The Iraqi Christ by Hassan Blasim Jonathan Wright Online

The Iraqi Christ
Title : The Iraqi Christ
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781905583522
Language : English
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 140

A soldier with the ability to predict the future finds himself blackmailed by an insurgent into the ultimate act of terror…A deviser of crosswords survives a car-bomb attack, only to discover he is now haunted by one of its victims…Fleeing a robbery, a Baghdad shopkeeper falls into a deep hole, at the bottom of which sits a djinni and the corpse of a soldier from a completA soldier with the ability to predict the future finds himself blackmailed by an insurgent into the ultimate act of terror…A deviser of crosswords survives a car-bomb attack, only to discover he is now haunted by one of its victims…Fleeing a robbery, a Baghdad shopkeeper falls into a deep hole, at the bottom of which sits a djinni and the corpse of a soldier from a completely different war…From legends of the desert to horrors of the forest, Blasim’s stories blend the fantastic with the everyday, the surreal with the all-too-real. Taking his cues from Kafka, his prose shines a dazzling light into the dark absurdities of Iraq’s recent past and the torments of its countless refugees. The subject of this, his second collection, is primarily trauma and the curious strategies human beings adopt to process it (including, of course, fiction). The result is a masterclass in metaphor – a new kind of story-telling, forged in the crucible of war, and just as shocking.


The Iraqi Christ Reviews

  • Richard Derus

    Rating: 3* of fiveThe Publisher Says: A soldier with the ability to predict the future finds himself blackmailed by an insurgent into the ultimate act of terror…A deviser of crosswords survives a car-bomb attack, only to discover he is now haunted by one of its victims…Fleeing a robbery, a Baghdad shopkeeper falls into a deep hole, at the bottom of which sits a djinni and the corpse of a soldier from a completely different war…From legends of the desert to horrors of the forest, Blasim’s [...]

  • Bjorn

    On a bus in Helsinki, a bearded man from the Middle East somewhere sits reading a book with Arabic lettering. After whispering amongst themselves, one of the passengers eventually works up the courage to ask him if he's reading the Quran. The presumed terrorist tries to look as friendly as he can when explains (yet again) that no, he's reading Kafka in Arabic translation. This isn't an episode from The Iraqi Christ (though a similar one pops up), but something Blasim mentioned in a talk I saw hi [...]

  • Antonomasia

    This is the first 2014 IFFP book which has a fascinating strangeness similar to the Best Translated Book Award listed titles. Hassan Blasim's (and I'd guess the real) Iraq is like a fictional dystopia - except it's not fictional. None of that overly familiar creeping ominousness technique as an author slowly pulls the curtain back on more invented horrors: no need for silly games here, all this is part of every day life. I've never read any modern Arabic fiction before so I'm going to sound like [...]

  • Neva

    Ще разбера който го хареса. Ще разбера и който не го хареса. Лична живописна волност с обществените фондове на черната мъка е това. Мисля си, че хората са доста чувствителни към отношението към мъката: повечето са убедени, че около нея трябва да се кротува в тих полумрак. В кр [...]

  • Nadia

    What the fuck did I just read? What?There's probably enough magic realism in this that I could justify putting it on the SFF shelf but for now I think I just need some time to process it.Blasim's also editing an anthology of stories set in Iraq 2103 that's supposed to come out next year, I'll definitely be picking that up.

  • Srđan Vidrić

    "Irački Hristos" je druga po redu zbirka priča (prva je "Ludak sa Trga slobode" - obe je objavila beogradska Geopoetika u prevodu Srpka Leštarića) iračkog pisca i reditelja Hasana Blasima. Za ovu knjigu autor je dobio nagradu lista "Indipendet" za najbolju beletrističku knjigu na stranom jeziku. Zbirku čini jedanaest priča koje u sebi sabiraju sav tragizam arapskog života. Blasim je veoma poetički osvešćen pisac što se vidi po formi, stilu i metatekstualnim komentarima unutar pojedi [...]

  • Amal El-Mohtar

    This rating reflects effectiveness and skill more than my enjoyment.It's a harrowing collection of short fictions in which relentlessly dreadful things happen and strip people of their humanity and dignity in plain-spoken matter-of-fact ways. It's agonizing to read. But it was interesting also to feel the undercurrent of Arabic beneath the translation, and even when some of the fantasy devices seemed cliché to me, the feeling of them being spoken in Arabic, in a different context of literary in [...]

  • Jennifer

    It was a strange collection of short stories, passed off as fantasy. I guess maybe there were some fanciful things, but the subject matter and underlying themes deal with the brutality of war. I could only read this in small doses. Like one story every few months. I can only imagine what it must mean to be an author and your cannot be/or isn't published in your own country.

  • Viktoria

    обожавам тази поредица <3

  • Kalina

    В торбата с шарени бонбони на "Кратки разкази завинаги" Хáсан Блáсим е лакриц.

  • Jelena

    Sudbina likova koji kroz ovozemaljski zivot u svojoj zemlji iskuse pakao. Svakodnevne razarujuce bombe, kidnapovanja, mucenja, gradjanski rat, korupcija, krijumcarenje ljudi, glad, sverc vode a tek posljedice svega togaPredjeli gdje je krhki mir samo uspavani vulkan.Zadnja prica koja nosi naziv 1001 noz je sigurno tu da na trenutak podsjeti citaoca na onaj Bagdad koji je nekad bio mjesto desavanja nekih bajkovitih i zavodljivih avantura iz 1001 noci, a danas vec nekih mnogo tragicnijih.

  • Liam

    An admirable collection of short stories which paints a vivid, disturbing and horrific depiction of a fragmented Iraq whose war wounds are exposed forthrightly by Blasim. At the same time many of the stories are bordering on the surreal, involving magic, mysteries and beguiling symbolism, rendering the stories extremely thought provoking and often giving them a discomforting quality for the reader. My first furrow into Iraqi literature left me intrigued, wanted more and it is a collection that i [...]

  • Vilis

    Viegli sirreāli brutāli stāsti ar mirušiem afgāņiem, džiniem, spridzināšanos un vienkāršu fantastiku. Kad piedur - un tā ir ar lielāko daļu grāmatas gabalu - sanāk tāds kā patiešām lasāms (nevis burtojams) Einfelds.

  • Alan

    this one looks intriguing, but a bit worried by the violence in it (going by the review I read), eg: 'A Pakistani asylum seeker is conned by his fellow workers into putting his arm into a barrel of setting concrete so that they can rape him.'

  • Рени Бакалова

    “Иракският Христос” на Хасан Бласим (изд. “Жанет 45, 2016, превод: Мая Ценова) е втората книга на автора, събрала в себе си, също както и предходната му, “Лудият от площад свобода”, едни различни разкази за света на войната и последиците от нея. Наричам ги различни съвсем нароч [...]

  • DubaiReader

    Short stories.This is a series of thirteen short stories mostly based in Iraq, though a few are based in Finland, where the author now lives. After an initial reading I was left with a sense of horror and shock at the level of violence portrayed. Fortunately, this was a book group read and it certainly helped to be able to discuss the narratives with others, which gave some context to the metaphors that I had missed or misunderstood.It's an interesting mix of stories, some have an element of mag [...]

  • Naeem

    Blasim's short stories are disturbing, difficult to understand, and hard to put down. The form of his stories perhaps tells as much about contemporary Iraq as the content. I would say that his bizarre, unpredictable, and jagged style is an acquired taste. I would compare him to Saadat Hasan Manto, who also is fearless in getting to the point. Except Manto is more lyrical and allows you inside his prose. Blasim seems almost indifferent to his reader, seeming not to care if he has provided enough. [...]

  • Tristan Egarr

    I have an annoying suspicion that this book is actually very good, and that I have just failed to read it carefully enough to grasp what, exactly, was the point of each story. Blasim is very overt about attempting to follow in Kafka's footsteps, essentially taking Kafka's approach to the short story and adapting it to war-torn contemporary Iraq. There were some great images in here, but I felt like none of the stories went anywhere. However, it may just be that he was being very oblique, so I wi [...]

  • Elen Ghulam

    Dark. Think charcoal covered with tar, served on a black plate to be eaten in the dark and you will begin to approach the starkness covered in this collection of short stories. I could only read a few pages in one sitting and considered quitting it on several occasions. I enjoyed the style of writing which is not plot driven. The author paints a portrait and then embellishes details with finer brush strokes as things progress. I confess to not understanding the story about the man who falls in a [...]

  • Dario Malic

    Blasim nam u ovoj knjizi približava stvarne iračke užase kroz pomalo nestvarne priče koje, bar za mene, tek ponekad funkcioniraju. Priklanjanje svojevrsnom magičnom realizmu mi nimalo ne smeta, dapače, no tek sam u jednoj priči uspio i osjetiti tu magiju, kao i uopće išta osjetiti. Naime, užasi o kojima Blasim progovara suviše su slični onima koji se svaki dan mogu vidjeti na vijestima iz cijeloga svijeta. To su užasi zbog kojih smo se već bezbroj puta naježili, koji su nam već u [...]

  • Denzil

    Excellent little book. Mainly about the effects of modern war on the individual, either still living in the war torn country or getting away from there. Done in a very unsentimental style from all different viewpoints with some very graffic scenes. Each story is both very realistic and rather surreal in a Kafka/Murrakami way.

  • Nelson Lowhim

    Brilliant, haunting. My kind of book. Blasim writes in a very straightforward prose, though he paints pictures that don't always make sense at first glance. Some stories didn't really click, but the ones that did man did they soar. Savor this book, possibly with a glass or bottle of whiskey.

  • Björn H

    Novellerna i Hassan Blasims Irakisk Kristus rör sig oftast kring Irak, härjat (eller härjas, beroende på vilken tid novellen utspelar sig) av krig, självmordsbombare och annat. Blasim har jämförts med Franz Kafkas och Jorges Luis Borges verk. Det ligger något i det. Det finns en Kafka-artat stämning i flera noveller, en viss meningslöshet inför en märklig samtid och det absurda med krigföring. Borges influens syns mer i den magiska realismen. Det är här som Blasim fungerar bäst. [...]

  • Jan Kjellin

    Jag hatar verkligen när jag inte kan sätta en ordentligare etikett på en läst bok än "övrig prosa". Å andra sidan finns det inget vettigt i att hitta på nya etiketter om de bara kommer omfatta en bok.Det om det och om . Det här ska ju faktiskt vara en text om texten. Novellerna i den här samlingen går verkligen att, som baksidestexten utlovar, hänvisa till som både "magisk realism" och en samtida arabisk sagotradition, även om novellerna på det stora hela taget rör sig i en åtmi [...]

  • Farya

    I think this is the preceding piece of Blasim's 'The Corpse Exhibition' although I read them the other way around. Many of the stories are repeated here as in the other so not worth reading both. The titular piece isa spectacular piece about a christlike suicide bomber. Hassan Blasim's style is mesmerising - the stories have so much subtext and parallel readings that they are well worth a more concerted study by anyone interested in the genres and writings from this region.

  • Megan Edgar

    Well written and translated, this book shows a side of Iraq that we do not often see in the media. Heavy use of mysticism and fantasy, but in a way that still allows the reader to learn about what life is like in the war stricken cities of Iraq, this book is not only entertaining, but gruesome (which is why I haven't given it five stars, as I am not fond of over descriptive accounts of death) and gritty and real and brings both humanity and attention to those that live in these conditions.

  • Nigel McFarlane

    For me, these stories meandered rather aimlessly between magical realism and death, and often failed to reach any satisfying conclusion. Only one story - the Green Zone Rabbit - really hit the spot. Four stars for the rabbit's egg, but the rest were disappointing.

  • Dafne Flego

    2.5I recognize the importance of the subject matter, and I really wished to rate the book higher, but I guess I just couldn't stomach the violence which is kind of the point?

  • Lulu

    Beautiful, bright, savage and very moving. I loved these stories.

  • iitu

    yllätyshuikea