Everything Sad Is Untrue: (a true story) (Hardcover)
Title: Everything Sad Is Untrue: (a true story)
Comments: "[Sam] gasped: ‘Gandalf! I thought you were dead! But then I thought I was dead myself. Is everything sad going to come untrue?..."
What a beautiful blurring of the lines between memoir and mythology! The author is telling you his actual life story. But right now he's only eleven, and trying to convince his classmates (and you!) that he really is descended from kings and heroes in Persian folklore. They really did (just barely!) escape the Iranian secret police to come to Oklahoma. The funny and fantastical narration, full of childlike sincerity, pathos, and comedy, feels like a cross between "The Princess Bride" by William Goldman, "Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights" by Salman Rushdie, and, of course...Scheherazade telling her tales in "1001 Nights"
This is my favorite book I've read in 2020, hands down.— From Tim
At the front of a middle school classroom in Oklahoma, a boy named Khosrou (whom everyone calls "Daniel") stands, trying to tell a story. His story. But no one believes a word he says. To them he is a dark-skinned, hairy-armed boy with a big butt whose lunch smells funny; who makes things up and talks about poop too much.
But Khosrou's stories, stretching back years, and decades, and centuries, are beautiful, and terrifying, from the moment his family fled Iran in the middle of the night with the secret police moments behind them, back to the sad, cement refugee camps of Italy.and further back to the fields near the river Aras, where rain-soaked flowers bled red like the yolk of sunset burst over everything, and further back still to the Jasmine-scented city of Isfahan.
We bounce between a school bus of kids armed with paper clip missiles and spitballs to the heroines and heroes of Khosrou's family's past, who ate pastries that made people weep and cry "Akh, Tamar!" and touched carpets woven with precious gems.
Like Scheherazade in a hostile classroom, Daniel weaves a tale to save his own life: to stake his claim to the truth. And it is (a true story).
It is Daniel's.