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Download City of Lies: Love, Sex, Death, and the Search for Truth in Tehran Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample City of Lies: Love, Sex, Death, and the Search for Truth in Tehran, by Ramita Navai, Sylvia Lisle Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ramita Navai, Sylvia Lisle Narrator: Sylvia Lisl Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Rich, absorbing, and exotic, City of Lies travels up and down Vali Asr Street, Tehran’s pulsing thoroughfare, from the lavish shopping malls of Tajrish through the smog that lingers over the alleyways and bazaars of the city’s southern districts.

Ramita Navai gives voice to ordinary Iranians forced to live extraordinary lives: the porn star, the aging socialite, the assassin and enemy of the state who ends up working for the Republic, the dutiful housewife who files for divorce, and the old-time thug running a gambling den.

In today’s Tehran, intrigues abound and survival depends on an intricate network of falsehoods: mullahs visit prostitutes, local mosques train barely pubescent boys in crowd-control tactics, and cosmetic surgeons promise to restore girls’ virginity. Navai paints an intimate portrait of those discreet recesses in a city where the difference between modesty and profanity, loyalty and betrayal, honor and disgrace is often no more than the believability of a lie.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Taken together, the book’s eight compulsively readable chapters, each focused on a different Iranian, paint a harrowing portrait of the city today…Readers are granted a panoramic view of Tehrani society: from the faux-Greek mansions that house the nouveau riche in the city’s north, to a midtown bustling with students, merchants, and young women with ‘enough make-up to make a drag queen recoil,’ to the shacks and poverty of south Tehran.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • City of Lies is an extraordinary insight into a country barely known—and often feared—by the West.”


  • “It is here, amid the tire shops and garages, the ‘decaying houses shedding brick and dust into gaping holes and alleys that spread out like rivulets, some barely wider than two shoulders, where dirt-encrusted children with matted hair played in the streets next to smacked-out prostitutes slumped on the cracked asphalt’ that Navai finds her best effects.”

    Guardian (London)

  • “[Navai’s] beautifully written book captures the pace, pulse, and passions of day-to-day existence.”

    Minneapolis Star-Tribune

  • “An intriguing book based on the premise that, to survive in a repressive regime where the government believes it has the right to interfere in even your most intimate matters, you have to lie…Navai has a reporter’s eye for the telling detail…This is a timely and beautifully written insight into the lives of Tehranis—‘masters at manipulating the truth,’ Navai says—just as their country seems to be opening up.”

    Sunday Times (London)

  • “[Navai’s] stories are almost unbelievable. They reveal a Tehran so riddled with social, political, sexual, and religious contradictions that it’s difficult to imagine how someone could navigate the fraught maze of daily life. Navai stunned this reader with her attention to detail.”

    Sunday Telegraph (London)

  • “[A] collection of beautifully written profiles.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Navai, a British-Iranian journalist, takes readers on a journey of personal stories plucked from up and down the boulevard, from the grandeur of the northern points, with ornate houses from French colonial times and high-end shopping districts, to the crowded, working-class and poorer areas in the south…Navai writes with punch, providing an immediacy that makes for compulsive page-turning.”


  • “The stories are real. But they are written in a lively style that reads like a novel. Navai is impressive as a reporter, finding these characters and convincing them to share their stories. She also is an eloquent writer who uses her subjects to tell the larger tale of the degradation of the Iranian culture.”


  • “Sylvia Lisle narrates insightful glimpses into the often opaque nation of Iran and it citizens. With its husky timbre, her deliberate narration and precise enunciation create a scholarly persona, which she maintains throughout the volume…Lyrical descriptions of Iran’s streets and people will engage listeners. The liveliness Lisle gives to the reported speech of ordinary citizens brings the strengths of fictional characterizations to a nonfiction title.”


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About the Narrator

Sylvia Lisle is a highly experienced British actress. She has extensive experience in the voice-over field.