A good read, Caroline Elzbone Fakhri and Ultimatum. Photo credit Siamak

Caroline Fakhri reads : Ultimatum by Frank Gardener, 2018

One of the most griping books I’ve read in a long while; I could not put it down. At four hundred and forty pages long and one hundred and two chapters, Ultimatum is not a short book, so much the better as I didn’t want it to end, none the less I read my way through those pages at break neck speed, always hoping I had one more tube stop to go before having to stash the book away, or one more chapter before turning the light off. Not being a fan of electronic reading devices I was more than happy to lug the book around, so I wouldn’t have to wait until I got home before picking up the story again.

The fast pace of the book is enhanced by the short chapters that keep the reader hopping from place to place alongside the characters, Luke Carlton, the cool MI6 guy, Karim Zamani, the ruthless Revolutionary officer, Guardian of the Revolution and his beautiful daughter Tahnaz, the apple of his eye, used mercilessly by the MI6 to reach her father, a dangerous man obsessed with power, a product of the 1979 Iranian Revolution.

Ultimatum is bang up to date, weaving the story around the threat Iran poses to the rest of the world, with its obsession of forging ahead with its nuclear programme, alongside the state visit of the British foreign minister, kidnapped whilst on a diplomatic trip to the country with a view to cementing a better relationship with the UK after many years of decidedly icy encounters.

The book’s speed still allows for gripping detail, painting a vivid picture of the heart stopping situations the MI6 agent finds himself in, whether it be in Armenia on his first mission at the beginning of the book or further into the novel on his drive across the vast Iranian desert in a bid to locate and rescue the kidnapped foreign minister from certain death.

A must read for any Frank Gardener fan and anyone vaguely in interested in Iran and the Middle East.

Author: Frank Gardener Title: Ultimatum Publisher: Penguin 2018

29 December 2019

A very LAAF type of book

Despite being starting in March some 15 years after 11 November 1918, "The Order of The Day' is a very November sort of read.

Impressionist and factual at the same time it features excellent quality of writing.

Thin and light in shape and weight it is dense and poignant in content and impact; and easy to carry around and read on public transport. It provides a sober, contemporary reading of old European events. A reading that can be transformed into a tool and used to analyse the present.

The translation reads magnificently, which doesn't stop me from tormenting myself with the question: "Saving the planet demands reading books in the local language. Books, just like all else, shouldn't be flown, should they?"

I am trying to convince myself that reading books in their original tongue is vanity.

I hope that my sacrifice of not demanding Clément to bring 'L'ordre du jour' from France, will be the feather that will outweight the cheap labour hands flown weekly from London to construction sites in Manchester, Dublin or whereverelsenot and then flown back for family weekends in an endless displacing of those already displaced.

3 November 2019

Soho Reads

Khanif Koreishi - Suburban Buddha

LAAF Reads

LAAF Reads its Uncle

Uncle like in the brother of my father. More on Mahmoud Saeed and The World Through the Eyes of Angels and his other books coming soon.

This particular copy of the book was bought at Blackwell's, Oxford, where they had two more titles of Mahmoud Saeed.

Review coming soon