coffee shops, wanting to party. He charms these young people and various others, many of whom offer remarkably generous hospitality. Maslin's encounters show the ordinary people of Iran to have the same desires, quirks, and failings as ordinary people anywhere. Less informed and more youthful in tone than Jason Elliot's Mirrors of the Unseen: Journeys in Iran, this travelog will appeal to armchair travelers and those wondering about future prospects for Iranian society.—LK\
Kirkus Reviews
After quitting his job, open-minded author Maslin loaded a backpack and hitched to Iran, where he spent nine weeks debunking Western misconceptions. Travel narratives often conclude that preconceived notions about exotic lands are often absurdly erroneous, a grand tradition that Maslin's debut enthusiastically perpetuates. Unsatisfied with life in a cubicle, the author decided to take a sojourn to Iran, despite warnings and admonitions from friends who, under the influence of Western media, denigrate the country as little more than a safe haven for terrorists. Casting aside those prejudices upon entering the country, he quickly discovered that, rather than being hated, he received the royal treatment from nearly everyone he met. So enthusiastically welcoming were the residents, in fact, that they generously purchased food and drinks, offered their beds and provided recommendations for and transportation to places of historical interest. The unexpectedly universal hospitality was accompanied by widespread disdain among the people for politicians ranging from the former ruling Shah and current President Ahmadinejad to George Bush and Tony Blair. Conversely, Irish pop singer Chris de Burgh, one of the only non-Iranian artists sanctioned by the government, is revered. Maslin provides a balanced blend of social commentary-including discussions of the role the United States and Britain played in manipulating the Iranian government, and younger Iranians' fascination with Western culture, including rap music and pornography-and travel guidance, including notes on various bazaars, historical sights and churches). Occasionally the author's good-natured attempts at humor veer off track and transformhis well-meaning hosts into stereotypically crazy foreign caricatures worthy of Sacha Baron Cohen. Too devoted to the conventions of travelogues past, but offers an unexpectedly enlightening introduction to an unfairly misunderstood country and culture.
Booklist
“Maslin offers invaluable insights into this oppressive and demonized nation as he marvels over its lush valleys and mountains, stark desert, and the magnificent Al Sadr Caves. Intrepid,
observant, funny, and charming, Maslin explores Tabriz, Tehran, Esfahn, and the ancient city of Persepolis, and he visits museums, bazaars, and nightclubs,
eating splendidly well and drinking gallons of tea, and, on one wild night,
96-proof ethanol (alcoholic beverages are illegal). Maslin describes a far more complex and hopeful Iran than outsiders usually perceive.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781616086879
Publisher:
Skyhorse Publishing
Publication date:
07/01/2012
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

What People are Saying About This

Cindy Sheehan
In a time where an understanding of different cultures is more important than ever, I’m so glad we have books like Jamie Maslin’s.
Both informative and entertaining, Maslin paints a picture of Iran in stark contrast to the caricature one fed to us by the mainstream media.
A riveting, off-the-beaten-track tale of adventure and self discovery
that can't fail to provide new insight on a country unfairly demonized in the West.

Meet the Author

Jamie Maslin is a writer and traveler. He has hitchhiked from England to Iran and couch-surfed all over Latin America. He lives in London, England.

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Iranian Rappers and Persian Porn: A Hitchhiker's Adventures in the New Iran 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an enjoyable book which desrcibes what it's like to travel around Iran, basically as a tourist living with local people. It focuses particulalry on Iranian sub-culture and how young people interact with each other, their parents, religious mullahs and their government. The author - Jamie Maslin - is a first time author and I think he writes a little like he travels; with no preconceptions or pretentions and in a very relaxed and easy manner. He's witty and there were a lot of times I found myself laughing out-loud which not many travel books do for me - Bryson is one that always does. The book shows us Iran without the media filter but often looks at the lighter side of living there. For example, while readers will be aware that Iran censors all foreign music they may not know that one of the only officially sanctioned Western rock singers in the country is the Irish soft-rock singer Chris de Burgh! De Burgh seems to enjoy a level of infallibility and reverence amongst the Iranian's that you would normally attribute to their religious or spiritual leaders. The author captures this and many other funny anomalies and incidents very well. I didn't buy this book as a text or reference book on Iran but there is quite a lot of factual information in it, both current and historical. However, I think it's best enjoyed as a travel narrative and for getting a feel for what it's like to live in modern day Iran. In summary: a very readable and funny account of living in modern Iran which will probably change your views on the country and the people there quite radically. Highly recommended.
ChuckKalowski More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading this fascinating account of a young Brits travels across Iran. It was thought provoking, heart warming, informative and extremely funny. The Iranians come across in it as the antithesis of their image in the West; not dangerous fundamentalists but kind, thoughtful and generous to a fault. Buy this book if you want to discover the true character of Iran or just want to read a gripping and funny book. As for the review below that states the reporting in chapter 18 is inaccurate, I totally disagree. The passage in question relates to the US naval vessel USS Vincennes shooting down an Iranian commercial airliner (killing 290 civilians including 60 kids), and, crucially, the subsequent handing out of medals to those involved. Sadly, this is exactly what happened when the crew returned to the US. They did not have the medals before hand as is implied in the earlier review, but got them afterwards. At no point does Maslin state that the medals were inscribed with 'for shooting down a commercial jet' but the implication from the US was clear, and is accurately reported in the book; namely, that the US were not going to apologize and those involved would be treated as neither imbeciles or criminals but instead as heroes. The reviewer states that "Maslin's account leaves the reader to assume that US servicemen and government were completely insensitive and callous to the tragic event. No sir." I'm afraid that, Yes Sir, they were. This is clear to see in the quote, (included in the book) by George Bush Senior about the event "I will never apologize for the United States of America ever. I don't care what it has done. I don't care what the facts are." I too would like to think my government weren't callous and insensitive but I'm afraid in this instance they were. But enough of that. I really enjoyed this book and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it. It was a great read, 5 Stars!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Simply a well done traveller chronicle
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yeaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Informative and entertaining, Maslin's journey through Iran is highlighted by the people he meets and the kind hospitality he is shown wherever he goes. Maslin uncovers the true spirit of a much misrepresented nation, and in doing so describes a country I would now love to visit. Not just a travel log, Maslin also includes interesting political and cultural details which have enlightened my views of Iran and its place in the world.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is such a joy and pleasure to read a foreigner's account of his experience in a country that is, unfortunately, often closed to outsiders. Maslin's travels through this country is fascinating and very thought-provoking in his description of the people that make up the state of Iran. I think anyone who has very little knowledge of the country should read it to gain perspective of a truly beautiful people that Western media has so often demonized for gratuitous purposes. With that said, I came upon a terrific inaccuracy in Maslin's retelling of the tragic event where the USS Vincennes shot down an Iranian commercial plane. Maslin states that two men received awards for their part in the tragedy. They did not. They may have had those medals already but they did NOT receive them for shooting down an airliner where hundreds of innocent lives were lost. Hours after the attack on the airliner, deployments were cancelled and US Navy ships in the Persian Gulf were told to pull out of the area to minimize their presence. Maslin's ccount leaves the reader to assume that US servicemen and government were completely insensitive and callous to the tragic event. No, sir. I endorsed the book to many of my friends before I read the last few chapters. Now, I still do think its a great book and very interesting. Maslin really gets into some of the funniest situations and his account of the dynamics of Iranian culture is very informative. I am just a little hesitant now because of his inaccurate portrayal of the Vincennes attack, I am left wondering what other facts are glossed over for political agenda. Anyways, look at my ratings and after reading my review you will see why I had to knock down my assessment of "research" pretty low.