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Mirrors of the Unseen: Journeys in Iran Paperback – October 2, 2007
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“A penetrating account of a series of journeys to Iran. . . . Jason Elliot is a travel writer of the old school: untethered to an itinerary, eager to be led astray, and as ardent an observer of the experience of traveling as of his destination.” ―The New Yorker
“An important look at the forces at play in a region starting to dominate the Middle East.” ―The Star-Ledger (Newark)
“Armchair travelers will enjoy moving with Elliot through both fabled cities and remote corners of Iran.” ―The Christian Science Monitor
“A work of profound thought, imagination, passion, and ambition. It should be widely read.” ―The Guardian (U.K.)
“Whatever stereotypes we may have crumble in the wake of Elliot's encounters with ordinary Iranians. . . . Mirrors of the Unseen takes us into a very different Iran, and the journey is fabulous. . . . Elliot writes like an angel.” ―The Providence Journal
About the Author
Jason Elliot lives in London. He is the bestselling author of An Unexpected Light: Travels in Afghanistan and Mirrors of the Unseen: Journeys in Iran.
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His historic overview of past dynasties and their contribution to culture and architecture was interesting but not what I was looking for.
What does come across well is the hospitality and friendliness of the Iranian People.
I have great respect for Mr. Elliot, his knowledge and his writing. My only minor complaint (in a lighthearted way) is how much he writes about haggling with taxi drivers and some merchants over money perhaps not realizing that most of it is also part of todays' cultural complexities of Iran and indirectly a result of economic and political instabilities dominant in contemporary Iran. I know he was poor while traveling but sometimes he went out of his way to talk about what would've amounted to a dollar or two difference in a transaction. I have some good British friends and they all seem to be the same way!! :-)
This book truly made me re-think the way I view my heritage as a kid of Iranian descent. All the dull crud my parents and grandparents mentioned suddenly emerged from the pages of Mr Elliot's book, burnished anew to a dazzling sheen. I cannot recommend this book more highly for its insight into Iranian culture and the Persian civilisation(s) on which it's built.
Truly a timely and poetic read:)