My Uncle Napoleon by Iraj Pezeshkzad

My Uncle Napoleon by Iraj Pezeshkzad was recommended by my Middle East tutor. It is the first novel I read by an Iranian author. In true Iranian style, the novel is best enjoyed by those with a bit of knowledge of history, as it is a satire. The story is narrated by a teenager who is in love with his Dear Uncle Napoleon’s daughter. The book was banned in Iran after the revolution and I’m not surprised at all as it mocks 1970s politics and it also has a lot of sexual references that naturally appalled Khomeini.

My Uncle Napoleon by Iraj Pezeshkzad

The uncle is called Napoleon because of his love for Napoleon Bonaparte and, of course, his intense hatred towards the English who are to blame for everything, conspiring all the time. The book was published in 1973 so it reflects the Iranian society at that point, but the story takes place in the 1940s Tehran.

Some of the jokes, including San Francisco, got a bit repetitive at points, but overall it is a funny novel, well worth reading. The family is made up of one-dimensional characters, a funny uncle, a bitter uncle, an aunt with a nasty husband, a gorgeous cousin, and so on. I gave the book 5 stars and I would recommend it.

My Uncle Napoleon by Iraj Pezeshkzad

Details about the picture: –
My rating: 5/5 Stars
Would I recommend it: yes
Published by: Modern Library
Year it was published: 2006 (first published in 1973)
Format: Paperback
Genre(s): Contemporary fiction
Pages: 528

About the author: Iraj Pezeshkzad (1928 in Tehran – 12 January 2022 in Los Angeles) was an Iranian writer and author of the famous Persian novel “Dā’i Jān Napoleon” (Uncle Napoleon, translated as “My Uncle Napoleon”) published in 1973.
Iraj Pezeshkzad was educated in Iran and France where he received his degree in Law. He served as a judge in the Iranian Judiciary for five years prior to joining the Iranian Foreign Service. He began writing in the early 1950s by translating the works of Voltaire and Molière into Persian and by writing short stories for magazines. His novels include “Haji Mam-ja’far in Paris”, and “Mashalah Khan in the Court of Haroun al-Rashid”. He has also written several plays and various articles on the Iranian Constitutional Revolution of 1905-1911, the French Revolution, and the Russian Revolution. He is currently living in Paris where he works as a journalist.
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