Osama Van Halen

Michael Muhammad Knight, Author . Soft Skull $14.95 (212p) ISBN 978-1-59376-242-1

Knight (The Taqwacores ) goes meta in this very self-involved satirical blitz, throwing characters from previous books into a psycho showdown with the author. The less than cohesive central narrative follows Iranian Shiite skinhead Amazing Ayyub—after he and burka-wearing punker Rabeya kidnap Matt Damon in a bid to end Hollywood’s puerile depiction of Muslims—on a cross-country journey to assassinate a sellout Muslim punk band. As Amazing Ayyub travels and dodges zombies and psychobilly jinns, first-person recollections by “the author” document his attending Islamic academic conferences and drolly conversing about Sufism, F. Scott Fitzgerald and his inability to create well-rounded female characters. The obligatory (and somewhat disappointing) final showdown between Knight and his perennially pissed-off creations hints that Knight’s interest remains with the antic adventures of the characters he clearly adores, rather than in, say, any traditional notions of plot. Knight’s potential is evident on nearly every page, but the in-jokes and frequent self-references will limit this book’s appeal to readers well versed in things taqwacore. (July)

Reviewed on: 05/18/2009
Release date: 06/01/2009
Open Ebook - 221 pages - 978-1-59376-352-7
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