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The Ministry of Culture: A Novel Hardcover – May 1, 2007


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Over intervals from five separate months in 1984—the fourth year of the Iran-Iraq war—debut novelist Mullaney tells a harrowing story of life under Saddam. In the hall-of-mirrors atmosphere of Baghdad, one's duties to the state are done and overdone, and Ibrahim Galeb al-Mansur continues to serve the ministry of culture as a muralist (huge Saddams) even after five soldiers of the Republican Guard break into his apartment and gang rape Shalira al-Mahoudi, his fiancée. Meanwhile, Daniella Burkett, of the London Times, braves the nightly bombardments to spend time with her lover, the New York Times's Michael Young. Michael's visit to the hospital where his government minder, Quadro, is recuperating (he stepped on a mine) serves to draw Michael into a web of partisan intrigue—he makes and loses friends virtually simultaneously, and, in time, makes the rare acquaintance of his own better self. Shalira finds herself pregnant with a rapist's child and spares Ibrahim's honor by taking her own life. In response, Ibrahim takes over the leadership of polyglot local dissidents. Mullaney's is that rare war narrative that doesn't depend on carnage for the lasting impression it creates; his culture ministry is ultimately a department of the human interior. (May)
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About the Author

JAMES P. MULLANEY lives on Long Island.  He is a graduate of Providence College.  This is his first novel.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; First Edition edition (May 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312354460
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312354466
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,252,640 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By LauraCsings on May 22, 2007
Format: Hardcover
An intelligent and well written novel with fully fleshed out characters submerged in a time and culture that is both intense and brutal. We are seeing life during the Iran-Iraq war in in the 1980's. A must read for those who enjoy a story based set within the excitement and danger of revolutionary uprisings. Anyone interested in Middle Eastern culture will definitely find this book a detailed and fascinating study. The author knows their topic and much research and effort went into making this piece authentic and rich in details. The writing is poetic and stays with you long after you finish the page.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Walter J. Garbacik on May 24, 2007
Format: Hardcover
A fantastic story woven into a very well researched historical period. At times shocking and disturbing. A must read.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Steven S. Martinez on August 8, 2007
Format: Hardcover
i like the cover,so i am buying the book. good luck jim.
s. martinez
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