Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Buy Used
$7.02
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Acceptable
Comment: Unbeatable customer service, and we usually ship the same or next day. Over one million satisfied customers!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Arslan Paperback – July 6, 2001

3.5 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

See all 5 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Paperback, July 6, 2001
$13.97 $0.01

Intrusion: A Novel
A loving couple, grieving the loss of their son, finds their marriage in free fall when a beautiful, long-lost acquaintance inserts herself into their lives. Learn More
Available from these sellers.
click to open popover

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This is wonderful and terrifying SF—terrifying because its premise, the takeover of the United States by a third-rate world power, is at once so preposterous and yet, in the hands of this highly skilled writer, so stupefyingly believable. Certainly Arslan is the best political novel I've read in more than a decade."—Samuel R. Delany

"Engh creates a truly shocking situation, introduces a monstrous character, and then refuses to satisfy any of the emotions he has aroused . . . Engh's performance is as perversely flawless as Arslan's."—The New York Times

"Arslan is an astonishing novel—not just for its strange and uncompromising content, but as well for the unforgivable passing of a decade before its being published in a permanent edition. This phantasmagorical vision of an America occupied by a foreign power is a tour de force. It is shocking, chilling and thoughtful."—Edward Bryant

"Arslan's goal is not merely to conquer the world, but to destroy it. Just by chance, it seems, he has chosen a small Illinois town to be the capital of his all-embracing empire. Yet this is not really the tale of great world events. It all comes down to a handful of unforgettable men and women, whose pain and cruelty and compassion shine a spotlight on human nature. What makes Engh's novel extraordinary is her perfect understanding of power, how it grows out of the heat between people who hate and fear each other. Arslan makes Khomeini look wishy-washy, as he takes ordinary people and tears at them until they die, or become strong enough to be his rivals. Arslan starts with a strong science fiction premise—and then raises it to the level of the greatest tragedies. You will find surprises almost from the start, as Engh shatters the tired cliches of the genre. And by the end of the book, exhausted and fulfilled, you will realize you have read something that stands head and shoulders above the other fiction of its time."—Orson Scott Card

From the Back Cover

“Engh creates a truly shocking situation, introduces a monstrous character, and then refuses to satisfy any of the emotions he has aroused . . . . Engh’s performance is as perversely flawless as Arslan’s.”—The New York Times

A Classic of Political Science Fiction

Arslan starts with a strong science fiction premise—and then raises it to the level of the greatest tragedies. You will find surprises almost from the start, as Engh shatters the tired cliches of the genre. And by the end of the book, exhausted and fulfilled, you will realize you have read something that stands head and shoulders above the other fiction of its time.”—Orson Scott Card

Arslan is a young Asian general who conquers the world in a week without firing a shot, and shortly thereafter sets up his world headquarters in a small town in Illinois. And if this did occur, this is how it would happen.

“This is wonderful and terrifying SF—terrifying because its premise, the takeover of the United States by a third-rate world power, is at once so preposterous and yet, in the hands of this highly-skilled writer, so stupefyingly believable. Certainly Arslan is the best political novel I’ve read in more than a decade.”—Samuel R. Delany
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Orb Books; 1st edition (July 6, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312879105
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312879105
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.8 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,954,821 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Arslan (AKA A wind from Bukhara) is not a joyfully pleasant book in the vein of a Tom Clancy thriller, but it is not meant to be. A few other reviewers miss this point and I felt it needed a reply. What it is, is an examination of power, how those who have it abuse it and those how don't fall prey to it. It is also a book of its time (as all books are). It is set in a time before mobile phones, the internet and global terrorism, a time when the cold war was still in full bloom. Complaining that it just wouldn't happen as it is described (an explanation is given, despite what some other reviewers have said) is like complaining that H.G. Well's "War of the Worlds" sucks because there aren't really any Martians.

As for the story, it concerns a small part played out during the conquering of the world by an otherwise insignificant power. The initial story told by the character, Franklin Bond, is set in a Midwestern town, is well done, has solid character development and includes some well done thriller scenes. It also has some brutal, unsettling and disturbing scenes as Arslan's power is established.

The latter parts of the book lack the pacing of the first and are weaker for it. The focus of the book changes to that of Hunt Morgan, Arslan's lover and the target of much of Arslan's abuse. Interestingly Arslan, who is loathsome from the start, is written as a charismatic character as often the worst real life monsters are. And he has a plan, and through Hunt's eyes and latter on again through Franklin Bond's we see Arslan's terrible plan move towards its conclusion.

Overall it a worthwhile book to read. As a story, the first part is undeniably readable but the book loses energy latter on. As an examination of the use (abuse) of power it is skilfully done though I am not totally convinced. 3.5/5
Comment 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
I first picked up Arslan in a used bookstore, based on OSC's recommendation on the back cover, as many people have. I was not disappointed; Arslan is engrossing, a character study of the people affected by the upstart dictator and how he uses the effectively limitless power he wrestled to control. Engh does a very credible job of writing from two character's first person viewpoints, one a reluctant school principal-turned-mayor under Arslan's regime, the second a boy rape victim-turned-confidant. It's not a pleasant read all the time, which I understand tuned some reviewers off, but not all books or other art forms are meant to be pleasant. I found it compelling.

The narrative does slow down a little when the narrator changes, and I found that a little disconcerting, but It's also perfectly in keeping with the different, fractured mindset of the second narrator. At least it was different enough in tone and approach to actually put me in the frame of the second narrator, unlike some other multiple points of view books I have read (the otherwise fun Armor by Steakley comes to mind).

I did wonder for a while how that got put into the category of science fiction, as it reads like a political novel (albeit an extreme one) where new technology is not a driving force to the plot. However, it becomes apparent that the entire chain of events stems from technology. It's definitely not hard science fiction a la Niven, but rather soft a la Card, where it's enough to know what the thing is and what it does. It's especially appropriate given that none of the protagonists are scientists; just ordinary people, caught up in rather extraordinary events.

Some of the "shortcomings" I've heard/read in the book I don't think are valid.
Read more ›
Comment 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm tempted to give Arslan another star for the writing in the 'Hunt Morgan' sections alone, but ultimately Engh squanders what starts as a compelling and potentially brilliant treatise on the complexities of power and the relationships between those who possess it and those who do not.

The first half of the book [written from the point of view of the 'Franklin Bond' character] sets up the story, the characters and rolls out the Engh's main arguments and socio-political theories. The writing is clear, penetrating and full of wonderful detail. The characters of Arslan, Bond and Hunt Morgan are very well rounded and complex, each with their own believable paths.

But then a strange thing happens. Engh ends this portion of the book and begins a new section called 'Hunt Morgan.' Hunt's 'voice' is devestatingly lyrical and expressive - some of the best writing of the novel is contained in this section. But even as Engh creates a powerfull, more lyrical voice for Hunt's POV all this beautiful writing hides a hollow narrative center. We re-live some of the scenes first introduced in the 'Franklin Bond' section and then follow Hunt as he travels with Arslan to Bukhara. All of this wonderful writing amounts to very little character or story development; we continue to range around in Hunt's mind as he is subjected to similar events concerning Arslan, none of which deepen our understanding of either character. This continues for over one hundred pages.

Beautiful the writing may be, but structurally the book falls apart.
Read more ›
Comment 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews