Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed SaadawiHadi, a junk dealer who lives in a dilapidated building in the historic district of town, brings back body parts blown up by explosives, attaches them together, and brings the result to life through an unknown astrological magic. Multiple bombs go off in the city throughout the day some explosions worse than others , and minor characters are steeped in Iraqi history. Aziz the Egyptian, who owns the coffee shop, is an expatriate who came to Baghdad for a better life. Faraj the realtor wishes to buy as many properties in the Bataween district as possible to make a maximum profit. Ali Baher al-Saidi, the publisher of the magazine al-Haqiqa , is only interested in his own well-being and notoriety as an editor. Brigadier Majid hunts the Frankenstein monster not for the safety of the community, but for his own political desires to become a more powerful military figurehead. When a journalist obtains recordings of the monster, we discover that the Whatsitsname, ironically, is the most eloquent individual in the entire novel.
Frankenstein in Baghdad
Frankenstein in Baghdad is set in the aftermath of the US invasion of Iraq. Baghdad seems somehow both ordinary and extraordinary: it is a city where journalists and government officials might meet at the Novotel and deplore the state of things, and where one must decide whether bus or taxi offers the quickest route to the office at rush hour; but it is also a city in which men take canvas sacks to the sites of explosions and collect the detritus of passers-by blown into bits. Hadi, a disreputable old junk-dealer, finds a nose on the street and takes it home to his shed. This was a nameless victim of sectarian violence, retrieved from the Baghdad streets by Hadi, who cannot countenance the idea of hasty burials of corpses that are incomplete. Saadawi — with absolute narrative authority — takes a turn for the fantastic when a security guard is killed by an exploding truck. When Hadi wakes, his creation has gone. What ensues is an acute portrait of Middle Eastern sectarianism and geopolitical ineptitude, an absurdist morality fable, and a horror fantasy.