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10 thoughts on “The Rope

  1. lark benobi lark benobi says:

    The Rope has turned out to be the kind of book I'll recommend that people read even if I didn't love it It begins with a deeply disturbing masterfully written scene of the execution of Saddam Hussein then backtracks to give perspective on Ira just after the US invaded and Saddam went into hiding The novel has a lot to say about competing identities what it means to identify as Irai Baathist Sunni or Shia Pan Arab patriot family member and citizen of an occupied country The way these loyalties shift and compete is the heart of this novelFor my taste the writing trends toward overwrought an easy mistake to make with this kind of material except for the first scene which is very stripped down and works because of it Another issue is that there is a lot of expository writing here which is fair given that Makiya's English language version is for people not familiar with the facts on the ground but the explaining sometimes got in the way of the storytelling and it made me wonder if the Arabic language version the novel was published simultaneously in both languages has less expositionI'm very glad to have read this novel in spite of my criticism It's good to be reminded of what happened to not forget the many disasters large and small that made up the Irai experience in these years


  2. Beverly Beverly says:

    A harrowing enlightening morally scathing novel that examines the time in Ira between Saddam Hussein’s downfall 2003 and his execution 2006 through the lens of a nameless fictional Shiite militiaman The reader will feel the anguish and frustration of the narrator as he moves for a state of unknowing naivety to awareness of how the sectarian violence is hindering the concept of a democratic Ira and as his uestions goes unanswered regarding his father’s disappearance in 1991 during the Saddam regime These two storylines propel the action forward informing the reader of the many identities that a person might be and how which one is prominent in the person’s mind often is in conflict in moving towards a unified nationThe author is known for being vocal on how Ira missed the opportunity to heal from the ouster of Saddam and how the victims became the victimizer I was engaged for most the book but occasionally the stuffy prose the dogmatic explanations of all of the rivalries whether religious ethnic military or political overwhelmed me When I finished reading this book I did feel a sense of hopelessness and helplessness Overall this is a powerful yet intimately searing account of violence betrayals and despair of a particular time and place that unfortunately is becoming commonplace in too many other places


  3. sappho_reader sappho_reader says:

    On December 30 2006 Saddam Hussein was executed for crimes against humanity The rope in the title not only refers to the hanging rope from the execution but also the hanging rope for an entire country and people In this book we witness the breakdown of Irai government and society since that pivotal moment the corruption of the new puppet government the war against the Occupier America and the plethora of militant groups which numbered approximately 250 fighting among themselves Needless to say reading this was uite an experience since the other books I've read of contemporary Ira were all taken from the perspective of American soldiers Now I understand so much better to how convoluted everything is in Ira and how people survive in the war zone Overall I enjoyed this for the uniue perspective The only reason for the 3 star rating is that the narrative often got bogged down with endless explanations of why the various Shia groups hate each other and seek deadly revenge Otherwise it is a worthy book for those interested in this topic


  4. Todd Landrum Todd Landrum says:

    I had a bit of trouble keeping straight the various factions in the book Just remembering the differences of Shia and Sunni is difficult for some reason keeping straight three different Shia houses even so keeping straight all their leaders and their fathers especially when they are all referred to as Sayyid even so I think this is my failing than the book's and it's slightly embarrassing for me it's akin to saying all Asians look alike Or maybe that's the lesson of the book? It's friggin' complicated The religious history is complicated the factions make it even so Throw in a culture that is I don't want to say under educated but has limited access to information there's no mention of media in the book newspapers radio tv internet makes it that much harder to know what is going on Lastly add in the secrecyconspiracybetrayal aspects of Saddam coupled with the factions plotting and moving against each other you've got a world where no one is going to know truth from fiction up from down Or maybe I've made another semi embarassing semi racist statement The USA doesn't necessarily have those issues and yet we have a large percentage of the population that believes in total fallacies as well Is Uncle's secret in the book any shocking than our Speaker of the House being a serial child molester paying hush money to his victims? Hmm I'm liking this book as I write this The ending of the book felt a little awkward Minor spoiler ahead Saddam explaining that all of their problems are due to his regime conditioning the people for secrecy and betrayal seems a bit too pat That remembering that their Arab Ira and Islamic heritage in common far outweighs what pits them against each other that if they could just remember the better angels of their nature then things would be all right Given the complexity of the first 90% of the book a simple final 10% feels like a mismatch Or maybe I've embarrassed myself again but don't realize it this time


  5. Austin Austin says:

    As a straight novel The Rope does not stand on its own But given its historical importance uniue at least to Americans content and personal note at the end this novel deserves praise for its courage and accolades for its searing look into Shi'a sectarian politics and ensuing civil war following the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003 I learned about the internal working and people of Ira in these 319 pages than I have in the last 14 years of reading articles watching news stories and talking to those that have been there as soldiers or Marines The book mentions the Occupiers that's us very rarely and in passing focusing on the inner workings of the three religious Sayyids competing for dominance in the Shi'a community Told from the perspective of a young man making his way up in one of these Sayyid's houses who is at the beginning of the narrative absolutely convinced in his holy cause the story unfolds somewhat like a murder mystery one of the Sayyids was stabbed to death in public and it was covered up the Sayyid turns out to be a personal friend of the narrator's father who himself disappeared into one of the Tyrant's Saddam Hussein prison and torture camps long ago Victimhood betrayal and secrecy in the Irai Shi'as culture is laid bare page by page chapter by chapter until the main character we're never given his name comes to uestion everything he's ever believed and even everyone he's ever loved This is a tough novel to wade through with not a lot of emotional payoff or ways to connect personally but the insight and information provide a powerful examination into a conflict started by our invasion of Ira one where we lost blood treasure and lives and most of us rarely understood All the main characters were real people in Ira; all murders uprisings and political betrayal really did happen Recommended only for the historical and politically minded and those interested in a people that have lost control of their country


  6. Murtaza Murtaza says:

    This book resoundingly fails as a novel but still manages to be worthwhile in a pedagogical sense for explaining the rivalries among different Irai Shia houses of scholarship Taking place in the years after the US invasion the book is narrated by an unnamed Irai militiaman who takes part in some of the signal events of this period The dialogue is risibly unrealistic the story drops threads that it fails to pick up later and none of the characters undergo any kind of plausible form of development Nonetheless it was useful to learn the intricacies of Irai Shia politics from someone who knows them well and who chose to perhaps teach them in this format If I were assigned this as a textbook in a class I would think highly of itThe houses of Hakim Khoei and Sadr have been intertwined in hostility and cooperation for generations and entered a new chapter of their relationship with the invasion one that is still playing out As the narrator tells it and as contemporary politics seems to show the House of Sadr is the most Irai nationalist of the three whereas the other two are closer to Iran and the West The Shia Irai exiles shown in the book come in for scathing critiue from Makiya he himself is one and brings to mind the criticisms leveled by Zaid al Ali in his non fiction book on postwar Ira I managed to learn uite a bit from the anonymous militiaman's account here both about politics and the various outlooks that animated the Shia population of Ira after Saddam's fallI wouldn't recommend this for everyone but if you're interested in Ira it is worth looking at Not a great piece of literature by any stretch but a useful touchstone on a path to learning about the country


  7. Nicole Nicole says:

    This book was interesting and made me even aware of how vague and simplistic my understanding of middle eastern politics is I feel like I would have gotten even from it if I had better knowledge of the different groups their relationship to each other and prominent figures in the areaas well as better basic knowledge of historical events But I was able to gain a lot from this regardless It was great at showing some emotional conflicts of the people and the precarious nature of politics in the area and it got across the feeling of general distrust of everyone; friend or foeOf course as is the structure of these books like in Brave New World 1984 The Fat Years and so many others of this genre there is a lengthy exposition at the end in the last tenth of the novel This can tend to feel a bit like a heavy handed explain the plot lecture and the only reason this might not break your suspension of disbelief in the story is because the explanation is engrossing and enlightening about the dynamics of the world and it provides answers to previously mentioned uestions or mysterious happeningsAlthough I found the first part difficult to follow in places I got the gist of things and I actually like how it reminded me of my ignorance about this area of politics in such a way that made me want to go find out about the goings on of the middle eastern region in depth sooner rather than later I wouldn't say the characters are particularly complex They are what is necessary to tell the storyview spoiler the naive introspective do gooder and sometimes audience stand in; the gung ho impulsive nationalist friend; the cautious parent; the shifty relative involved in all sorts of secret dealings; the wise elder who fills in pieces of the puzzles; the mysteriously absent parent embroiled in some government conspiracy whose character has perhaps been defamed hide spoiler


  8. Michael Michael says:

    I agree with those reviewers who felt that this was a flawed novel but still very illuminating The protagonist is not entirely a consistent character and the other characters are very roughly sketched out mainly to serve as an example of a type or a mouthpiece for a particular religious or political view But even so I found the book hard to put down because it does pull together all the chaotic events and factions in post invasion Ira and gives a human dimension missing from the endless news reports of that era American troops and administrators play a surprisingly limited role in the minds of the characters and I wonder if that is accurate of a majority of air ais All of the protagonist's emotion and attention is taken up not by the occupiers but by the hatreds rivalries and betrayals of his fellow Irais I'd be curious to learn how Irai readers react to the unrelentingly negative picture Makiya paints of his own people He was an exile for years a professor in the US and strongly supported the American invasion of 2003 a decision he evidently regrets now


  9. Malachi Antal Malachi Antal says:

    the pink army the full moon brigades can tell the writer did their homework on the Shi'ite perspective on the Occupiers o it's Ira there mightn't've been car bombs descriptors of a proper shite show a dress rehearsal for seven years Levant internecine might makes right for a Near Eastern despot it all comes down to whether the Russian Federation is protecting you with Sukhois or nyet


  10. Mohammed Al senaid Mohammed Al senaid says:

    You just can not stop reading it


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The Rope ✸ [BOOKS] ✬ The Rope By Kanan Makiya ❂ – Buyprobolan50.co.uk From the best selling author of Republic of Fear here is a gritty and unflinching novel about Irai failure in the wake of the 2003 American invasion as seen through the eyes of a Shi‘ite militiaman From the best selling author of Republic of Fear here is a gritty and unflinching novel about Irai failure in the wake of the American invasion as seen through the eyes of a Shi‘ite militiaman whose participation in the execution of Saddam Hussein changes his life in ways he could never have anticipated   When the nameless narrator stumbles upon a corpse on April the day of the fall of Saddam Hussein he finds himself swept up in the tumultuous politics of the American occupation and is taken on a journey that concludes with the discovery of what happened to his father who disappeared into the Tyrant’s gulag in When he was a child his uestions about his father were ignored by his mother and his uncle in whose house he was raised Older now he is fighting in his uncle’s Army of the Awaited One which is leading an insurrection against the Occupier He slowly begins to piece together clues about his father’s fate which turns out to be intertwined with that of the mysterious corpse But not until the last hour before the Tyrant’s execution is the narrator given the final piece of the puzzle—from Saddam Hussein himself   The Rope is both a powerful examination of the birth of sectarian politics out of a legacy of betrayal victimhood secrecy and loss and an enduring story about the haste with which identity is cobbled together and then undone Told with fearless honesty and searing intensity The Rope will haunt its readers long after they finish the final page From the Hardcover edition.

  • ebook
  • 336 pages
  • The Rope
  • Kanan Makiya
  • 14 March 2014
  • 9781101870488

About the Author: Kanan Makiya

is an Irai academic who gained British nationality in He is the Sylvia K Hassenfeld Professor of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at Brandeis University Although he was born in Baghdad he left Ira to study architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology later founding Makiya Associates in order to design and build projects in the Middle East As a former exile he was a pr.