Porochista Khakpour ¼ 2 Read & downloadCan landscape comes later than adolescence or even our mid twenties Khakpour s Xerxes is at times despicable endearingpitifulrage inducingand tterly without tools in a modernized world that reuires a hefty wrench and "PHILLIP S SCREWDRIVER RAISED IN LOS "s screwdriver Raised in Los socially isolated and preternaturally aware of the differences between himself and his peers in sunny LA Xerxes manages his angst with I Love Jeanie choreographed coughing designed to ease awkwardness with his parents and a plan to escape to anywhere which eventually lands him in New York When trauma hits in the form of 911 Xerxes fear fear of his difference being revealed his own dull awareness of self destructive tendencies and loneliness fold him into a downward spiral The novel opens on the Adam family as Darius Adam Xerxes father tries to save Save themselves in the end via saving the spring s batch of blue jays who had suddenly in their cheery oblivious way taken residence among the palms and oaks of their conflicted suburban California neighborhood This incident Darius trying to save the birds becomes the trigger for the disintegration of the relationship between father and son It also provides the central allegory in the novel birds the Understanding Yandere Lovers universal symbol of freedom here also reference the Persian mythology of Simorgh an ancient flying creature The larger allegory suggests as does the title that children are flammable objects serving as the family phoenix rising from the ashes of destruction but they may also fail tonderstand their parents and themselves burning in their own rebirth It s been suggested that Sons is reminiscent of Zadie Smth s White Teeth I found this comparison distracting It is a disservice to both authors My assumption is that in the publishing world Zadie Smith is shorthand for multicultural genre It is true that both Smith and Khakpour focus on the family tableaux and both have written characters Smith in The Autograph Man obsessed with blonde beauties as a way to escape ethnic differenceIt is also true that with Sons Khakpour reveals an enviable talent at nearly the same age as Smith s debut But Sons is much too non linear to be likened to Smith Sons can be described as debut But Sons is much too non linear to be likened to Smith Sons can be described as of the literary progeny of two Hermans Wouk for humor and Melville for the expansive attempt to capture a moment in American history that reflects a greater commentary on diversity belonging nation building violence and personal identity Sons is a complex novel that does not adhere to a linear psychological development of
"characters like many "Like many novels Khakpour would have benefited from disciplined editing the book is simply too long and in places could be far focused Readers will need vigor to nderstand the witty asides metaphors and character development I am glad that writers like Khakpour recognize and claim 911 and the resulting realignments and fear as one of our new century s greatest human narrative arcs I am glad that an Iranian American woman s voice has been added to these discussions and conversations Too often in the US we see Middle Eastern women as those to be liberated not as those who in fact have nuanced powerful funny leaning toward biting and liberating messages This was a random sed bookstore find which can be great or still I mean I hate hate hate the hype machine I hate manufactured buzz I hate the assumption that large print runs large fan base a necessarily superior book But sometimes The books that don t get the buzz and the fame really just aren t as good And this is one of themThe book started out very impressive Porochista s got a lovely way with words with long twisty metaphor heavy sentences She creates a very good sense of place There are only a few characters and they re very developed It s mainly just a family husband wife kid Iranian refugees in LA Everything that happens has a lot of gravitas all these background and foreground stories where you know she worked really hard to sculpt and craft them so they would be complex and shiny and resonant But Brothers um and this is a criticism I would not have expected from myself that shit becomes really tiresome after a couple. T he is different¡ªwith annderstanding of his Iranian heritage that vacillates from typical teenage embarrassment to something so tragic it can barely be spoken His father Darius obsesses over his sense of exile and fantasizes about a nonexistent daughter he can relate to better than his living son; Xerxes' mother changes her name and tries to make friends; but neither of them can. I have never read a book that provided so many characters interior monologues and come away knowing so little about them I am baffled by this book by the disassociation that seems to exist between the author s words and the things they describe much than the purposeful and situational disassociation of the characters from the situational disassociation of the characters from the they lovedAnd the end at the airport with character D and character S oh that was just creepy An incredibly overlooked novel from 10 years ago that might in the era of Trump find itself coming back into relevance SONS AND OTHER FLAMMABLE OBJECTS centers around the relationship "Between A Father Darius And "a father Darius and son Xerxes in a Persian American familyKhakpour in the tradition of Zadie Smith gives s a long novel with a simple enough plot the Adams move from Iran to America They all have difficulty adjusting especially the patriarch Darius This breeds a bad home situation and eventually Darius son Xerxes grows p moves from his LA to New York and refuses to speak to his fath I m skimming through the reviews and somehow managed the opposite reactions of most people here Properly loved the writing style didn t find it at all tedious For writing that is so wordy I appreciated that it wasn t overly flowery and to an extent was written as realistically as someone might speak That said I felt this book was at its best in its first half the thoughtful and relatively plotless half It hit a weak spot when the author s bitterness toward money began to show referring to the point at which we meet Suzanne s family The pper class family that has enough money to not appreciate gifts and that tosses around casual racism when no one s around I get the bitterness but it got too obviously personal here and the family was written as an easy stereotype I held my breath while hoping that the story wouldn t end the easy way out with a plane crash and was relieved that it didn t I was also glad that 911 was not a focal point though the political tension surrounding racereligion after 911 was what made the story s conclusion possible So everything here did in fact happen for a reasonAll of the characters in this book were difficult to like but had very realistic elements so I suppose it did a good job of touching on how nlikable real people can be and how that La muralla verde uality has to start somewhere You know what was also refreshing Seeing LA not painted in a glamorous light I partly grewp in the same LA suburb that Porochista Khakpour grew The New Competition up in I know exactly what neighborhood Lala and Darius were supposed to be living in and she perfectly captured the ho humnremarkable Domestic Slavery Considered as a Scriptural Institution by Francis Wayland and Richard Fuller uality of it I had a hard time caring for any of the characters in this book They were a dysfunctional family but with no redeemingalities I do not think that the dysfunction was from being immigrants I think the characters were already dysfunctional I know there was a lot of angst for the son growing p in 2 cultures He felt that he didn t want anything to do with his birth culture or parents he also felt the American culture didn t want anything to do with him The real problems throughout were obviously the relationships or lack of them between the triangle of father son mother Second time reading *Again I Don T *I don t nderstand why people haven t read this book it s really fantastic Very carefully written the prose is beautiful and the story rewards multiple reads I m teaching it this semester to students who for the most part don t read for pleasure and many of them have told me how much they ve been enjoying it Sons and Other Flammable Objects revolves around the life of the Adam properly pronounced Odd damn as some of the wittiest writing in the novel explains family The novel focuses with laser like Children of the New World uality on the life of Xerxes Adam the wayward confused bicultural Iranian American son whose obsessions with Barbara Eden mediocrity a desperate desire to assimilate and determination never to return to his family ground the novelSons is a modern day bildungsroman albeit one that takes place well into the character s adulthood suggesting that growingp in our post 911 multicultural Ameri. Compared by Danzy Senna to the young Philip Roth for her lashing dark humor tinged with deep melancholy Porochista Khakpour is one of her generation's most outrageously gifted new talents Sons and Other Flammable Objects is at once a comedy and a tragedy a family history and a modern coming of age story with a distinctly timeless resonanceGrowing p Xerxes Adam is painfully aware tha. Hundred pages The sentences just get longer and longer and less and less comprehensible if you re not giving 100% concentration And the dramatic buildup is just way overdone after a while especially because she
does this really weird thing where she overexplains and overexpositions all this buildup to a mini climaxthis really weird thing where she overexplains and overexpositions all this buildup to a mini climax everyone s mental
PROCESSES BEFORE AND DURING A CONVERSATION GOING ON ANDbefore and during a conversation going on and about the symbolism and people s histories and what led them to the point where they are sitting in this specific place having this specific conversation where everything is about to go horribly wrong it s coming the horribly wrong thing the conversation is given in snippets interspersed with yet exposition and thought and history wait we re almost to the point where the Bad Thing gets said and lots bad things will happen as a result of this and let me tell you something about them and that no but really they re opening their mouths the Bad Thing is coming in just like a microsecondAnd then a section break and we are in a different city watching someone else do something totally different Which I guess is a tactic for like suspense writers But this is literary fiction and the Bad Thing is like a two minute exchange between a father and a son and it s going to be fifty pages ntil I find out what was actually "said That is so fucking annoying And on some of those mini climaxes she doesn t actually ever detail the Bad "That is so fucking annoying And on some of those mini climaxes she doesn t actually ever detail the Bad or she kind of hints at it but then it s hard for me to even get why the Bad Thing is so bad actually Shit I have to leave More laterOkay But before I continue bashing poor Porochista I have to say another thing that I m surprised to hear myself admit this is the very first literary treatment of September 11th that has not made me enraged Let me see if I can explain why that is First of all it s not screamed about on the back cover nor is it at treated like it s the main focus of the book nor is it lazily inserted as a shorthand for a certain time and place and all the feelings that go along with that nor is it a bid for sympathy or seriousness on the part of an author who deserves neither Instead it is seamlessly and RELEVANTLY woven into the story a story let me say again of a by this point twenty something Iranian born guy living in New York whose life is shitty and The Rabbit Who Wants to Go to Harvard uncertain and miserable and who has not spoken to his father who lives in California still in like five years or his mother in over a year So this is an important plot device because of course only the most heartless kid would not call his parents to tell them that he s alive on the afternoon of September 11th which of course allows the story to move on from talking and thinking about not talking into thinking about and actually talking again So props for that But all the same meh This is not a terrific book It s too long it s too wordy and despite all the over description I still never really felt like Inderstood the characters who all did a lot of strange and wrong things that I would not have expected None of them are really very sympathetic or likable Things are not resolved for all that they are exhaustively describedOh and I just now noticed that the cover endorsement is from Joshua Ferris I should have fucking known I had a really hard time getting into this book because of the author s writing style And on top of it I just didn t really like any of the characters very much I couldn t get into this book and eventually gave Quantum (Captain Chase up I have to give this book 5 stars because Porochista is my hag but it s also a really REALLY good book I m really inspired and impressed It took me a while to get into her narrative style but once it clicked it was like Porochista was reading to me making me laugh with her wisecracks hilarious asides and turns of phrase Hers isite a Introduction to Mythology uniue voice Apart from what you ve probably read in other reviews the thing that touched me most about this book was the way Porochista so sensetively and with great insight portrayed the fragility and complexity of the father son relationship Not an easy thing to do but she hit it absolutely on the nail Nuff respec. Help their son 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.