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Levant Fever: True Stories from Syria's Underground

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Levant Fever is a memoir from the political underground darkness of Assad’s Syria. Seen through the eyes of a boy growing into a man, in the middle of feverish historic events. Not widely understood, or told before in the West but at the roots of the current conflicts. The narrative grips the reader with its honesty, brutality and beauty. The author describes his own journ Levant Fever is a memoir from the political underground darkness of Assad’s Syria. Seen through the eyes of a boy growing into a man, in the middle of feverish historic events. Not widely understood, or told before in the West but at the roots of the current conflicts. The narrative grips the reader with its honesty, brutality and beauty. The author describes his own journey, reflections and life stories told to him whilst he was held without trial for 14 years, as a political prisoner in several prisons. These included Palmyra, noted by Amnesty International as one of the most oppressive prisons in the world. The work is an enthralling and informative mosaic reflecting the colours, sects, religions, politics, legends and geography of the Levant. The journey spans the areas deserts, coastline, mountains and forests. It speaks of family, friendship, love, hope, fear, torture, hiding and escaping. A truly human tale of a life well lived, a life of conscience, courage and endurance and ultimately one of triumph of the human spirit.


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Levant Fever is a memoir from the political underground darkness of Assad’s Syria. Seen through the eyes of a boy growing into a man, in the middle of feverish historic events. Not widely understood, or told before in the West but at the roots of the current conflicts. The narrative grips the reader with its honesty, brutality and beauty. The author describes his own journ Levant Fever is a memoir from the political underground darkness of Assad’s Syria. Seen through the eyes of a boy growing into a man, in the middle of feverish historic events. Not widely understood, or told before in the West but at the roots of the current conflicts. The narrative grips the reader with its honesty, brutality and beauty. The author describes his own journey, reflections and life stories told to him whilst he was held without trial for 14 years, as a political prisoner in several prisons. These included Palmyra, noted by Amnesty International as one of the most oppressive prisons in the world. The work is an enthralling and informative mosaic reflecting the colours, sects, religions, politics, legends and geography of the Levant. The journey spans the areas deserts, coastline, mountains and forests. It speaks of family, friendship, love, hope, fear, torture, hiding and escaping. A truly human tale of a life well lived, a life of conscience, courage and endurance and ultimately one of triumph of the human spirit.

30 review for Levant Fever: True Stories from Syria's Underground

  1. 4 out of 5

    C.S. Woolley

    When people talk about books that leave you breathless, I’ve never really understood what they meant. That is until I read this book. It’s not long, but it is detailed, heartfelt and the moment you start reading you are literally swept away by the book. There were times when I was reading that I had to stop, put the book down and process through what I just read. I went back through it a couple of times before I started writing this review as there was just so much to take in that it needed to b When people talk about books that leave you breathless, I’ve never really understood what they meant. That is until I read this book. It’s not long, but it is detailed, heartfelt and the moment you start reading you are literally swept away by the book. There were times when I was reading that I had to stop, put the book down and process through what I just read. I went back through it a couple of times before I started writing this review as there was just so much to take in that it needed to be read several times. This is a book that people who are interested in current events will really enjoy as the focus is on the Syrian Underground. This is a book that brings out some of the worst stories that are never reported in newspapers or seen on news channels and yet, these stories are something that people need to hear. This book does a wonderful job of bringing the trials and tribulations of those who have suffered in Syria to the eyes of the reader. It is not a pleasant read by any stretch of the imagination and you will be left feeling raw and ruined before you have even gotten halfway through – but it is definitely a book that is worth reading. Not only does it give you the stories of those who are not “newsworthy” but it does this through the narrative of one 14 year old rebel. It brings the stories of suffering in a human way, not a detached one that make it all the more painful to read. This is a book that I cannot recommend highly enough for the writing style and the content. Though the phrase has somewhat lost its meaning – this book IS a must read.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Valerie

    There couldn't be a more timely...or controversial...book. Terms or phrases that have sadly become part of the world's vocabulary in a negative and frightening way - Shiites, Muslim Brotherhood (precursor to Islamic extremists) and Allah-o-Akbar - are all presented as part of the daily life of the author. He spent a great deal of his life in and out of prison for the "crime" of associating with the wrong people or speaking out against the atrocities around him. It's not an easy read, with graphic There couldn't be a more timely...or controversial...book. Terms or phrases that have sadly become part of the world's vocabulary in a negative and frightening way - Shiites, Muslim Brotherhood (precursor to Islamic extremists) and Allah-o-Akbar - are all presented as part of the daily life of the author. He spent a great deal of his life in and out of prison for the "crime" of associating with the wrong people or speaking out against the atrocities around him. It's not an easy read, with graphic details of beatings,torture and assassinations, not to mention prison conditions that were themselves a form of torture. Yet the book is something of a history lesson, and while it's doubtful most readers will feel much sympathy for those involved because of world conditions today, it does provide a better understanding of the conditions in Syria and Lebanon. Even though the violence is predominant, perhaps the saddest portions of the book are the author's childhood memories of playing with friends in a land that was once considered beautiful, through the eyes of a child. He also relates tales of family love and we see a "human" touch that is much needed. One can't help but wonder if things could have been different if generation after generation hadn't resorted to fighting and brutality. Or is it impossible to break the vicious (literally) cycle of violence? History buffs as well as those curious for some explanation or understanding that breeds such horror should be most satisfied with this book, which is powerfully written by Wajdy Mustafa.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Philip Bailey

    From time to time one hears the USA has more people incarcerated than any other country in the world. May be so or maybe not, does anyone really know how many are in prisons in other countries? One also hears from time to time the horror of prisons in other countries. I remember years ago a television special contrived to discourage young people from committing acts that could land them in prison. I did not watch it but I think it was called Scared Shitless or something like that. Levant Fever i From time to time one hears the USA has more people incarcerated than any other country in the world. May be so or maybe not, does anyone really know how many are in prisons in other countries? One also hears from time to time the horror of prisons in other countries. I remember years ago a television special contrived to discourage young people from committing acts that could land them in prison. I did not watch it but I think it was called Scared Shitless or something like that. Levant Fever is a story by person held in a Syrian prison for fourteen years. I was shocked to read about the shabby conditions and the mistreatment by the prison staff. Who would have suspected that from a Middle Eastern Country’s prison? Now and then I hear some Grand Poohbah in the USA talk about releasing some minor offenders. Why? Everyone knows prison does not reform anyone. Just makes them a smarter criminal. Were you not told to learn from your mistakes? Read this and wonder if the writer may have thought he was in version of Heaven had he been transferred to an American prison. Kudos for a tragic tale and a very hardy survivor.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Niahara Erskine

    Levant Fever: True stories from Syria's underground is a book that was recommended to me by a friend. Usually I shy away from topics that depict current events, real one at that, because I prefer to submerge myself in the histories of the past and the magical worlds written by fantasy and Sci-Fi authors. However, Levant Fever did not make me regret purchasing it. A moving and horrifying account of the suffering and abuse lived by people in Syria, the book had me in tears in several moments, maki Levant Fever: True stories from Syria's underground is a book that was recommended to me by a friend. Usually I shy away from topics that depict current events, real one at that, because I prefer to submerge myself in the histories of the past and the magical worlds written by fantasy and Sci-Fi authors. However, Levant Fever did not make me regret purchasing it. A moving and horrifying account of the suffering and abuse lived by people in Syria, the book had me in tears in several moments, making me wonder how it was that such events can and still take place in the world of nowadays. The book gripped me from the first two pages and did not let go until the very end. I was moved, touched, troubled, impressed and horrified as I read by all the true events depicted with raw sincerity. In terms of how it is written, it is a quick read, a fast paced one at that. I have seen people comparing it to a Hollywood movie and saying a script based on this books could win an Oscar. I wholeheartedly agree. Increased attention is shows by the author to the vivid imagery and descriptions presented in the books. All in all, Levant Fever is a striking and somewhat controversial account of the rebel underground, shown through the eyes of one who had lived such events, been imprisoned for 14 years without a trial and survived to tell his story.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Diana Casoliba

    Levant Fever: An intense and touching book. This fascinating book written by Wajdy Mustafa is about real experiences the author had to live and a must-read to anyone who is following the conflict. I chose this book because I wanted to understand a little bit more about this conflictive country seen and explained by someone in his own skin, it is an impressive book. It was very touching to read it and I’m still in shock. I totally agree with other readers, this could be a perfect movie script, very i Levant Fever: An intense and touching book. This fascinating book written by Wajdy Mustafa is about real experiences the author had to live and a must-read to anyone who is following the conflict. I chose this book because I wanted to understand a little bit more about this conflictive country seen and explained by someone in his own skin, it is an impressive book. It was very touching to read it and I’m still in shock. I totally agree with other readers, this could be a perfect movie script, very impressive and fascinating. The author does a really good job.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Claire Osgood

    This book is written from the point of view of several people who suffered under the current Syrian regime. Although it was a chilling rendition of the treatment prisoners are subjected to in Syrian prisons, Westerners can glean some awful, but telling insights into the viciousness of too many Middle Easterners. The sad thing is that several characters drew parallels to the treatment that they and their little friends received in their schools. Punishment and unfathomable torture seem to rule ma This book is written from the point of view of several people who suffered under the current Syrian regime. Although it was a chilling rendition of the treatment prisoners are subjected to in Syrian prisons, Westerners can glean some awful, but telling insights into the viciousness of too many Middle Easterners. The sad thing is that several characters drew parallels to the treatment that they and their little friends received in their schools. Punishment and unfathomable torture seem to rule many people's lives. This is a very hard book to read, as the tales of inhumanity disgust and repel the civilized reader. The 2 star rating is because of this, not due to the quality of the writing, which was all right.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Cindy Deyo

    I'm sorry for this author's trials...just had a hard time getting through the odd sentence structures and misspellings. I'm so glad he survived all the torment and mistreatment for all those lost years in prison. I'm sorry for this author's trials...just had a hard time getting through the odd sentence structures and misspellings. I'm so glad he survived all the torment and mistreatment for all those lost years in prison.

  8. 5 out of 5

    James Fulford

  9. 5 out of 5

    Debra Morris

  10. 5 out of 5

    Karen J. Richman

  11. 5 out of 5

    KATHRYN LAUSEN

  12. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Whinthrop

  13. 5 out of 5

    Christina

  14. 5 out of 5

    Dave Rendle

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Jones

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen F. Lewis

  17. 5 out of 5

    Marc Wisner

  18. 4 out of 5

    R Davis

  19. 5 out of 5

    dave cochran

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mary Solomon

  21. 5 out of 5

    Esther Oyeyi

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sophie McDonald

  23. 4 out of 5

    Judith A Gorra

  24. 5 out of 5

    ArrowBits

  25. 5 out of 5

    CHARLES B SPERRY

  26. 5 out of 5

    nancy gourlie

  27. 5 out of 5

    Pyang

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Arnold

  29. 4 out of 5

    Owen Hartley

  30. 4 out of 5

    Pradeep

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