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Sons and Other Flammable Objects: A Novel di…
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Sons and Other Flammable Objects: A Novel (edizione 2007)

di Porochista Khakpour

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823258,718 (3.5)2
A wry and haunting first novel from a fresh Iranian-American writer,Sons and Other Flammable Objects is a sweeping, lyrical tale of suffering, redemption, and the role of memory and inheritance in making peace with our worlds. Growing up, Xerxes Adam is painfully aware that he is different-with an understanding of his Iranian heritage that vacillates from typical teenage embarrassment to something so tragic it can barely be spoken. His father, Darius, dwells obsessively on his sense of exile, and fantasizes about a nonexistent daughter he can relate to better than his living son; Xerxes'smother changes her name and tries to make friends; but neither of them offers their son anything he can actually use to make sense of the terrifying, violent last moments in a homeland he barely remembers. As he grows into manhood and moves to New York, his major goal in life is to completely separate from his parents, but when he meets a beautiful half-Iranian girl on the roof of his building after New York's own terrifying and violent catastrophe strikes, it seems Iran will not let Xerxes go.… (altro)
Utente:efroh
Titolo:Sons and Other Flammable Objects: A Novel
Autori:Porochista Khakpour
Info:Grove Press (2007), Hardcover, 416 pages
Collezioni:La tua biblioteca
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Sons and Other Flammable Objects di Porochista Khakpour

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Promising in parts. I did not like the prose style, felt little sympathy towards the characters except Laleh. The ending was ridiculously contrived and left me unsatisfied. I was disappointed. ( )
  RekhainBC | Feb 15, 2019 |
Got this because (1) of the buzz it's gotten on some of the forums I frequent and (2) it's one of two books I bought as part of today's retail therapy at the campus bookstore.
  donp | Nov 17, 2008 |
Too many novels are populated by characters that the reader forgets almost as soon as the last page is turned and the book closed. Others, with any luck, offer one or two memorable ones to whom the reader is sorry to say goodbye. And then there are novels like Porochista Khakpour’s Sons and Other Flammable Objects that contribute a whole family of unforgettable personalities.

The Adam family, mother, father and son, fled Iran for France when life became unbearable for them there but ultimately started new lives for themselves in Los Angeles. Xerxes, son of Laleh (who soon Americanized her name to Lala) and Darius Adam was so young when the family left Iran that he has only vague snatches of visual memories of his life there. He really came to consciousness only after arriving in California and, for the most part, he is a product of American culture. But still he senses that he is different and that that difference is the product of life inside the apartment of his parents who are, and always will be, Iranians at heart.

His parents are certainly a contrast of styles and messages. Lala is a naively good-hearted woman who is ready to embrace most things about American culture but her husband Darius expects her to stay inside her Los Angeles apartment and to live, as closely as possible, the same lifestyle that she left behind in Iran. Darius is a suspicious man by nature and his suspiciousness is compounded by the bitterness that he feels for having been forced to leave everything that he could not carry in a few suitcases behind when he fled Iran. He expects to rule his family with an iron fist and, as his wife and son become more and more independent of him, he resents the impossibility of making that happen. He is not a happy man.

The clash of two such very different cultures had a devastating impact on the Adam family. As Xerxes approached maturity, father and son hardly spoke to each other, and when they did, it was never pleasant for either of them. Darius and Lala grew farther and farther apart as she demanded more and more personal freedom from him. That was bad enough, but then came the events of 9-11 and all three of the Adams suddenly felt as much pressure outside the home as they did from within it.

Sons and Other Flammable Objects is a revealing portrayal of the struggle that immigrant families sometimes face when first-generation Americans grow up with a value set that differs greatly from the one held by their immigrant parents. Porochista Khakpour has written a remarkable first novel that still has me thinking about Darius, Lala and Xerxes and hoping that they are doing well. I won’t soon forget them.

Rated at: 4.0 ( )
2 vota SamSattler | Dec 13, 2007 |
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A wry and haunting first novel from a fresh Iranian-American writer,Sons and Other Flammable Objects is a sweeping, lyrical tale of suffering, redemption, and the role of memory and inheritance in making peace with our worlds. Growing up, Xerxes Adam is painfully aware that he is different-with an understanding of his Iranian heritage that vacillates from typical teenage embarrassment to something so tragic it can barely be spoken. His father, Darius, dwells obsessively on his sense of exile, and fantasizes about a nonexistent daughter he can relate to better than his living son; Xerxes'smother changes her name and tries to make friends; but neither of them offers their son anything he can actually use to make sense of the terrifying, violent last moments in a homeland he barely remembers. As he grows into manhood and moves to New York, his major goal in life is to completely separate from his parents, but when he meets a beautiful half-Iranian girl on the roof of his building after New York's own terrifying and violent catastrophe strikes, it seems Iran will not let Xerxes go.

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