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4.4 out of 5 stars
Prisoner of Tehran: A Memoir
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on November 28, 2011
For Christmas 2009, my daughter in Whitehorse recorded a series of CBC podcasts, because she knows I like to stay connected to Canada when I ply the freeways of Europe. My first reaction to the title "Prisoner of Tehran" was a groan. Oh no! I won't hear about Spadina Avenue or Stanley Park, but get more negative stuff out of the Middle East than I care for after listening to the news every day.

I popped it in anyway. From the first line, I was hooked. It starts "There is an ancient Persian proverb that says, "The sky is the same colour wherever you go." But the Canadian sky was different from the one I remembered from Iran, it was a deeper shade of blue and seemed endless, as if challenging the horizon".

Not only is this a sublimely poetic start to a gripping story; it matched my own experiences as immigrant to Canada from hazy Europe. From there on, I hung on the narrator's every word, as the story unfolds of terrible fear and pain in Tehran's notorious Evin prison, and the ultimate victory of decency. I have since bought the book at a dozen or more times, both in English and in German, and given it to friends and family.

After I finished listening I did something I had never done before. I wrote an email to the author and thanked her for the story. I didn't really expect a reply. At best, something along the lines of "Thanks for your kind words, Gabriel". But I was wrong. Ms. Nemat replied in detail to my comments. And from this, a beautiful friendship has evolved spanning two continents. Ms.Nemat's humility and warmth just blew me away.

On Amazon Germany, Prisoner of Tehran has 19 ratings as of November 2011, almost all top 5 stars. The only other Canadian book I have encountered in Germany so far with higher ratings is "Anne of Green Gables" - probably the most famous piece of literature ever to flow out of a Canadian quill. Prisoner of Tehran was published in 28 countries. In Germany, it comes with a sticker "The Bestseller".

Not only has Prisoner of Tehran become the voice of all victims of political torture and persecution - the book has also succeeded in communicating Canadian values and literature throughout the world. Canada could not ask for a better ambassador overseas.

Prisoner of Tehran has a phenomenal emotional impact and makes me proud to live in Europe with a Canadian passport.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 2, 2011
I am sickened by some of the negative reviews people have posted on this page. For one, even if much of this story was made up, ONE innocent prisoner beaten is one too many. For people who think this story is fabricated, they are naive to the horror humans are capable of doing to one another and/or they are sadly missing the entire message. Stories like this MUST be told. Because of fear and threat that victims feel, evil is able to thrive. And people who choose to deny the occurrence of events such as those told by Marina, are second-handedly contributing to the silence. These stories MUST be told! I support anyone who is courageous enough to speak out.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 22, 2014
This is the story of the cruel torture of a young woman whose 'crime' was to ask for an improved educational standard. She wanted to learn more. How dare she, a female, make any request at all?

This is a story that explains brutal sexist violence authorized by religion, and the failure of the ignorant to staunch the strength of an intelligent woman who found her way to a much better world with her reflective mind - and her pen.

An excellent read!

Eleanor Cowan, author of : A History of a Pedophile's Wife: Memoir of a Canadian Teacher and Writer
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 14, 2012
I live in Montreal North, Quebec, and although I have yet to receive the Prisoner of Tehran book to date, I know that it has been shipped about a month earlier before my move from the Saint-Laurent area in the west of Montreal to where I live now since March 31st. Although I cannot review the Prisoner of Tehran as well as I am able to since I have not had the pleasure of reading it yet, but because of the fact that I have heard good reviews and have had the pleasure of watching the Marilyn Dennis show where the author was being interviewed by the host, I know that I will just love it!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on October 12, 2011
Thank you to the author for sharing her story on love and bravery in the face of injustice. Stories like these need to be told. It does not bother me that some of the details were fabricated - there is disclosure of this at the beginning of the book. I would assume that the content in the book is as truthful as that in the media, if not more so. I recommend the book to all. It is an easy read - though heart wrenching - and I could not put it down.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 21, 2011
This is indeeed a story of resilience, hope and forgiveness. Marina's resilience to carry on in spite of enduring both physical and emotional pain, of coming to understand the importance of forgiveness and having hope that there would be better days, is inspirational. I found her writing to be direct and honest and in that it capitavated me. I would highly recommend this book.
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on April 19, 2015
This book was spell binding.. I couldn't put it down. We, living in north america, must appreciate our life here as most of us cannot imagine living in the state described in this book...fantastic..sandy
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on October 27, 2013
Nemat had done a fine piece of work.its story of love,hate ,horror ,and extremism .its a story which shows how you should face challenge and how a woman convince people ?thank nemat i really enjoyed your book
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on July 29, 2013
Book was easy to read, captivating and astounding. A book of great courage when there is nothing that can be done to fight against a government/religious group with such overwhelming power. A modern day true life dystopia.
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on June 11, 2013
Interesting book, very insightful. The book did raise some other questions that I would have liked answered. Have passed the book onto friends.
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