God in Pink - Hasan Namir

God in Pink by Hasan Namir

Do you ever feel like a prisoner in your own room? I often lie on my bed looking up at the ceiling and wishing I were dead.

Strangely gripping, this novella is the magic tinged narrative of a man who is on the verge of confronting his family regarding his homosexuality, and the sheikh who receives his letter begging for help. The novel seeks, through dreams and memories, to shed light upon the relationship between being faithful and being homosexual.

Beautiful glimpses are contrasted by some of the darkest reality I’ve read in a while, not only because of the war torn country, but because brutality feels commonplace among pretending everything is normal. Life goes on, university classes continue even as attendance drips, people go to parties, to bars, to drive down the road, but within these pages are brutal, graphic deaths, rape, violence and the requisite bigotry handled as if it were expected.

It was hard to read, not only because of the subject matter, but the words sometimes seemed a little unpolished. And I wonder at the fact that the author last lived in Iraq when he was ten, not to discredit his vision and experience.

Sometimes while reading I felt like I knew the world, but I don’t know if I was basing it off my own knowledge of middle-eastern cities, and what I’ve seen of muslim enclaves, but there was a lack of proper world building.

This is not a happy book. And I’m fairly uncertain what to make of the ending. It smacks of existential cliché, but for the subject matter. I wish there had been some conclusions offered in the end, after all that questioning and discussion, but it kind of tapers off in some sort of ‘reality imitates the dreams’ or something.

All I can say is, it definitely did not overstay its welcome and I gained new insight into a horrible humanitarian situation of several types.

Pages: 160
Year: October 8th 2015
Publisher: Arsenal Pulp Press

Read: 1 Jun 17 to 3 Jun 17
Stars: 3 (liked it, teetering on the verge of 2.5 curious)