book reports
February 2014


Ted Dekker

This is supposedly an attempt to live out or at least better understand Jesus' insane and probably impossible instruction to love your enemies as much as you love yourself, but it's really just a hokey Christian mystery writer travelling around being nervous about Muslims and asking scholars, cabdrivers, and clerics condescending questions like "Do you know any good jokes?" and "What's your favorite color?" Since he's doing these pointless interviews instead of having actual conversations with people, he can't find any examples of "enemies" who have learned to "love" each other, so he decides to invent a convoluted orientalist love story that he intersperses throughout the book but doesn't admit is fictional until the last few pages. By far the best part of this book is a brief appearance by Sami Awad, who is probably a little embarrassed to be in here.


Osman Şahin
Along with 100 POEMS FROM THE JAPANESE, this was the first book I checked out from the Antalya public library with my new library card. I didn't love any of the stories in here, but lots of them had at least a scene or an idea that I'll remember for a while: a woman who requires every man who loves her to giver her one of his teeth, a blacksmith turning a crashed fighter plane into boiling pots and goatbells, the body of a holy hermit being carried higher into the mountains as his grotto is blown up to make room for a hotel.



other books I read this month:

100 POEMS FROM THE JAPANESE - trans. Kenneth Rexroth
THE SUBTLE KNIFE - Philip Pullman