The Book of Trouble

The Book of Trouble : A Romance

3.36 (19 ratings by Goodreads)
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She's a forty-four-year-old writer with a bohemian past, and he's a preppy engineer ten years younger. She's a Jewish New Yorker fascinated by his country's traditional family compound life; he's a devout Muslim who loves partying, Western-style. Both are passionate, but each keeps love and sex apart. She follows desire rather than convention; he insists he wants an arranged marriage. When he speaks of "making love" their first night together, she almost laughs at the expression. But after decades of intellectualizing love, she is surprised to find herself acknowledging the power of the heart.
A defense of romance in a time of calculation and an ode to sexual passion amid our culture's turning away from the body, The Book of Trouble shakes up what we thought we knew about love, sex, and family.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 277 pages
  • 144.8 x 210.8 x 30.5mm | 430.92g
  • United States
  • English
  • 0151011311
  • 9780151011315

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Flap copy

A sexy, intimate and fearless account of a shattering love affair between a charistmatic Afghan man and a Jewish American writer infatuated with his culture, The Book of Trouble is also a provocative and original exploration of the so-called "clash of civilizations." Marlowe's vivid, gritty evocation of daily life in Afghanistan brings to life a luminous place she thinks of as "the morning of the world." She finds a similar re-discovery of feeling when she is in bed with Amir, "the gift of loving someone, which is incalculable"--but also, ultimately, a"terrible gap between hearts."
Marlowe finds complexity and beauty in Afghanistan, not the caricature of evil men and oppressed women. In fact, she found much that Americans can learn from in the warmth, tenderness and respect of Afghan family life and marriage. As Marlowe travels from Mazar-i-Sherif to her sophisticated, cynical New York world and then to Baghdad in the aftermath of the American invasion, she makes perhaps her most provocative claim: that we Americans, for all our self-help books, have forgotten how to take love and sex seriously.
A candid, wrenching love letter to the world of feelings we have lost, The Book of Trouble is unique and unforgettable.
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Back cover copy

"You won't soon forget "The Book of Trouble." Ann Marlowe tells a crushing love story, and somehow also manages to weave in exotic tales of travel and fascinating tangents about everything from cousin marriage to fake Arabic."--James Frey, author of "A Million Little Pieces" and "My Friend Leonard"
"Ann Marlowe has a sense of adventure, style and a startling intelligence that makes "The Book of Trouble "a must-read. Whether she's writing about Iraq, Afghanistan, or the West Village, and whether you agree with her conclusions or not, her opinions are always fresh, nuanced, and thoroughly her own."--Gary Shteyngart, author of "The Russian Debutante's Handbook"
""The Book of Trouble" is about a difficult love affair across an age and cultural divide, but it transcends its circumstances to become an eloquent meditation on marriage, freedom, religion andgender. Ann Marlowe feels a lot, but her feelings are always nuanced and contradictory; her book is an unusually rich reading of her emotional and intellectual conflicts."--Edmund White, author of "A Boy's Own Story"
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Review quote

"Ann Marlowe is . . . a relentless moral essayist and a secret poet."--Luc Sante
"With fierce clarity and an unflinching grasp of paradox, Ann Marlowe sets a new standard for bullshit detection."--Jonathan Lethem
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Rating details

19 ratings
3.36 out of 5 stars
5 16% (3)
4 21% (4)
3 47% (9)
2 16% (3)
1 0% (0)
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