Saturday, December 26, 2009

Iranian Rappers and Persian Porn - Book #117



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| Title | Iranian Rappers and Persian Porn |
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| Author |Jamie Maslin |
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| Genre |Nonfiction - Travel |
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| Pages |265 |
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| Publisher |Skyhorse Publishing |
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| Copyright |2009 |
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Synopsis (from web-site)
When Jamie Maslin decides to hitchhike the entire length of the Silk Road, he decides to travel first and plan later. Then, unexpectedly stranded in Iran—a country he's only read about in newspapers—he wonders whether he'll make it out alive. After crossing the border on foot from Turkey, Maslin finds himself suddenly plunged into the subversive, contradictory world of Iranian subculture, where he is embraced by locals who are happy to show him the true Iran as they see it—where tourists are treated like royalty, where cab drivers shout abuse at Mullahs from their car windows, where unmarried men and women mingle in Western clothes at secret parties, and where cans of whisky (the possession of which is punishable by lashings) is readily available on the black market. This is the charming and astonishing account of one Westerner's life-altering rambles across Iran that illustrates first-hand the attitudes and aspirations of a nation in flux.

Why I read It
The Title!! Which is unfortunate because a lot of people who read these silly reviews I write will avoid this book for the title alone. Too bad for you because Persian porn is covered in less than 3 sentences. As in the guy on the bus was watching porn - and then juxtapositioning the strict society in Iran with someone doing that.

The Good
As I firmly believe with most demonized people, almost all of them will be pleasant, nice, and unbelievably helpful to you. This book will make even the most diehard "axis of evil" believers want to visit. Yes Iran does have its problems, especially on the human rights front, but the average person on the street are fantastic.

The Bad
He can be a little glib, in the way young men are, about certain dangerous situations. And by dangerous I mean hitchhiking, alcohol consumption, and other activities (fast driving). It is also quite superficial, but if you are looking for a detail orientated history of Iran you should probably look elsewhere.

The Ugly (my opinion)
What defines a good travel book for me is how I feel at the end - Would I have wanted to have taken that trip? I can say a definite yes to this. It is like traveling with the funny British guy from the Lonely Planet show.

I like when Iranians ask him what westerners think about Iran and he shares with them that everyone told him not to go because he will get shot. They think that is the funniest thing they have ever heard. You may still feel that but a lot foreigners think that about America too, because all they watch is American movies and television. Everyone is getting shot and killed all the time if that is your only basis of opinion.

Wonderful book which at a minimum will change any stereotype opinions you may have about the average Iranian and the country while at the same time being honest about the current regime.

Mormon Mentions
None

Author Biography
Not much out there, but I did find his Twitter feed.

1 comment:

Alexander Whitman said...

These are excellent points!
I absolutely loved this book, as it opened up a whole new world.