Indelbed is a lonely kid living in a crumbling mansion in the super dense, super chaotic third world capital Of Bangladesh. His father, Dr. Kaikobad, is the black sheep of their clan, the once illustrious Khan Rahman family. A drunken loutish widower, he refuses to allow Indelbed go to school, and the only thing Indelbed knows about his mother is the official cause of her early demise: "Death by Indelbed."
But When Dr. Kaikobad falls into a supernatural coma, Indelbed and his older cousin, the wise-cracking slacker Rais, learn that Indelbed's dad was in fact a magician—and a trusted emissary to the djinn world. And the Djinns, as it turns out, are displeased. A "hunt" has been announced, and ten year-old Indelbed is the prey. Still reeling from the fact that genies actually exist, Indelbed finds himself on the run. Soon, the boys are at the center of a great Diinn controversy, one tied to the continuing fallout from an ancient war, with ramifications for the future of life as we know it.
Saad Z. Hosscin updates the supernatural creatures Of Arabian mythology—a superior but by no means perfect species pushed to the brink by the staggering ineptitude of the human race. Djinn City is a darkly comedic fanlasy adventure, and a stirring follow-up to Hossain's 2015 novel Escape from Baghdad!, which NPR called "a hilarious and searing indictment of the project we euphemistically call 'nation-building.'"
Saad Z Hossain is the author of two novels, Escape from Baghdad! and Djinn City. He lives in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Praise for Escape from Baghdad!
"Saad Hossain's perplexingly weird debut novel, Escape From Baghdad!, captures the pure insanity of the Iraq War. At the same time, it's not a war novel. Instead, it's a skillfully constructed literary IED that brings together the sharpest aspects from multiple genres. It's a Tarantino-esque Heart of Darkness set in war-torn Iraq, filled with absurdism and dark humor, a mash-up of satirical Joseph Heller-style comedy and sci-fi fantasy with a gratuitous mixture of good old-fashioned ultra-violence." Colby Buzzell, VICE
"Set in the aftermath of the US invasion of Iraq, Bangladeshi author Saad Hossain’s debut novel is a riot of mordant humour and gonzo storytelling
The Gulf war may just have found its Catch-22." James Lovegrove, The Financial Times
"Saad Z. Hossain’s Escape From Baghdad! may be the hippest, weirdest, most creative and visionary book yet to emerge from the full-on debacle that was W’s still-simmering Iraq war. Hossain's unique blend of satire, mythology and speculative fiction makes Escape a hold-onto-your-hat tilt-a-whirl joy to read. And, quite possibly, a future classic in its own right." Jerry Stahl, author of Permanent Midnight, Happy Mutant Baby Pills, I, Fatty
One of Library Journal's Key Spring Titles for 2015
"Hossain daringly shows us that war isn’t just hell but absolutely insane." Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal
"Saad Hossain has given us a hilarious and searing indictment of the project we euphemistically call 'nation-building.' With nods to Catch-22, Frankenstein, The Island of Doctor Moreau and the Golem myth, Escape from Baghdad! weaves fantasy, absurdity and adventure into a moving counter-narrative to the myth of the just war." Daniel José Older, NPR
"It’s a marvelous mix of genres, blending the visceral atmosphere of a war movie with the casual nihilism of Catch-22 or the original M.A.S.H. complete with an Indiana Jonesstyle treasure quest
A gonzo adventure novel that shreds the conventional wisdom that pulp can be pigeonholed." Kirkus Reviews
"Escape from Baghdad! is a virtuoso performance, both utterly heartbreaking and riotously, laugh-out-loud funny... I wanted to stand up and applaud when it was finished, but I didn't want it to finish. I could not recommend it enough." Lavie Tidhar, World Fantasy Award winning author of Osama.
"Saad Z Hossain’s upcoming Escape from Baghdad! (The Unnamed Press, March 2015) is the sci-fi and fantasy writer’s debut novel, characterized as an ArabianNightsesque thriller. Having set the book in modern-day Iraq, Hossain started off his research reading blogs written by American soldiers in Iraq, and then braided together Norse and Greek mythologies." Ploughshares
"Saad Hossain is the author of Escape from Baghdad!, an engrossing cross between Zero Dark Thirty and Raiders of the Lost Ark that takes a sobering look at America's troubled legacy in Iraq." Bookslut
"A delightful fantasy adventure with a YA spirit, a PG rating, and a rich introduction to Arabian mythology." —Kirkus Reviews
"Hossain’s rich, vivid, straightforward prose propels the story at a quick clip. Darkness looms on every page, yet he offsets the serious stakes with Joss Whedonesque quips... With man-eating wyrms, invisible airships, and eccentric genies, this fantasy-adventure will appeal to fans of The Golem and the Jinni (2013) and the Bartimaeus trilogy." —Booklist
"Hossain blends picaresque fantasy, supernatural politics, and genetic science into a whirlwind of a tale... an imaginative, talented storyteller with a knack for both dark comedy and harrowing tragedy." —Publishers Weekly
One of The Guardian's Best Books of the Year
"Bangladeshi author Saad Z Hossain’s Djinn City is set both in his home country and the realm of the Djinns. It’s a richly evocative adventure about a father and his half-Djinn son searching for one another – a sort of dark-fantasy Finding Nemo, as charming and funny as it is inventive and strange." —The Guardian