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Extended Audio Sample The Sirens of Baghdad, by Yasmina Khadra Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (650 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Yasmina Khadra Narrator: Jason Collins Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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A student at the University of Baghdad must return to his small village home when the Americans invade Iraq. There, he witnesses American soldiers kill the benign village idiot, bomb a wedding, and finally, terrorize his family in his own home. Consumed by the desire for vengeance, the youth leaves for the city, where he is taken in by a radical group. After proving his mettle in several attacks, he is entrusted with a super-secret mission, which he struggles to reconcile with his moral principles.

A masterful look at the effects of violence on ordinary people, The Sirens of Baghdad explores the depths of human nature as it confronts the most horrific circumstances.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Yasmina Khadra’s work has been compared to that of his Algerian compatriot Albert Camus, and The Sirens of Baghdad has a similar blaze of heat, the same heavy, insoluble questions and the same need to face them down, even to one’s death…The novel builds to a startling and wrenching finish.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Like all the great storytellers of history, Khadra espouses the contradictions of his characters, who carry in themselves the entirety of the human condition.”

    Le Point (Paris)

  • “An astonishing novel with overtones of Camus…It’s simply admirable…a magisterial work of fiction.”

    Lire (France)

  • “Couldn’t be more timely…[Khadra] manages to make the thoughts of a suicide bomber accessible to a Western readership, even as the scope of the terrorist’s intended target…will send a shiver down the spine of most readers…Khadra manages to inject a note of hope toward the end, without betraying his powerful message of how the occupation of Iraq has brutalized both the Iraqis and the Americans.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “With sincere-sounding feeling, Jason Collins delivers the story of a young man’s quest to repudiate his homeland, war-ravaged Iraq. Collins creates distinctive personas for the novel’s various male characters—in particular capturing the young protagonist’s anger with society as well as his turmoil at finding himself displaced in the world. Somber, with a slightly angry edge, the story builds as the quiet youth is urged by a radical group to make a difference. Collins delivers his lines in an increasingly clipped and hard-bitten tone as the plot escalates. With his masterful delivery Collins propels the listener through an intense story.”


  • “This is Khadra’s second novel about a phenomenon that mystifies so many Westerners—the educated, intelligent Arab terrorist…it dramatically embodies the points about cultural clash that Meic Pearse argues in Why the Rest Hate the West (2004). That is, it shows why crystal-clearly.”


  • “Perhaps the most frighteningly plausible doomsday scenario yet to appear in fictional treatments of this seemingly insoluble crisis. And if it doesn’t scare the hell out of you, you’re not paying enough attention.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Andrea Stremmel | 2/17/2014

    " Very good book. Read Sirens of Kabul as well. Both are excellent. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Battle Pincus | 2/2/2014

    " I really enjoyed this book. It is the third book in a trilogy,but it is not necessary to read the otehr two books. I think the writer beautifully explains what has happened in Iraq and gives the American people a new perspective on the war. I think it is a must read and took a couple of days to read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Jon Archer | 1/17/2014

    " Awesome. Poetic, enlightening, disturbing, hypnotic. Absolutely tore through this. Should be required reading for all. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by debbie | 1/16/2014

    " about a young iraqi boy who experiences three horrific incidents in a span of a week or two...after the last one he heads out to baghdad to join the resistance...he gets caught up in something so deadly that in the end he must question if killing is the way to end the war...it's a very good book...eye opening as to what the iraqi people are going through... "

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About the Author
Author Yasmina Khadra

Yasmina Khadra is a pen name of Algerian army officer Mohammed Moulessehoul, who is the author of three other books published in English: The Swallows of Kabul, In the Name of God, and Wolf Dreams. He took the feminine pseudonym to avoid submitting his manuscripts for approval by military censors while he was still in the army. He lives in France.