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The Good Son: A Novel Hardcover – May 11, 2010
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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
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From Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
The plot itself is hard to compress into a simple paragraph; other reviewers will do that for you anyhow. Suffice to say that a conference with a theme of bringing peace to the Pakistani/Afghan/Kashmir area, viewed by its attendees through the prism of psychotherapy and psychology rather than straight politics, is hijacked by one of the multiple factions of jihadis infesting the area. Sonia Laghari, a highly unconventional woman with a highly unconventional family, is one of those abducted, and her son, Theo, one-time muj fighting against the Russians in Afghanistan in the 80s, and now killer commando doing black ops for the US Army, decides he must rescue her.
However, that's the least of it. Additional characters include the extended Pakistani family, ranging from 'businessman' of a certain sort to corrupt ISI leaders, fanatical jihadis and loving family men; the jihadi captors in their various factions, as well as the villagers living around them; and, in Washington DC, operatives from the CIA and NSA who are involved to a greater or lesser degree in the kidnapping and/or trying to prevent a nuclear disaster. Each of the characters is superbly drawn, vivid and fleshed out, fully believeable and outfitted with real and conflicting motivations. The story is masterfully told.
The three major plot lines develop more or less simultaneously, each told from a different POV. Sonia works through a combination of Sufi wisdom and self-control, and Jungian psychological insight and dream interpretation, to get under the skin and into the heads of the jihadis, while keeping the group of hostages from disintegrating, as the muj start cutting off heads.Read more ›
One of Gruber's trademarks is to give his characters back-stories of amazing complexity; all of them are highly unusual people, but their unusualness itself becomes something of a cliché. Here, I'm afraid, he comes close to parodying himself. Sonia, it is revealed quite early on, grew up in a circus and trained as a magician. Penniless when she met her husband, she is barely accepted by his rich family, and eventually escapes, disguising herself as a boy (complete with prosthetic manhood) and entering the forbidden city of Mecca, later writing a book about her experiences. Later still, she studies to be a Jungian psychologist in Zurich, gaining skills which she will use in holding off and confusing her captors.Read more ›
Gruber should thank his cousin for firing him as it pushed him to further reveal a talent that I regard as genius. In the legal thrillers, Gruber had demonstated a remarkable ability to understand and get inside sub-cultures, in this case the sub-cultures of the New York District Attorney's Office and various criminal networks. In his own novels he has expanded this talent to portray credibly everything from Cuban Santeria cults to Siberian tribal groups. In "The Good Son" this unique talent is on conspicuous display as we are invited inside the various cultures of Pashtun, Punjabi, CIA, jihadi, and a few other groups. It is truly an amazing tour de force. I know of no other writer who could pull this off.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
loved learning about other cultures and philosophies, very interesting, suspenseful, twists and unexpected turns!Published 7 days ago by Terry Birnbaum-Horton
The first Michael Gruber book I read. It hooked me onto reading all of his other books.Published 2 months ago by Hilary Blythe
I find it annoying when an author presents his personal views through the dialogue of his characters. I don't want the dialogue to be a platform for the author.Published 2 months ago by Sylvia Vargas
My favorite book in the last few years. Interesting characters, situations--Published 3 months ago by heron3
If you enjoy a gripping thriller where you learn a bit about history, geopolitics, sociology, cultural anthropology and jihadism, then this book is for you. Read morePublished 6 months ago by R. Parry
A little confusing. One has to keep up with 3 stories in one. I'm still reading it right now. Will finish up soonPublished 8 months ago by Yancey Smith
Fabulous Book!! Gave an inside look to Jihad, and Muslim religions. Just a great read.Published 10 months ago by Mary Jo Dawson
One of my favorite Gruber books. The writing is full of energy and builds complex plots and sub plots.. The female protagonist is a rare one with many faces to show us. Read morePublished 12 months ago by W. Robinson