Follow Here To Purchase An Untimely Love

Author: Tendai Huchu

ISBN: 978-1-60313-923-6 

This is a story about an intended suicide bomber and his physical and mental journey. An already growing awareness of his dubious morality is suddenly sharpened by a deep sexual if initially superficial love. Rather than burn hot then die this passion becomes the catalyst of change.

By the time I had finished this book I could empathize with a terrorist, or at least with the personality behind the misguided hands. I was totally involved by the first person narrative, spoken through Khalid, of this clever book. The private voice had a very believable, a very ordinary, quality to it, drawing me into his situation and his shifting understanding of the world. We feel Khalid’s passions and confusions, almost as though they are our own.

I condemn extremism of all colours and creeds, especially when the drivers of such beliefs lead to violence. When that violence is committed against the innocent then, like nearly every one of us, I am enraged. However, like most close observers, I think I understand how justifiable grievances, marginalized backgrounds, and manipulation by evil people can draw rational and fundamentally good people to perform evil deeds. When those drivers are misplaced loyalties to apparently friendly peers and a feeling of injustice, and when these are fueled by religious myopia, then sometimes a mind capable of justifying the unthinkable is created. When the individuals that become these terrors are naturally intelligent creatures they can be all the more dangerous, but equally there is sometimes hope that their natural wit will also serve to turn them onto more humanitarian paths. That thought was soon pushing me to turn the pages.

Huchu deals with very difficult issues in a very sensitive way. I fail to see any cultural slight in his narrative, something that is very hard to achieve when we are talking about unspeakable crimes. We all have bias in our views, but this book is so well written that I sense none at all from the author. We are left to fill in a lot of background, which is perfectly fine. In this case the stretching of our own imaginations only helps to further draw us in. We especially have to work our own background for Khalid’s sudden true love, Smokey. I’m sure this is Hushu’s deliberate intention, a device to help us build greater personal empathy. The alternative, the twisting and turning of plot to bring background before Khalid’s eyes, would have made for a much longer book and certainly for a less sharp focus. Hushu kept the book tight. What Khalid did not discover, we are not privileged to know either. As Khalid we are to suffer from imperfect knowledge, just as we all experience life.

This is a very exciting plot with plenty of serious food for thought. It is written looking from a metaphorical window into multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, diverse and variably religious England. But it speaks of marginalization everywhere. Huchu has created a great plot that draws heavily on real modern events, has great pace and excitement, but at the same time has some sometimes obvious and sometimes very subtle things to say to us all. For me this is an important book. Probably as important as any fiction I have ever read.

 

Follow Here To Purchase An Untimely Love