Prisoner of Tehran by Marina NematPrisoner of Tehran by Marina Nemat

Prisoner of Tehran

byMarina Nemat

Hardcover | April 3, 2007

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Heather's Review

Stories which quietly reveal incredible, almost unfathomable courage always draw me in. Prisoner of Tehran is one such story. It is the personal journey of Marina Nemat, an Iranian woman whose life experiences could hardly be imagined. When the story opens, Marina is sixteen. The Iranian Revolution has just occurred ushering in, amon...

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Arrested at age sixteen in Ayatollah Khomeini’s Iran, Marina Nemat was imprisoned in Teheran’s notorious Evin prison for two years. She emigrated to Canada in 1991 and lives with her husband and two sons near Toronto.
Title:Prisoner of TehranFormat:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 9.25 × 6.25 × 1 inPublished:April 3, 2007Language:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0670066125

ISBN - 13:9780670066124


Rated 3 out of 5 by from Very interesting read This book is about a young Christian woman who becomes a political prisoner in Iran and chronicles the rise of the Islamic state. *slight spoiler alert* In the process of her imprisonment, a guard asks her to marry him, but forces her to convert to Islam to do so. For her, it becomes a choice of that or the horrors, and death sentence, that awaits her in the prison. What I particularly liked about this book was that she was able to give a great account of the horrors people faced there without particularly demonizing anyone. Even her husband, which does do some horrible things, you find difficult to fully dislike at the end. It is a fair account of things, and a great read for Canadians to realize the things people face in other countries, and why they chose to come here.
Date published: 2009-04-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from moving and insightful Wonderfully moving and in sightful.
Date published: 2009-01-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from WOW !!! What an amazing book. I couldn't put it down...What a brave woman...
Date published: 2008-11-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Proper Book This book is beautifully written, and even though I'm not Iranian, and I have never been there, she tells it in a way that makes you feel as if you are there with her, through her happy times, and through the anguish. Well done, and really, a proper book!!!
Date published: 2008-06-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Freedom in Canada The author was a brave woman who refused to see the world in black and white. She loved to read and learn also to express herself. Therefore she was seen as an activist. In Iran at the Evin prison she was tortured at the age of 16. If Ali Moosavi hadn't been her interrogator who intervened moments before her execution she would not be alive today to tell this story. For years she buried her memoirs till she moved to Canada where here she can express herself and tell her story of the Iran revolution. My favorite quote in this book is "Will you forgive me....for not asking" quote by her husband, Andre. A very touching book.
Date published: 2007-10-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An Incredible Personal Journey of Unfathomable Courage Stories which quietly reveal incredible, almost unfathomable courage always draw me in. Prisoner of Tehran is one such story. It is the personal journey of Marina Nemat, an Iranian woman whose life experiences could hardly be imagined. When the story opens, Marina is sixteen. The Iranian Revolution has just occurred ushering in, among other things, Khomeini’s view of how girls and women are to behave. In a very short time, free-spirited women her age and older must learn a very new way of life. They can no longer talk freely with men; they must cover their heads; there are places they cannot go without a male family member’s permission and accompaniment. And life choices are severely curtailed. A few weeks into the new regime, there is a harsh knock on the door of the home where Marina lives with her family. In moments she is dragged from her bed and arrested on a trumped up charge of disobedience. She is taken to the infamous Evin prison and beaten savagely in an attempt to force a false confession. A few nights later, she is taken from her cell and, along with a half dozen other prisoners, driven to an open field. Minutes before what is clearly to be a group execution, an official arrives with a stay only for Marina and she is taken back to her cell. The story which follows traces Marina’s life for the next several years – how she manages to survive in prison by helping other young women, how she is “wooed” by one of the men who originally tortured her and then is forced to comply with his proposal of marriage, and how she eventually ends up escaping the marriage and fleeing the country. There are so many harrowing twists and turns in this story but it is through these that we see the emergence of a woman of extraordinary inner strength – a woman who refuses to be overtaken by her brutal circumstances. More than seventeen years or so elapse between Nemat’s time in prison and her decision to share her secrets and tell her story. And this she finally does from the safety of her home in Toronto, Canada. You will start this book and finish it in one reading. It is impossible to put down.
Date published: 2007-09-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A "Must Read"! I had to put this book down sometimes in order to take a breath and say to myself "yes, this is someone's real life". Thank you Marina Nemat for stepping outside of what must have been a comfort zone in order to be a witness for those who cannot, for whatever reason, speak of their own experiences. 'Prisoner of Tehran' has something to say to anyone who cherishes freedom as we enjoy it here in Canada and those who take it for granted.
Date published: 2007-07-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Gripping This memoir has everything: romance, suspense, adventure.... You will not be able to put it down. The author's courage -- both during her imprisonment and then reliving that horror 20 years later in order to write this book -- is inspiring.
Date published: 2007-07-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A warning against religious fanatics! This is a bone-chilling account of what can happen in a totalitarian state – especially one driven by fanaticism – in this case Islamic fanaticism. Everyone who things the Islamists are somehow “all right” should read this. It is not a political account but a very personal one. It describes in a straightforward way what happened to young woman who dared to speak out in class against a propaganda-spouting teacher. She was snatched from the firing squad by a jail guard who coveted her and married her after she converted to Islam. Her journey to Canada was long a torturous and the fact that she had the strength to write this book is a tribute to human resilience. It deserves to be made into a good movie – something like “The Lives of Other People” that chronicled life in the former East Germany.
Date published: 2007-07-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Amazing courage I couldn't put this book down. It's an amazing story of courage and belief against all odds. It really demonstrates the battles people have to go through in countries where there is no rule of law, and no or little democracy.
Date published: 2007-07-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from amazingly beautiful book It took me about a day to read this amazing book as I couldn't put it down so riveting is the story. As I did put it down, I thought that this is one of the most beautiful books I have ever read! The courage and humanity of the author shine through the pages of this short autobiographical work and cannot help to move you. In this time of widespread inhumanity and terrorism, it is a comforting to witness the endurance of faith, hope and charity even in the most horrific circumstances. It is altogether too easy - and too dangerous - to look at the world in black and white, and the author's testimony shows that there is always space for a miracle (e.g. the birth of Ali's sister's child) to transform terrible events. Thank you Marina!
Date published: 2007-07-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An amazing story This is an amazing story about one very normal teenage girl (who worries about clothes and boys and likes to ride her bike and play by the sea), who gets thrown into a terrifying and degrading situation. Marina's story is only one of many, but it gives a good snapshot of the incredible brutality of the regime - I mean, she was sentenced to death for rebelling against her math teacher! She is an incredibly lucky woman, and the story of how she manages to survive is truly amazing. It is clear that she had to make some terrible sacrifices in order to secure her safety and freedom and she acknowledges that most did not have the opportunities that she did. That's the sad reality of survivors' stories..they are the ones who are around to report what happened. Not only is the story compelling, the writing is clear, easily readable and the story flows quite smoothly. I hope you fall in love with Marina as I did, and learn something about the human suffering that continues to this day in Iran.
Date published: 2007-07-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Courageously Captivating Prisoner of Tehran is a riveting account of a young Iranian girl taken from the security of her home as a political prisoner by revolutionary guards during the Iranian Revolution. Marina Nemat, at 16 years of age is an innocent, bright, independent free-thinking young woman who is forceably confined at the notorious Evin Prison without receiving the basic human right of due process. It is during the next three years that torture, fear and loneliness are her constant companions. She is not alone; many other young people are taken prisoner without knowing the charges against them. Marina survives to tell her story. Marina takes you on a lovingly, detailed journey through her secure childhood and the world she knew where there was harmony among people regardless of religious affiliation to the gradual decay of this harmony with the rise of Khomeini and his doctrine. The journey continues through the difficult period at school where she questions the new ‘rules’ which eventually leads to her arrest and the dark years of her imprisonment. The journey culminates with her release, aided by an unlikely source, her reunification with family and friends and the eventual relocation to Canada. Marina shares her struggle and comes to terms with her past by putting her thoughts and nightmares to paper. I am immensely proud that Marina has shown the steadfast courage to share her difficult but inspiring story. A must read for anyone who treasures freedom.
Date published: 2007-07-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely Great Great book, great reading. She is a very courageous woman and she is a great writer. This is a must read, not just about the perversity of totalitarian governments but about the destructive power of fundamentalism.
Date published: 2007-07-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Heartbreaking, mind-opening, an extraordinary book Division among people, in any form, is a tragedy, and its greatest ally is silence. Marina Nemat has followed her soul's obligation to share her life experience, and it is absolutely, unequivocally her right to do so. We are all entitled to speak of what has occurred to us, in the way we best remember. I am less convinced of anyone's right to attack the memories of another. Prisoner of Tehran is courageous and beautifully written, and may I point out to Ms. Nemat's detractors that we readers are choosing to buy her book. Choosing to speak of it. May the time come soon when no one, anywhere, is shamed, threatened or imprisoned for their thoughts.
Date published: 2007-07-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing story I read this book, cover to cover, and could barely put it down. It is an amazing story of courage in a situation which most of us could not survive. Marina did what she had to do to survive and it is amazing that she came out of it with her sanity intact. Sahar, in her review would have us believe that just because someone is on the other side of an issue they are all evil. Not so. When placed in a situation over which you have no control and you are ordered to do something, you do it, no matter how repugnant it may be, to survive. I applaud Marina's courage, she let her instincts for survival guide her through her ordeal and she has gone on to make a better life for herself.
Date published: 2007-07-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing This book was wonderful - touching, well-written, revealing. Thanks for the courage to write so courageously about such a difficult time.
Date published: 2007-07-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Compelling, riveting, truthful and inspiring I read this book and totally disagree with the previous review by someone who claims to have been a prisoner in Evin at the same time as Marina. This book is beautifully written, it is full of compassion and deep understanding of human nature. It is a very brave and HONEST recount of a very tragic moment in the author's life. It is her life, her point of view, her experience, which is quite unique. That's what makes it worth reading! Marina clearly had a choice: she could come out of prison bitter, full of hatred and idiotic (like the previous reviewer), or wiser and with a deeper commitment towards healing and, more importantly, willing to tell her story so the people who died (and continue to die under Iran's brutal regime) will not be forgotten. It took Marina Nemat many years to gather the courage to confront her past and her memories and to put them down in writing in a truthful and beautiful way. She should be commended for her courage. What she did is very admirable, and every sane person who reads this book will see that right away. Prisoner of Tehran is a fantastic read, it's really moving. I hope it becomes a best seller soon!
Date published: 2007-07-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from rare, complex, and beautiful Marina's story is rare and precious. Very few people who experience political imprisonment and torture in Iran step forward to tell their stories. There is the fear of reprisal but also cultural pressure to suppress the terrible things that happened and simply forge ahead with life. Marina fearlessly relates all that happened to her, but in a surprising way. She does so without anger or hatred. Marina is at peace with what happened to her and finds forgiveness for her captors. In doing so, she illuminates the complicated world of human interaction, where there are only shades of gray instead of black and white, good guys versus bad guys. Simply put, Marina truly is an example of the human capacity for courage, humility and compassion.
Date published: 2007-07-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Testament to the human strength This is not a political book. This story shows all sides of humanity; from the lack of respect for life to the courage it takes to make hard decisions and pull through situations most people will never understand. This book is a must read for everyone, and will provide the reader with inspiration and appreciation for everything in our daily lives that we usually take for granted.
Date published: 2007-07-06
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Misleading, opportunistic I read this book. This book is targeting the innocent readers who are not familiar with the facts about the prisons in Iran and is manipulating their sentiments. It is regrettable that the book creates sort of sympathy with the torturers who lashed, flagged, tortured and sent hundreds of youngsters to fire squads only because they resisted the religious dictatorship when it was taking shape. I myself, was a prisoner in the same prison and about the same time as Marina claims to be. Because of the numerous discrepancies with the reality that we were in, there is a strong indication that she has put together the story from the memoirs of the other prisoners. Even if we are optimistic and believe in this scenario, the book is unfairly portraying a wrong picture from the prison. It implies as if there has been good interrogators there! Only the inmates were good guys! There was no good torturers competing with bad torturers there! All were evil! That was it! On the other hand, if we believe her story is true, then we should conclude that she had been a collaborator with the interrogators. She had had hard time for only two nights, the rest of her term she had lived as a queen compared to the other inmates. She claims to having been comforting the tortured cellmates but in fact she had been comforting her torturer husband by sleeping with him in the neighboring cells! Instead of being ashamed and apologizing for her past, Marina wants to cash in on the ordeals of the victims. The author is taking the advantage of the global negative image of the Iranian regime as well as her belonging to the Christian minority in that country.
Date published: 2007-06-15