Wednesday 14 August 2019

#BlogTour In Truth, Madness by Imran Khan

Today it's my turn on the BlogTour In Truth, Madness by Imran Khan. It's a contemporary read with elements of a dystopian story wrapped in the powerful pull of history.
About the Author
Having kickstarted his career in the heady world of 1990s independent magazine publishing with work on Dazed and Confused, and launching seminal style title 2nd Generation, Imran Khan jumped into the mainstream with BBC London - hosting radio shows on popular culture, arts and news as the millennium approached. Despite having a face for radio, in 2001 he produced a series of short documentaries for BBC Newsnight, Britain’s leading current affairs programme. His work was noticed in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks and Channel 4 commissioned the award winning film "The Hidden Jihad", which he wrote and presented. Imran subsequently moved full-time into TV news, working as a BBC producer and correspondent reporting from Lebanon, London and Qatar, with freelance stints in Afghanistan and Iraq.

He became a correspondent for Al Jazeera English in 2005 and is known for his extensive reporting from Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Palestine and Libya, as well covering the Arab Spring and the conflict in Syria. He continues to work as a correspondent for Al Jazeera English, dividing his time between the Middle East, South Asia and London.

Follow @ajimran on Twitter, on GoodreadsBuy In Truth, Madness
About the book
Meet Malek Khalil. In his mid-40s, Malek is a brilliant reporter with decades of experience in the field. If there has been a war, natural disaster or political crisis, Malek has been there and will be there.

But the years of conflict reporting have taken their toll and Malek is slowly unravelling. His colleagues, Neeka and Justin, have noticed a change in him. Neeka should know, she has been his producer for decades and knows him better than he knows himself. Justin the cameraman has shot his material for just as long. Together they make a formidable team. But they are only as strong as each other - and Malek is fast going down the rabbit hole.

Born a Muslim but an atheist to his core, Malek undertakes a voyage that takes him around the world  and back in time to ancient Babylon as he finds himself arguing with a God in whom he doesn't believe.

The novel takes place throughout Middle East, South Asia and London where the backdrop of war, religion, political skullduggery and love play out to take the reader on a journey through some of the most dangerous parts of modern culture and the ancient world.

I think what I enjoyed most about this read were the factual elements both the historical and more current ones. The political and religious opinions, and the deep well of emotions he sometimes draws from. Moments like the guilt Malek feels as a journalist, because he is able to come and go as he pleases in the war-torn countries, ergo not being allowed to claim the burden of PTSD.

I think in this case it's perhaps easier to let each reader enter the world Malek inhabits and decide what journey he is taking his readers on themselves. I found it an intriguing journey of self, which battles with the pain and destruction humanity causes, and ultimately a conversation with self about faith or lack of it. An sadonic panel of arbitrators who determine which path we take, do we determine it or have our cards fallen long before we are aware of it.

At times I felt as if there was an inner struggle going on, a tug-of-war of the stories within the story. The stories the author wants to tell, but melds them together with ambitious eagerness. The fantasy come historical fiction tale of the character and the connection to Babylon, the man who braves the war-torn countries, and then the political and religious complexities of the Middle East. All of them worthy of a read in their own right, together they get less attention and give the story a slightly disjointed feel.

There is no doubt Khan has plenty to tell his readers, and he does so with compassion, intellect and a very strong voice. I can imagine conversations with him would be quite interesting, because despite some controversial opinions, depending on your views, there is an attempt to keep a balance throughout.

It's a contemporary read with elements of a dystopian story wrapped in the powerful pull of history.

Buy In Truth, Madness at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Unbound Digital; pub date 22 August 2018. Buy at Amazon com. Buy at Unbound.

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