It wasn’t Steinberg’s story so much that I was interested in, as much as the stories of the prison itself. Though this is ostensibly a memoir of Steinberg’s life during his time in prison, the “characters” of the inmates themselves rather stole the show for me.
I wanted to love this book more than I did. I swear. It has all kinds of promise for exposing the prejudices inherent in the conflict in Israel/Palestine, between Arabs and Jews in the region, and while it definitely covered those topics, I don’t feel like the book as a whole was very reader-friendly.
Yet again, I’ve read a book this month that has totally knocked me off my feet.
I really loved the over-arching message in this book. Going against the widespread notion that Muslims should hate Jews is something that more people should be doing. I particularly enjoyed that Fatah used evidence from the Quran and the Hadith to back up his point is key, since lots of Muslims the world over (particularly the fundies) use these texts to justify their hatred.
First of all, let me just say – the narrator for this book was fantastic.
I mean, it would probably be just as good of a novel if you read Sweet Dates in Basra as a dead-tree version. But there was just something special about listening to the story as Nichols read it, complete with accents in certain places and deeply authentic emotion throughout.