Review of Brothers of the Gun: A Memoir of the Syrian War by Marwan Hisham and Molly Crabapple
One of the best things I did was to read Brothers of the Gun. I loved every minute of it. It had all the elements that seduce me into reading – History, War, Politics, and a Memoir, and to top it with chocolate cream it had stunning Illustrations by Molly Crabapple; yet I was apprehensive to read it… Perhaps the size of the book or the ever-increasing To-be-read pile of books had more to do with my decision, but then my curiosity overrode my apprehensions.
Brothers of the Gun by Marwan Hisham and Molly Crabapple is a remarkably self-aware Memoir documenting Author Marwan Hisham’s life in War-torn Syria from its inception to present.
This is the story of youth ripped in pieces, of fading dreams, torn families and people living in perpetual terror of death. Born in the poor neighborhood of Raqqa, Marwan and his two best friends Nael and his brother Tareq are like any other normal youth with dreams for themselves, their parents and their country, but lurking in the background is a war for freedom from country’s President, Bashar al-Assad, which shreds every hope of accomplishing their dreams of stable future. The three friends get scattered; one Martyr another an Islamist revolutionary and Hisham a freelance journalist; A war spectator who saw bombings from his house, crumpled neighborhood houses, dead relatives, and friends.
Words that moved me:
“We shout in their collective face. We stare death in its eyes, and our minds are opened.
They have guns. We have nothing. In nothing there is power.”
“The word event was enough.
Events that eat up humans, that drawn memories, that we never speak of again”
We don’t know much about Syria or its History and what we know comes from News or Newspapers. In the Brothers of the Gun, we get to see an unadulterated version of War-torn Syria from Hisham’s eyes, and Molly Crabapple’s illustrations provide powerful context to the memoir. From running an Internet café frequented by ISIS Soldiers to taking photographs of war-torn places of Syria to give the blow by blow news of current situation of war-torn Raqqa to the world through Twitter.
The book makes for a brutally honest and authentic account of the Syrian war. The anger towards western countries like America, France, and Russia is scattered throughout the pages of the book. A civil war that started as a revolution and turned into a hell where a government continues to bomb its people and foreigners wage war against each other on Syrian soil.
Narration & Language:
The narration is very engaging, takes you to a rollercoaster ride of past and present in a very fluid manner. Language is very smooth flowing and easy to understand. Book keeps you glued to the very end.
Should you read the book?
I loved the book. Molly Crabapple’s Illustrations gave depth and meaning to the book. Those who are interested in Syria or are a lover of Autobiographies and Memoirs this is the book. So, I recommend it to all.
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