Knight (The Taqwacores) goes meta in this very self-involved satirical blitz, throwing characters from previous books into a psycho showdown with the author. The less than cohesive central narrative follows Iranian Shiite skinhead Amazing Ayyub-after he and burka-wearing punker Rabeya kidnap Matt Damon in a bid to end Hollywood's puerile depiction of Muslims-on a cross-country journey to assassinate a sellout Muslim punk band. As Amazing Ayyub travels and dodges zombies and psychobilly jinns, first-person recollections by "the author" document his attending Islamic academic conferences and drolly conversing about Sufism, F. Scott Fitzgerald and his inability to create well-rounded female characters. The obligatory (and somewhat disappointing) final showdown between Knight and his perennially pissed-off creations hints that Knight's interest remains with the antic adventures of the characters he clearly adores, rather than in, say, any traditional notions of plot. Knight's potential is evident on nearly every page, but the in-jokes and frequent self-references will limit this book's appeal to readers well versed in things taqwacore. (July)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Osama Van Halenby Michael Muhammad Knight
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Amazing Ayyub, an Iranian Shi'ite skinhead, and Rabeya, a burqa-wearing punk, have kidnapped Matt Damon and are holding him hostage. They demand that Hollywood depict Muslims in a positive lightjust one movie where we're not these two-dimensional al Qaeda stereotypes.” But Damon's concerned they're playing into that same terrorist paradigm, thereby furthering the neoconservative perception of Islam.
Meanwhile, Ayyub embarks on a mission to rid the taqwacore scene of a Muslim pop-punk band called Shah 79. Along the way, he makes himself invisible, escapes punk-eating zombies in a mosque off the desert highway, and runs into some psychobilly jinns. Things turn existential when Ayyub finds himself face-to-face with his creatorno, not Allah, but the author.
This riotous journey of enlightenment reads like a religious service for teenagers on Halloween. But it isn't all raucous fun; written into his own novel, the author finds he is at the mercy of his creation.
- Soft Skull Press, Inc.
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