Book Pairings: 1984

The world is crazy. The news are crazy. More and more it feels like we are headed to a 1984 world. If you loved Orwell’s classic “1984” as much as me, you’d love Nihad Sirees’ “The Silence and The Roar”.

This is the story of Fathi Sheen, a famous writer in an unnamed Arab country (that sounds a lot like Syria but could really be any Arab country pre-Arab Spring) that has been silenced by the ruling party for refusing to sing the dictator’s praises. On his way to visit his mother, he finds himself in the middle of a match and has his ID confiscated by the police. What follows is a hilarious, kafka-esque, series of absurd events.

This is a masterly narrated political satire. It is beautiful and funny (and quite sexy, like soap-opera steamy). It greatly captures the difficulties of those wanting to remain independent in a regime that seeks to silence individuality.


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