Review of Fire in the Unnameable Country


Author- Ghalib Islam

‘Fire in the Unnameable Country’ by Ghalib Islam is an unexampled book which makes it’s own position standing amongst the crowd.Author wants to say a lot through this book,lets check how much he succeeded.

As the blurb goes-‘ Recall the magic of 1001 nights, the horror of A Clockwork Orange,the exotic puzzle of The Savage Detectives- and prepare to meet the future.

The universe is shaking as Hedayat,the “glossolalist” narrator of Fire in the Unnameable Country, is born on a flying carpet in the skies above an obscure land whose leader has manufactured the ability to hear every unspoken utterance of the nation.He records the contents of his citizens’ minds onto tape reels for archival storage.Later in Hedayat’s young life,as the unnameable country collapses into disarray around him,he begins an epistle,wherein,interspersed with accounts of contemporary terrorist attacks and the outbreak of a mysterious viral epidemic, he invokes the memories of his ancestors to revisit the troubled country’s history and expose the root of its crisis.

Hedayat’s dark world is entirely foreign but oddly familiar,echoing the banality of our daily diversions and adding a terrifying twist.The Mirror,a gruesome,never ending reality show, turns the city of La Maga into a permanent Hollywood style film set where people gamble body parts and live in fear of the Black Organs,the paramilitary manifestation of the eviscerators that threaten to infect the nation.Islam’s vibrant,ingenious construction sends the plot twisting down rabbit holes and caterwauling through secret doorways to emerge anywhere from a domastic living room to a bomb techinician’s workshop to the deep recesses of the state’s repressive political apparatus.

A remarkable debut,filled with original characters and rendered in uniquely inventive language,Fire in the Unnameable Country is a book like no other.’

The blurb,the title, the cover design,the way title inscripted on the cover everything seems way attractive and lingering.When one goes ahead of it,there is another thing which they will find unique i.e. writing style.And,also the plot behaves strangely, knitting my mind with some confusion,excitement and eager to discover more.

To dissolve myself in the book,it took me to read one-fourth of the book to get friendly with the writing style.A different kind of articulation of words,at first seems a bit difficult to grasp but as the story paces up,it clutches its strength.A unique style of story telling and quite interesting for someone who wants to taste something new.

The story becomes interesting as when I got friendly with the writing fashion and I could conceptualize and visualize what author really wants to say.But,it becomes somewhat boring,when it comes to grasp the real meaning and the way how that is actually plunged into it.But,when all comes together and riddle slips on its place,from blurr images everything becomes clear to mind as the story paces ahead and comes to an end.

I think author tried to write something which doesnt fall in every reader’s comfort.This book is for those,who likes or wants to experiment something new in reading and wants their mind to go round and round while reading to digest what actually they are reading and get meaning out of it.On the other hand,if someone is hard core reader would enjoy this book because of its uniqueness and author’s guts to try something new and effort to do something out of blue.

Rating- 4/5

Reviewer: Shweta Kesari

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