I read 'The book of Saladin' from Ali's "Islam Quintet" series and found it absorbing, but this one disappointed me from half-way through. Beginning as the interesting story of expatriate Muslims from an unnamed South Asian Islamic 'Fatherland' ruled by corrupt politicians, the friendships provide a realistic background for Ali's ascerbic comments, through hs characters mouths, on current politics and the immigrant experience. The author loses the plot, literally, until his characters become wooden and the story a haphazard structure upon which to hang increasingly arcane references to political machinations beyond the experience of all but those who are well-versed in Fatherlandi affairs. Ali has not lost his penchant for gratuitous shocking anecdotes.
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