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The Blind Owl by Sadeq Hadeyat

Posted: May 3rd, 2009, by Stan Tontas

The flipside of my unsuccessful “random culture” experiment with En la ciudad de Sylvie was picking up this strange, nightmarish book from the library. My whim was rewarded by a dense, multilayered and disjointed journey that sticks in the mind long enough to repay repeat readings. There are passages that recall Edgar Allan Poe and if you have any expectations ofa 70-year-old Persian novella, it would overturn them.

(Surreal and nightmarish must be the most over- and ill-used adjectives in the critical vocabulary but I have to use them here.)

I can’t say I knew exactly what was going on, I’m reluctant to summarise the little I know of the plot in case it dilutes the jaw-dropping weirdness of the shifts. I can say that it’s a great book in a minor way. Save it for 3AM and it has the heady bite of a vintage wine laced with cobra venom. Loved it.

Stan Tontas

Stan lives in Glasgow.

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