[Kindle ePUB] Sons and Other Flammable Objects by Porochista Khakpour

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Hood This incident Darius trying to save the birds becomes the trigger for the disintegration of the relationship between father and son It also provides the disintegration of the relationship between father and son It also provides the allegory in the novel birds the universal symbol of freedom here also reference the Persian mythology of Simorgh an ancient flying creature The larger allegory suggests as does the title that children are flammable objects serving as the family phoenix rising from the ashes of destruction but they may also fail to understand their parents and themselves burning in their own rebirth It s been suggested that Sons is reminiscent of Zadie Smth s White Teeth I found this comparison distracting It is a disservice to both authors My assumption is that in the publishing world Zadie Smith is shorthand for multicultural genre It is true that both Smith and Khakpour focus on the family tableaux and both have written characters Smith in The Autograph Man obsessed with blonde beauties as a way to escape ethnic differenceIt is also true that with Sons Khakpour reveals an enviable talent at nearly the same age as Smith s debut But Sons is much too non linear to be likened to Smith Sons can be described as part of the literary progeny of two Hermans Wouk for humor and Melville for the expansive attempt to capture a moment in American history that reflects a greater commentary on diversity belonging nation building violence and personal identity Sons is a complex novel that does not adhere to a linear psychological development of characters Like many first novels Khakpour would have benefited from disciplined editing the book is simply too long and in places could be far focused Readers will need vigor to understand the witty asides metaphors "And Character Development I "character development I glad that writers like Khakpour recognize and claim 911 and the resulting realignments and fear as one of our new century s greatest human narrative arcs I am glad that an Iranian American woman s voice has been added to these discussions and conversations Too often in the US we see Middle Eastern women as those to be liberated not as those who in fact have nuanced powerful funny leaning toward biting and liberating messages This was a random used bookstore find which can be great or still I mean I hate hate hate the hype machine I hate manufactured buzz I hate the assumption I had a really hard time getting into this book because of the author s writing style And on top of it I ust didn t I couldn t get into this book and eventually gave up I have to give this book 5 stars because Porochista is my hag but it s also a really REALLY good book I m really inspired and impressed It took me a while to get into her narrative style but once it clicked it was like Porochista was reading to me making me laugh with her wisecracks hilarious asides and turns of phrase Hers is uite a uniue voice Apart from what you ve probably read in other reviews the thing that touched me most about this book was the way Porochista so sensetively and with great insight portrayed the fragility and complexity of the father son relationship Not an easy thing to do but she hit it absolutely on the nail Nuff respe. Help their son make sense of the terrifying violent last moments in a homeland he barely remembers As he grows into manhood and moves to New York his major goal in life is to completely separate from his parents but when he meets a beautiful half Iranian girl on the roof of his building after New York's own terrifying and violent catastrophe strikes it seems Iran will not let Xerxes go. ,

I have never read a book that provided so many characters interior monologues and come away knowing so little about them I am baffled by this book by the disassociation that seems to exist between the author s words and the things they describe much than the purposeful and situational disassociation of the characters from the things they lovedAnd the end at the airport with character D and character S oh that was ust creepy An incredibly overlooked novel from 10 years ago that might in the era of Trump find itself coming back into relevance SONS AND OTHER FLAMMABLE OBJECTS centers around the relationship between a father Darius and a son Xerxes in a Persian American familyKhakpour in the tradition of Zadie Smith gives us a long novel with a simple enough plot the Adams move from Iran to America They all have difficulty adjusting especially the patriarch Darius This breeds a bad home situation and eventually Darius son Xerxes grows up moves from his LA to New York and refuses to speak to his father Throughout the novel Darius struggles with the conflicting impulses to both push his son away and reclaim him as his own while Xerxes grappling with an identity crisis slowly comes to the realization that he can t disown his family if he wants to properly figure out who he isI keep wanting to call this a family if he wants to properly figure out who he isI keep wanting to call this a American Novel which in some respects it is it is long and the prose is fantastically well written the author is an American citizen and it has something in common with other books that have been given that vague title The Corrections Infinite Jest etc On the other hand none of its main characters are born in America and none of them seem to feel particularly American It is not so much a novel about the US as it is about the IDEA of the US the Adams after fleeing their homeland are in search of a new safer identity that of American But as they eventually learn what they re looking for can t be found the US is a collage of immigrant cultures which amalgamate to form something truly bizarre and incoherent Perhaps that is what makes it the ultimate Great American Novel that Khakpour seems to reject the very idea of an American anything I m skimming through the reviews and somehow managed the opposite reactions of most people here Properly loved the writing style didn t find it at all tedious For writing that is so wordy I appreciated that it wasn t overly flowery and to an extent was written as realistically as someone might speak That said I felt this book was at its best in its first half the thoughtful and relatively plotless half It hit a weak spot when the author s bitterness toward money began to show referring to the point at which we meet Suzanne s family The upper class family that has enough money to not appreciate gifts and that tosses around casual racism when no one s around I get the bitterness but it got too obviously personal here and the family was written as an
"easy stereotype i "
stereotype I my breath while hoping that the story wouldn t end the easy way out with a plane crash and was relieved that it didn t I was also glad that 911 was not a focal point though the political tension surround. Compared by Danzy Senna to the young Philip Roth for her lashing dark humor tinged with deep melancholy Porochista Khakpour is one of her generation's most outrageously gifted new talents  Sons and Other Flammable Objects is at once a comedy and a tragedy a family history and a modern coming of age story with a distinctly timeless resonanceGrowing up Xerxes Adam is painfully aware tha. ,

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Sons and Other Flammable ObjectsIng racereligion after 911 was what made the story s conclusion possible So everything here did in fact happen for a reasonAll of the characters in this book were difficult to like but had very realistic elements #so I suppose it did a good ob of touching on how unlikable real people can be #I suppose it did a good ob of touching on how unlikable real people can be how that uality has to start somewhere You know what was also refreshing Seeing LA not painted in a glamorous light I partly grew up in the same LA suburb that Porochista Khakpour grew up in I know exactly what neighborhood Lala and Darius were supposed to be living in and she perfectly captured the ho HUM UNREMARKABLE UALITY OF IT I unremarkable uality of it I a hard time caring for any of the characters in this book They were a dysfunctional family but with no redeeming ualities I do not think that the dysfunction was from being immigrants I think the characters were already dysfunctional I know there was a lot of angst for the son growing up in 2 cultures He felt that he didn t want anything to do with his birth culture or parents he also felt the American culture didn t want anything to do with him The real problems throughout were obviously the relationships or lack of them between the triangle of father son mother Second time reading Again I don t uite understand why people haven t read this book it s really fantastic Very carefully written the prose is beautiful and the story rewards multiple reads I m teaching it this semester to students who for the most part don t read for pleasure and many of them have told me how much they ve been enjoying it Sons and Other Flammable Objects revolves around the life of the Adam properly pronounced Odd damn as some of the wittiest writing in the novel explains family The novel focuses with laser like uality on the life of Xerxes Adam the wayward confused bicultural Iranian American son whose obsessions with Barbara Eden mediocrity a desperate desire to assimilate and determination never to return to his family ground the novelSons is a modern day bildungsroman albeit one that takes place well into the character s adulthood suggesting that growing up in our post 911 multicultural American landscape comes later than adolescence or even our mid twenties Khakpour s Xerxes is at times despicable endearingpitifulrage inducingand utterly without tools in a modernized world that reuires a hefty wrench and Phillip s screwdriver Raised in Los Angeles socially isolated and preternaturally aware of the differences between himself and his peers in sunny LA Xerxes manages his angst with I Love Jeanie choreographed coughing designed to ease awkwardness with his parents and a plan to escape to anywhere which eventually lands him in New York When trauma hits in the form of 911 Xerxes fear fear of his difference being revealed his own dull awareness of self destructive tendencies and loneliness fold him Xerxes fear fear of his difference being revealed his own dull awareness of self destructive tendencies and loneliness fold him a downward spiral The novel opens on the Adam family as Darius Adam Xerxes father tries to save Save themselves in the end via saving the spring s batch of blue ays who had suddenly in their cheery oblivious way taken residence among the palms and oaks of their conflicted suburban California neighbor. T he is different¡ªwith an understanding of his Iranian heritage that vacillates from typical teenage embarrassment to something so tragic it can barely be spoken His father Darius obsesses over his sense of exile and fantasizes about a nonexistent daughter he can relate to better than his living son; Xerxes' mother changes her name and tries to make friends; but neither of them can.