Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi

Frankenstein in Baghdad

Ahmed Saadawi

This is a complex, hallucinatory allegory depicting the political ineptitudes in Iraq that blends the appalling violence and mundane human survival to terrific effect. In keeping with war’s absurdity, the surreal storytelling is both funny and horrifying and combines the unearthly with topical relevancy. The malevolent intelligence of the writing arouses perturbing sensations and sobering thoughts.

Extract

The Whatsitsname had visited Hadi on the very night that several murders took place in the Bataween area, after Aziz had warned him to stop telling his story about the body he had sewn together. The story was no longer funny: it now aroused suspicions, Aziz thought. Hadi was drinking his last glass of arak when the Whatsitsname appeared at the door to his room. When Hadi saw him standing a few feet away, he thought it was just a bad dream. If the dream came true before his eyes, the creature’s intentions would not be good. It would have come to kill him.

Parallels
  • The Corpse Washer by Sinan Antoon
  • Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
  • Anil’s Ghost by Michael Ondaatje