WINNER OF THE ABIA AUDIOBOOK OF THE YEAR 2020 In 2013, Kurdish journalist Behrouz Boochani was illegally detained on Manus Island. This book is the result. Laboriously tapped out on a mobile phone and translated from the Farsi. It is a voice of witness, an act of survival. A lyric firsthand account. A cry of resistance. A vivid portrait through five years of incarceration and exile. At the time of recording, Behrouz was still being held on Manus Island. Normally the author is given the opportunity to read his own words but because he was not able to participate, a chorus of advocates have come together to speak not so much for Behrouz but with him. Narrated by Richard Flanagan, Mathilda Imlah, Geoffrey Robertson, Janet Galbraith, Thomas Keneally, Sarah Dale, Yumi Stynes, Isobelle Carmody, Benjamin Law and Omid Tofighian. Where have I come from? From the land of rivers, the land of waterfalls, the land of ancient chants, the land of mountains.... People would run to the mountains to escape the warplanes and found asylum within their chestnut forests.... Do Kurds have any friends other than the mountains? Winner of the Victorian Premier's Literary Prize for Literature and the Prize for Non-Fiction 2019 Winner of the NSW Premier's Award 2019 Winner of the Abia General Fiction Book of the Year 2019 Winner of the National Biography Award 2019 Inaugural Winner of the Behrouz Boochani Award for Services to Anthropology Finalist for the Terzani Prize 2020 Longlisted for the Colin Roderick Literary Award 2019 PRAISE FOR NO FRIEND BUT THE MOUNTAINS 'Our government jailed his body, but his soul remained that of a free man.' RICHARD FLANAGAN 'The most important Australian book published in 2018.' ROBERT MANNE 'A powerful account ... made me feel ashamed and outraged. Behrouz's writing is lyrical and poetic, though the horrors he describes are unspeakable' SOFIE LAGUNA 'A poetic, yet harrowing read, and every Australian household should have a copy.' MAXINE BENEBA CLARKE 'Bears lucid, poetic and devastating witness to the insane barbarity enacted in our name.' MICHELLE DE KRETSER 'A chant, a cry from the heart, a lament, fuelled by a fierce urgency, written with the lyricism of a poet, the literary skills of a novelist, and the profound insights of an astute observer of human behaviour and the ruthless politics of a cruel and unjust imprisonment.' Arnold Zable, author of the award-winning Jewels and Ashes and Cafe Scheherazade 'A shattering book every Australian should read' Benjamin Law (@mrbenjaminlaw 01/02/2019) 'A magnificent writer. To understand the true nature of what it is that we have done, every Australian, beginning with the prime minister, should read Behrouz Boochani's intense, lyrical and psychologically perceptive prose-poetry masterpiece.' The Age 'He immerses the reader in Manus' everyday horrors: the boredom, frustration, violence, obsession and hunger; the petty bureaucratic bullying and the wholesale nastiness; the tragedies and the soul-destroying hopelessness. Its creation was an almost unimaginable task... will lodge deep in the brain of anyone who reads it.' Herald Sun 'Boochani has defied and defeated the best efforts of Australian governments to deny asylum seekers a face and a voice. And what a voice: poetic yet unsentimental, acerbic yet compassionate, sorrowful but never self-indulgent, reflective and considered even in anger and despair. ... It may well stand as one of the most important books published in Australia in two decades, the period of time during which our refugee policies have hardened into shape - and hardened our hearts in the process.' SATURDAY PAPER 'An essential historical document.' Weekend Australian 'In the absence of images, turn to this book to fathom what we have done, what we continue to do. It is, put simply, the most extraordinary and important book I have ever read.' Good Reading Magazine (starred review) "Brilliant writing. Brilliant thinking. Brilliant courage." Professor Marcia...
5 star book, 1 star audiobook
Every chapter in this book has a different person narrating it, which I could cope with until I got to chapter three and the narrator sounded like Gandalf, telling this highly stressful and traumatic situation with an overly-jolly cadence and pompousness. Extremely frustrating and even insulting to this important book! I had to stop listening, I will just read a hard copy.