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The House of the Mosque (2005)

by Kader Abdolah

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,2245412,224 (3.99)78
Welcome to the house of the mosque . . . Iran, 1950. Spring has arrived, and as the women prepare the festivities, Sadiq waits for a suitor to knock on the door. Her uncle Nosrat returns from Tehran with a glamorous woman, while on the rooftop, Shahbal longs only for a television to watch the first moon landing. But not even the beloved grandmothers can foresee what will happen in the days and months to come. The household is set to experience great love and loss as it opens the doors to faith and politics. In this uplifting bestseller, Kader Abdolah charts the triumphs and tragedies of a family on the brink of revolution.… (more)
  1. 10
    Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi (souloftherose)
    souloftherose: Both books show the effects of the Iranian Revolution of 1979 on Iranian families. The House of the Mosque shows its effect on a Muslim family whereas Persepolis shows its effect on a more secular family. Both authors are writing from their own experience… (more)
  2. 10
    A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini (sanddancer)
  3. 00
    De overgave by Arthur Japin (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: Beide boeken vertellen over een manier van leven
  4. 00
    The Blood of Flowers by Anita Amirrezvani (sanddancer)
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» See also 78 mentions

English (27)  Dutch (19)  Spanish (4)  Danish (2)  Italian (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (54)
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
The title of this book reflects the story within. The house of the mosque contains a large extended family who having responsibilities connected to the mosque. The book opens in the 1960's and takes the reader through to contemporary times, against a changing social and political backdrop. The events have a major impact on the various family members and it is with great difficulty that the recognized head of the household, Aqa Jaan, tries to support and steer his family through these turbulent times.
I loved this book and often found myself googling the various historical figures, places and events to further my knowledge. I felt I completed this book with a far greater understanding of the Iranian people and their country. ( )
  HelenBaker | Jul 24, 2019 |
What a great book. It tells the story of an Iranian family at the end of the 1970s - early 1980s, how the revolution affects their lives, their perspective and their future. The language is quite simple and subdued but the message comes across beautifully. Although it's more of a chronicle of a family than it is plot-driven, this book carefully dissects the customs, daily life and interaction between people, the impact of the decisions made by individuals, the way people change under stress, how the country changed almost overnight and how it was perceived by the Iranian people. It gave me new insights into the history of Iran and the muslim-world and it made me curious to find out more about Iran. Highly recommended if you like historical fiction based on true facts. ( )
  Trifolia | Mar 15, 2018 |
Kader Abdolah is a pen-name, constructed from the names of two of the author’s friends murdered in the troubles surrounding the Islamic Revolution in Iran. This is my second experience of his writing, the first being Cunéiforme (My Father’s Notebook) and I conclude he will come to be recognised as a great and subtle writer. Right now his books are slow to appear in English.

This is a book by an exile who loves the country he fled. He writes with a light touch, spanning decades and giving us a view of the country during both the Shah’s reign and the Khomeini years from the point of view of the peaceful head of a household who is repeatedly drawn by family members into confrontation with the authorities. The disgraceful conduct of America in supporting the Shah’s regime and in supporting Saddam Hussein’s savage chemical war gets a restrained and honest airing in the book.

It’s so easy to dismiss Iran, based on the country as reported to us in the evening news. Read this book for an entirely new perspective on a dignified and cultivated people living under two consecutive intolerable regimes. ( )
  tchelyzt | Jul 15, 2017 |
An exceptional story that takes the reader from the brink of revolution in Iran to its aftermath. ( )
  elizapoppy | Sep 25, 2015 |
"Now, for the first time, the family's foe was Islam itself", February 26, 2015

This review is from: The House of the Mosque (Paperback)
Opening in 1950, in the city of Senejan, this story tells the recent history of Iran by following a fictional extended family through the years and the impact that politics had on everyday people.
The family are conservative in outlook, somewhat disapproving of the Shah's regime where women in big cities wear western dress, and America exerts an unseen influence. Yet they are far removed from the extremism which is starting to take hold in the 'religious' centres. As Ayatollah Khomeini seizes power, the evil of fundamentalism starts to become apparent.
If this makes Abdolah's novel sound like a dry political novel, that is far from the case, for this is primarily a family saga; headed by carpet merchant, Aqa Jaan, this highly readable novel features marriage, birth and death - and tragedy. Beautiful descriptions of the country bring to life a place that readers in the West tend to equate merely with war.
I have learnt so much from reading this - and enjoyed every minute. ( )
  starbox | Feb 26, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
Abdolah might say that he is offering a fabulous alternative to history, suited to a busy international taste nourished by Louis de Bernières and the Latin American school. Yet in Iran, where the government insists, for example, that protester Neda Agha Soltan was shot by her friends, there is already more than enough fable.
 
Abdolah's juxtapositions - the spiritual and the earthly, myth and reality - give the story a powerful irony. Khomeini is, in 1979, a hero, we are reminded, before he becomes the villain. He offers Iran salvation from the tyrannical whimsies of the Shah. By the end, the freedom fighters are the new tyrants. Abdolah lathers the story with an almost deliberate nostalgia, choosing not to drive recent history into the present day. Instead, he presents just the nascent phases of the revolution and the wide-eyed innocence of those, such as Aqa Jaan, who held such high hopes for all it could have been.
 

» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kader Abdolahprimary authorall editionscalculated
Massotty, SusanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Nun, wa alqalame wa ma yastorun.

By the pen and by what you write.

The Pen surah
'Bij de pen en bij wat je ermee schrijft'-de Pen
Dedication
To Aqa Jaan, so I can let him go
Aan Aga Djan om hem te laten gaan
First words
There was once a house, and old house, which was known as 'the house of the Mosque'. It was a large house with thirty-five rooms.
Alef Lam Miem. Er was eens een huis, een oud huis, dat ´het huis van de moskee´ heette.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Welcome to the house of the mosque . . . Iran, 1950. Spring has arrived, and as the women prepare the festivities, Sadiq waits for a suitor to knock on the door. Her uncle Nosrat returns from Tehran with a glamorous woman, while on the rooftop, Shahbal longs only for a television to watch the first moon landing. But not even the beloved grandmothers can foresee what will happen in the days and months to come. The household is set to experience great love and loss as it opens the doors to faith and politics. In this uplifting bestseller, Kader Abdolah charts the triumphs and tragedies of a family on the brink of revolution.

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Book description
Hús moskunnar eftir Kader Abdolah er átakanleg en hlý frásögn af örlögum einnar fjölskyldu og um leið heillar þjóðar á umbrotatímum.Nútíminn ber að dyrum í Íran eftir aldalanga stöðnun. Undir kyrrlátu yfirborðinu, á bak við blæjurnar og innan moskunnar leynast draumar og vonir, ástríður og ólgandi tilfinningar.Þegar heittrúarbylgja skellur á landinu, hláturinn þagnar og skothríð tekur við af bænakalli bregðast íbúarnir í Húsi moskunnar við á ólíkan hátt; sumir beygja sig undir ofurvald klerkanna, aðrir rísa upp til varnar og gjalda fyrir með frelsi sínu og lífi – og svo eru þeir sem ganga ógnarstjórninni á hönd og gerast skósveinar hennar og refsinornir.Höfundurinn, Kader Abdolah, fæddist og ólst upp í Íran en flúði land og hefur búið í Hollandi frá 1988. Hús moskunnar varð margföld metsölubók þar í landi og var valin árið 2008 sem önnur besta bókin sem skrifuð hefur verið á hollensku.
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Canongate Books

2 editions of this book were published by Canongate Books.

Editions: 184767240X, 1847672418

 

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