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As a child living in his family's apple orchard, Ahmad Torkash-Vand treasures his great-great-great-great grandfather's every mesmerizing word. On the day of his father's death, Ahmad listens closely as the seemingly immortal elder tells him the tale of a centuries-old family curse . . . and the boy's own fated role in the story. Ahmad grows up to suspect that something mus As a child living in his family's apple orchard, Ahmad Torkash-Vand treasures his great-great-great-great grandfather's every mesmerizing word. On the day of his father's death, Ahmad listens closely as the seemingly immortal elder tells him the tale of a centuries-old family curse . . . and the boy's own fated role in the story. Ahmad grows up to suspect that something must be interfering with his family, as he struggles to hold them together through decades of famine, loss, and political turmoil in Iran. As the world transforms around him, each turn of Ahmad's life is a surprise: from street brawler, to father of two unusually gifted daughters; from radical poet, to politician with a target on his back. These lives, and the many unforgettable stories alongside his, converge and catch fire at the center of the Revolution. Exploring the brutality of history while conjuring the astonishment of magical realism, The Immortals of Tehran is a novel about the incantatory power of words and the revolutionary sparks of love, family, and poetry--set against the indifferent, relentless march of time.


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As a child living in his family's apple orchard, Ahmad Torkash-Vand treasures his great-great-great-great grandfather's every mesmerizing word. On the day of his father's death, Ahmad listens closely as the seemingly immortal elder tells him the tale of a centuries-old family curse . . . and the boy's own fated role in the story. Ahmad grows up to suspect that something mus As a child living in his family's apple orchard, Ahmad Torkash-Vand treasures his great-great-great-great grandfather's every mesmerizing word. On the day of his father's death, Ahmad listens closely as the seemingly immortal elder tells him the tale of a centuries-old family curse . . . and the boy's own fated role in the story. Ahmad grows up to suspect that something must be interfering with his family, as he struggles to hold them together through decades of famine, loss, and political turmoil in Iran. As the world transforms around him, each turn of Ahmad's life is a surprise: from street brawler, to father of two unusually gifted daughters; from radical poet, to politician with a target on his back. These lives, and the many unforgettable stories alongside his, converge and catch fire at the center of the Revolution. Exploring the brutality of history while conjuring the astonishment of magical realism, The Immortals of Tehran is a novel about the incantatory power of words and the revolutionary sparks of love, family, and poetry--set against the indifferent, relentless march of time.

30 review for The Immortals of Tehran

  1. 4 out of 5

    Rob Holden

    A sweeping (if not entirely epic) family saga at heart, shot through with shades of magical realism and rooted in the rich and tragic history of post-World War II Iran, Ali Araghi’s IMMORTALS OF TEHRAN is a truly rare sort of debut novel from an author seasoned beyond his years. With powerful, engaging prose, Araghi weaves an intricate tapestry of interlocking narratives, relationships and timelines that beg us as readers to ask important and probing questions about this oft overlooked people an A sweeping (if not entirely epic) family saga at heart, shot through with shades of magical realism and rooted in the rich and tragic history of post-World War II Iran, Ali Araghi’s IMMORTALS OF TEHRAN is a truly rare sort of debut novel from an author seasoned beyond his years. With powerful, engaging prose, Araghi weaves an intricate tapestry of interlocking narratives, relationships and timelines that beg us as readers to ask important and probing questions about this oft overlooked people and the turmoil they’ve endured.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Shamiram

    My high expectations left me disappointed 😔 All the components are there for me. Family saga, magical realism, a character who is a famous poet, an old dude who lives in a tree and never really dies, revolution, cats, etc etc etc. Somehow, though, it still fell short! Clearly, there are many compelling parts of this book, but I just feel like a lot of them were not fleshed out enough and I wanted more!!!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ti.Me

    Not a bad story, I got so horribly disinterested that I speed-read for a while then put the book down at 56%. I read another two books then came back to it. Finally finished and really regret it as a waste of time. No more of this author for me. 3 stars for mystical ideas and polished writing

  4. 4 out of 5

    Susana

    Otra historia de Irán con elementos mágicos. Equivocadamente pensé que era un libro de fantasía, con elementos de la mitología propia de la zona. Una parte de mi entiende que disfrazar eventos difíciles tras una máscara de fantasía, de realismo mágico, puede ayudar al escritor y los lectores a bajar la violencia y lo inexplicable de una historia, pero no puedo dejar de sentirlo como una herramienta anacrónica que esconde el verdadero impacto, el dolor, la sangre y lo inexplicable del retroceso, d Otra historia de Irán con elementos mágicos. Equivocadamente pensé que era un libro de fantasía, con elementos de la mitología propia de la zona. Una parte de mi entiende que disfrazar eventos difíciles tras una máscara de fantasía, de realismo mágico, puede ayudar al escritor y los lectores a bajar la violencia y lo inexplicable de una historia, pero no puedo dejar de sentirlo como una herramienta anacrónica que esconde el verdadero impacto, el dolor, la sangre y lo inexplicable del retroceso, del extremismo y el fanatismo.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Terry Tessar

    I mostly enjoyed the depiction of Iran and the family relationships, the fantasy parts not so much.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Katherine Younkin

    In this stunning work of magic realism, Ali Araghi transports readers to Iran’s recent past, where an extended family deals with a legendary curse. Ahmad, the principal character, is as a child an unwitting and unwilling participant in his father’s suicide. As a result of the trauma, Ahmad is struck dumb, a permanent condition that only allows him to shape words with his mouth. His voice is gone. His great grandfather Agha tries to connect with the boy and tells the tale of the cats, creatures w In this stunning work of magic realism, Ali Araghi transports readers to Iran’s recent past, where an extended family deals with a legendary curse. Ahmad, the principal character, is as a child an unwitting and unwilling participant in his father’s suicide. As a result of the trauma, Ahmad is struck dumb, a permanent condition that only allows him to shape words with his mouth. His voice is gone. His great grandfather Agha tries to connect with the boy and tells the tale of the cats, creatures who have their own land. When the land is invaded by humans and an endless war begins. The cats seek revenge by trying to cause chaos and disrupt human society. Khan, Ahmad’s father, son of Agha becomes convinced cats are behind Russian interference in his homeland and instigators of the social unrest that pits leftist forces against the Shah’s regime. Ahmad, who grows up to become a poet and then a politician doesn’t believe his father or his grandfather but is careful to not offend them. He becomes a member of Parliament and although he is sympathetic to the leftist cause to which his childhood friend Salman belongs, he allows himself to be controlled by people close to the Shah. In relative anonymity, Ahmad writes rousing poetry, words that have the power to catch on fire and melt metal. The leftists use the poetry to advance their cause. Ahmad ends up betraying Salman to his shame. The scope of this story is vast, covering decades of Iran’s turbulent past as a backdrop to the intimate history of Ahmad and his family, their loves, their enemies, and their struggles. The characters and situations seem so real and vivid, I didn’t even blink at the fantastic elements. It is a measure of the writer’s skill to make the reader believe in the magical parts and Araghi did this. The story left me feeling as if I visited a very real place during a dangerous time. After reading the book, I was both exhilarated and sad. Fans of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, magical realism, and literary fiction will love this book. I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Madeline

    I think this is a very well-written story with an intriguing premise. However, it really dragged on in the middle, and I felt that I didn't connect with any of the characters. We follow quite the cast of individuals, and don't get to spend a prolonger period with any of them. Even the main character, Ahmad, who we spend the most time with, felt distant from me since we rarely got a glimpse into his mind (I'm sad about this because he is clearly a brilliant and inspired character!). I am also ins I think this is a very well-written story with an intriguing premise. However, it really dragged on in the middle, and I felt that I didn't connect with any of the characters. We follow quite the cast of individuals, and don't get to spend a prolonger period with any of them. Even the main character, Ahmad, who we spend the most time with, felt distant from me since we rarely got a glimpse into his mind (I'm sad about this because he is clearly a brilliant and inspired character!). I am also inspired to learn more about both Iranian history, which influences much of the storyline, and Iranian folklore and myth. I would still give this book a chance if the premise intrigues you!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Rad U

    I picked this book up out of sheer curiosity—it did not disappoint! The Immortals of Tehran follows Ahmad, a mute poet who tries to build a life for himself against the backdrop of the political turmoil of mid-century Iran. There is a curse and subtle magic, but I feel the real focus is on the family dynamic. I loved the characters and relationships, especially the bond between Khan, Pooran, and Ahmad. The book is steeped in culture (so much tea!) which was wonderfully refreshing (sorry). Some m I picked this book up out of sheer curiosity—it did not disappoint! The Immortals of Tehran follows Ahmad, a mute poet who tries to build a life for himself against the backdrop of the political turmoil of mid-century Iran. There is a curse and subtle magic, but I feel the real focus is on the family dynamic. I loved the characters and relationships, especially the bond between Khan, Pooran, and Ahmad. The book is steeped in culture (so much tea!) which was wonderfully refreshing (sorry). Some might find it a little slow, but I found the plot and writing style engaging and easy to follow. I huffed, laughed, cried, and feared for what might happen next. A great debut. I will definitely revisit this book.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Desiree

    Thanks to the publisher for a free copy of The Immortals of Tehran. This book was hit and miss for what I usually read, but I ended up really getting into it, and would recommend it to pretty much anyone.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Tracy Hickman

    I ended up caring about all the characters.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Dominique Lear

    An engrossing and charming read that's the perfect balance between magical and deeply grounded.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Furkan Danny

    Charming in many ways.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ellen Whittet

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Steil

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jack Shackles

  16. 5 out of 5

    Hayley

  17. 4 out of 5

    Idee Edalatishams

  18. 5 out of 5

    Anne

  19. 5 out of 5

    Rosemary

  20. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kim

  22. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Cheresnick

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sara Thomas

  25. 4 out of 5

    Adrienne

  26. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

  27. 4 out of 5

    BookPulse

  28. 5 out of 5

    Maggie Harris

  29. 5 out of 5

    Erin Somers

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Oertel

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