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Prayers for the Assassin: A Novel Hardcover – February 21, 2006


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; First Edition edition (February 21, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743272897
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743272896
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (118 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #580,093 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Taking post-9/11 conspiracy theories that blamed the attacks on Zionist agents as the seed for this unusual thriller, Ferrigno (The Wake-Up) posits a nuclear terrorist onslaught in 2015 on New York City, Washington, D.C., and Mecca that has all the earmarks of a Mossad operation. The blue states are moved by these horrors to convert to Islam, while the red states break away from the Islamic Republic, forming a Christian republic in the South. By 2040, three major parties struggle for control in the Islamic Republic: the moderate State Security forces, under Redbeard; the Black Robes, a fundamentalist religious police force; and the top-secret Assassins, under the Old One. When Sarah Dougan, Redbeard's niece and a respected historian, reinvestigates the 2015 attack for a new book, The Zionist Betrayal?, the Old One sics his deadliest assassin on her. Running from Seattle to Vegas, Sarah has a protector in her lover, an ex-fedayeen soldier named Rakkim Epps, whose agnostic POV anchors the novel. Fans of instapundit politics will love this thriller, which has the cinematic motion and atrocity F/X of a good airport read. However, Ferrigno's gimmick—the transformation of America into a cartoon version of Islam—lends the proceedings a damaging air of implausibility. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Bookmarks Magazine

Prayers marks a departure for Ferrigno, whose previous books focused on life in contemporary Southern California. In Ferrigno's neo-Orwellian world, Mount Rushmore has disappeared, LAX has become Bin Laden International, and midday prayers interrupt the Super Bowl. Critics expressed different ideas about the plot, using words such as "preposterous," "credible," and even "ordinary" to describe it. There's no doubt, however, that Ferrigno raises important questions about religious freedom while handling the subject of Islamic faith with great insight and evenhandedness. If the plot sometimes overwhelms character development, he still allows his creations to air their own opinions without moralizing. In sum: a fast-paced thriller with timely appeal.

Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.

Customer Reviews

Fast read. and very interesting premise.
honker
The book has a good dose of education as there is much presented about the religion of Islam, daily practices and Islam's world view.
Southern Train
Besides the stilted prose and wretched dialog, there are too many bits that just don't work.
Ossian

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

94 of 102 people found the following review helpful By Brian Baker VINE VOICE on February 10, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I won't rehash the storyline here; you can read that in the publishing reviews.

I will preface by saying that I spent five years living in the Middle East, and I have to say that based on my experience Ferrigno accurately captures the mind-set and atmosphere that pervades societies run by Muslim theocrats.

This book should serve as a wake-up call for those who value traditional Western values in today's atmosphere of radical Islamo-fascism. In that respect it's very Orwellian.

But better still, there's a really good story wrapped into this package, and I jammed through this book very quickly. The characters are fully fleshed out, engaging, and believable. You really like the good guys, and hate the bad guys. Darwin, the "Assasin", is a terrific villain; complex, many-faceted, extremely dangerous; kind of an athletic Hannibal Lechter without the medical degree. The plot is tight, complex and believable; the climax is satisfying.

I really recommend this book. Ferrigno's done a great job, and this has prompted me to see if he's written other books which I haven't yet read so I can get hold of them.
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31 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Caesar Warrington on April 13, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Robert Ferrigno does make some glaring mistakes in his presentation of Islam. In the new society it seems as if he freely mixes Sunni and Shi'ite together, naming an airport after Khomeini (a Shi'ite), yet using the term, "imam" in the Sunni sense of the word. And Ferringno clearly has little understanding of the exclusively Shi'ite practice of "muta'a" ("pleasure marriage" or temporary marriage). There is more to Shi'ite temporary marriage than Ferrigno has it with johns driving into the ruins of Disneyland, banging hookers and when finished merely pronouncing three times: "I divorce thee." Muta'a is not condoned or practiced by the world's majority Sunni Muslim community. Even most Shi'ites today are embarrassed of it. As for calling the headscarf "habib," Ferrigno never called it any such thing! The term he uses is "hajib" which is probably an honest to goodness typo for "hijab" (by the way, "hajib" was the term used for a court official in Muslim Spain and North Africa).

I believe the previous reviewer is trying to make Ferrigno out as some sort of bigot or islamophobe. I don't see it. Rather, although there is harsh prejudice against the remaining Catholic minority, he shows that the majority of Americans in the world of PRAYERS FOR THE ASSASSIN are now Muslims and they just want to live their lives in peace and happiness. That is why there is a small faction of hardliners (the Dark Robes) trying to impose a Talibani style of society and also why you have the Hasan-i-Sabah wannabe, the "Old One" conspiring to bring about the rebirth of the Caliphate. Let us also not forget that the heroes of this story, Rakkim and Sarah, are both proud Muslims.

All that being said, let me just add that this is still one fantastic novel.
Read more ›
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58 of 71 people found the following review helpful By Maureen Zimmerman on February 8, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I read this book in 2 days, couldn't put it down, or shut up about it!If you enjoyed "The Handmaid's Tale" by Attwood, you'll recognize the world tipped on it's head, though with even greater horror and worse, the very real plausibity of it! Just look around and watch the Islamic world riot and terrorize and threaten beheadings for caricatures/cartoons published in Denmark, and listen for the moderate islamic voices--they're no where to be found. You'll love the strong characters who stay with you long after you've finished reading. You will also no longer view current world events in the same way. You will shudder at the looming possibity. Another fun task I had was looking for areas that seem like "clues" for a message hidden in the "mistakes" in the text. I'm reading the book again with a closer eye toward this. Such as the character Marian on one page being referred to as Miriam on the page opposite; and the scene in the roller rink described on the left hand page and the character sliding on the ice on the opposite page; then further down the page going back and referring to the singing wheels on the skates! No way is this a sloppy book. I'm having great fun with it. Haven't enjoyed a book like this in quite awhile. So I'm off to buy 4 more books to give to friends.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Bill Pullman on February 17, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I picked up this book last week at the bookstore, never heard of the author before but it looked interesting. Let me say it was a good decision! This is one of the most stimulating thrillers I have ever read, and I have since been surprised to learn he has written 8 other novels (I'll be going back to check them out). The story is set in 2040, the U.S. is awash in civil strife after a Washington DC and New York are leveled by a Nuclear attack. The nation has been split into two sections: The Islamic States of America to the north and the Bible Belt to the south. Sarah Dougan is a moderate Muslim who uncovers that the nuclear attacks on the US were planned by a Muslim billionaire and not the Israelis who had taken the fall. To make matters worse this fanatical Muslim billionaire now plans to take over the southern United States! Sarah and her lover Fakkim Epps (a Former Muslim warrior) must make there way across an almost unrecognizable U.S. as they avoid and then clash with a demoniac assassin sent to kill them. The setting of a futuristic America are brilliantly described with plenty of cool details, and the violent action is non stop! Top this off with a controversial plot and you have something beyond the ordinary thriller! If you are looking for something different you have it here.
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More About the Author

I was born in South Florida, a tropical backwater rife with mosquitoes, flying cockroaches and the sweet stink of life. My youth was spent stealing science-fiction paperbacks from the local mini-mart and cutting tunnels through the palmetto thickets behind my house with a machete. Later, I regularly burned down those palmettos for the pleasure of seeing the fire trucks arrive, sirens blaring.

After earning degrees in Philosophy, Film-Making and Creative Writing, I thought that I would be happy as a college professor, writing dense, literary novels which I would assign to my students. I found, however, that being a professor was mostly a matter of going to meetings, and that I hated reading, let alone writing dense, literary novels. Instead, I went back to my first love, poker.

The next five years I gambled full-time, living in a high-crime area populated by starving artists, alcoholics, and drug dealers, likeable sleazballs who would later populate my novels. After a time, I got restless and used some of my winnings to start a punk rock magazine called The Rocket, where I interviewed the Clash, Elvis Costello, Iggy Pop, etc. The success of The Rocket got me a job as a feature writer for a daily newspaper in Southern California, where I took the adventure-and-new-money beat.

Over the next seven years I flew jets with the Blue Angels, drove Ferraris and went for desert survival training with gun nuts. More importantly, the newspaper taught me to train my eye and ear, to observe, to research, and how to use direct, concise language to create a character, and set a scene. The newspaper was a great gig but I wanted to write novels. I quit my day job.

My first novel, THE HORSE LATITUDES, (1991) was called the fiction debut of the season by Time magazine. It was, however, only May. Since then I have written eleven more novels, the most recent of which is THE GIRL WHO CRIED WOLF, an ebook-only. My work has been described by the Washington Post as "Quentin Tarantino territory, with drugged-out and sometimes violent people in search of sensory overload, but what makes it all not just bearable, but often compelling, is Ferrigno's scorching wit and his relentless moral sense."

Everything has turned out better than I expected.

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