Whilst many stories have come out of Iran in the last few decades, nothing matches the grittiness of this portrayal of life in the crumbling alleyways and damp cellars of an Iranian slum district — The extreme poverty and desperation, and the regular betrayals and compromises, even within families, in the fight for survival. Born on the back seat of a police car in the subzero temperatures of a bleak and icy winter’s night, Karimi summons extraordinary and unwavering dedication throughout his childhood to break free of this hopeless existence, culminating in the achievement of his dream to become a surgeon.
But the vocation that guarantees freedom from poverty will, for this profoundly compassionate man, inevitably lead to entrapment in a deadly struggle to stay alive in the world of betrayals, brutal tortures and executions by the ruthless Iranian Intelligence Service.
The final chapter of this enthralling memoir describes Karma’s nail-biting escape across the border into Turkey, only to be pursued by the nightmares for which he seeks a measure of atonement in the writing of this book.
Paperback, Wild Dingo Press, 2012