Review of The Burqa Master by Cid Andrenelli

The Burqa Master by Cid Andrenelli

Satire at its finest mixed with a handful of Persian saffron spice

The Burqa Master by Cid Andrenelli is a satirical, tongue-in-cheek look at the lives of a multi-generational Persian family living in a cramped apartment in London. The comedy is told in the style of a play with literary elements of a novel. As a film maker myself and also having participated in theatrical productions in the past, I found the read to be quite entertaining.

The characters in the story are colourful and outrageous. From the old man, a diabetic religious man who spews out sermons to cleanse the unholiness surrounding him while his ghetto blaster blares out prayer chants; his son Hamid who devises a plan to make some money and have a little fun which involves wearing a Burqa dress (an outfit that covers a woman from head to toe—only revealing her eyes) while giving private “English” lessons to Iranian housewives; his son-in-law Abbas who proclaims that he has converted to Buddhism and obsesses with all things Japanese; his grandson Hosro who calls him Baba (Dad) and listens to his ranting and crazy schemes; and finally his pet dog Turin (later named Cyrus), an animal he declares are forbidden to have inside the house due to their religious beliefs– only contradicting himself later when he proclaims that the dog is the only one who listens to him which is why he purchases a dog basket and permanently places it on top of Hamid’s bed. The events that transpire are hilarious at times and sad at others. Although there is humour in the calamity that the old man finds himself in, we find later that there is a terrible event in his life, one that changed his and his family’s life forever causing them to run away from their home in Tehran to England… a secret which he has been keeping from his children all these years.

I truly laughed from the bottom of my stomach (guffawed actually) at the antics of the old Persian man, Turin (or Cyrus) his little most hated (most loved) dog, Hamid the Burqa master, Abbas his wanna-be Japanese converted Buddhist son-in-law and the rest of the characters. The satire in the story reminded me of a favourite old British comedy “On the Buses” albeit with a Persian twist. : ) Cid Andrenelli’s writing is lively and provocative—she mixes humour with cultural and family drama along with a dash of religious parody. I hope that this story ends up on the big screen some day or on stage. I anticipate reading or watching more of the author’s work in the future. I foresee the author producing more of her work in multi-mediums (novels, plays and films) as she has the talent and creativity to do this very well.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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