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The Unknown Terrorist by Richard Flanagan

The Unknown Terrorist (2006)

by Richard Flanagan

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One of those books that it is difficult to put down. Doll, the pole-dancer, is the victim in a society corrupted by power and money. It's a bIt more interesting than that though. ( )
  jon1lambert | Feb 20, 2016 |
This was a pretty disappointing read given how much I've enjoyed everything else Flanagan has written. The problem is the politics of it (which I broadly agree with) are so overt and unsubtle and, at the end of the day, unbelievable. It feels like a screed disguised as a novel, with too-obvious villains and over the top cynicism. I recognise and sympathise with the anger that drives the book, but, as a novel, it's a pretty limited. ( )
1 vote mjlivi | Feb 2, 2016 |
To say that I was disappointed with this novel would be an understatement. After enjoying Flanagan's amazing Gould's Book of Fish I expected a similar performance. That did not occur and this novel is pedestrian at best. Although the basic outlines of this story come from Heinrich Böll’s novel “The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum,” written in response to the terrorism scares that Germany suffered in the late 1960s and ’70s, Mr. Flanagan has turned the story into a meditation upon the post-9/11 world, a globalized world in which fear is a valued commodity for terrorists and governments alike, a world in which rumors and misinformation circumnavigate the globe in the flash of an eye, and narratives replace facts and truths. While the plot was nicely paced the writing and characterization was barely adequate and his attempt at a message suffered as a result. I hope that Flanagan's next novel returns to the quality of his earlier work. ( )
  jwhenderson | Jan 6, 2016 |
loved this novel about "the doll" and her dancing and her absolute desperateness in her life , she inadvertently becomes involved in a one night stand with a "terrorist" who is then murdered the next day , and then her tale of her survival and in the end demise , brilliantly described . ( )
  Suzannie1 | Mar 4, 2015 |
A young woman suddenly finds herself a suspect in a terrorism case in an Australia that has instituted draconian terrorism laws. She is presumed guilty be the media, and consequently by the rest of the society. It is important to consider where we are heading regarding terrorism, etc., but the moral lessons are here way too spelled out - long passages describing how the protagonist now that she is treated unfairly comes to realize that was how she used to treat others, etc. And there is a caricature villain from the media. Not recommended. ( )
  ohernaes | Feb 24, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0802118518, Hardcover)

From the internationally acclaimed author of Gould’s Book of Fish comes an astonishing new novel, a riveting portrayal of a society driven by fear. What would you do if you turned on the television and saw you were the most wanted terrorist in the country? Gina Davies is about to find out when, after a night spent with an attractive stranger, she becomes a prime suspect in the investigation of an attempted terrorist attack. In The Unknown Terrorist , one of the most brilliant writers working in the English language today turns his attention to the most timely of subjects — what our leaders tell us about the threats against us, and how we cope with living in fear. Chilling, impossible to put down, and all too familiar, The Unknown Terrorist is a relentless tour de force that paints a devastating picture of a contemporary society gone haywire, where the ceaseless drumbeat of terror alert levels, newsbreaks, and fear of the unknown pushes a nation ever closer to the breaking point.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:49 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

After an ill-advised one-night stand, an exotic dancer finds herself a terrorism suspect, which sends her on the run. The public (especially the media) seems more interested in maintaining an elevated level of fear than in learning the truth.

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