The Weight of A Mustard Seed

The Weight of A Mustard Seed

The Intimate Life of An Iraqi Family During Thirty Years of Tyranny

Book - 2009
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General Kamel Sachet was a favourite of Saddam Hussein's, a hero of the Iran-Iraq war, head of the army in Kuwait City during Desert Storm and the governor of the province of Maysan. But when it came time for his sons to do their military service, he refused to let them join the "criminal" organization that he had given his life to. Sachet realized, too late, that he had become a participant in the terror regime that had strangled his country and destroyed its people.
    Through the story of Kamel Sachet and those around him--his wife; his sons and daughters; his friend, a psychiatrist; the head of the Republican Guard; a director of Abu Ghraib prison--Wendell Steavenson shows the choices Iraqis have had to make between exile and collaboration, God and jihad. In the spirit of The Bookseller of Kabul and Stasiland, The Weight of a Mustard Seed captures the universal humanity and the tragedy of unintended consequences.

Publisher: Toronto : HarperCollins, 2009.
ISBN: 9781554683758
Characteristics: 288 p. :,ill., map ;,22 cm.


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Dec 17, 2012

I completely agree with rocket88. i struggled to get through this book and to keep the characters straight, and I'm not unfamiliar with Arabic names. Muddled, and layered in a way that diminishes rather than enhances the story. It is said that a good writer disappears from the work. If you're reading a story and you're thinking about the writer, the writer is doing a poor job. Part of the problem is that it's the story of the writer's journey to get the story mixed up with the general's life story. It's a shame, because it is an important book, and it is worth a read.

Jan 27, 2010

An interesting read overall but not really a well written or engaging book. The subject matter interested me but I was disappointed in the lack of depth and many of the characters aren't fleshed out. And yet they should be since the author concentrates on one family for the most part!

There are many fine books about Iraq but few had the opportunity to tell the story from the point of view of a major military hero who was one of Saddam's favourites. I felt that the writing didn't serve the story well. It could have been a great book and it's merely "OK"

A definitive account "from the inside" has yet to be written on the subject of Saddam's Iraq or at least one relatively free of cant and/or propagandized accounts of Hussein's evil..which often snip out the massive Western involvement in his brutal rule.

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