Over The Tightrope

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When one combines religious symbolism with sci-fi, the result is an epic adventure. Over the Tightrope by Asif Ismael is a combination sci-fi story, with lots of religious symbolism, that is set in the future. The story opens in New York City, as the main character, Ismaeel, is getting ready to partake in a sacred ritual. He goes through the process of a purging ritual, led by a Shaman. Ismaeel wants to do this to assist him in finding his sacred destiny in life. The reason Ismaeel is in New York City is because he is a PhD student working on his dissertation titled Paradise and Hell.

While on his journey to find his sacred destiny in life, Ismaeel meets many interesting characters. Two who stood out for me were Wali and Tarzan. Wali and Tarzan were introduced to the reader after Ismaeel’s plane, from NYC, landed in Pakistan. In my opinion, Tarzan ends up being the hero in this book.

Some of the words the author chose to use in his book were interesting, and I mean this in a good way. Early in the book, while in New York City, the main character visits a local cannabis café. The name of the café was Grasshopper, which made me laugh. The name that Ismaeel called his father was Abba. This was only one example of how the author connected the sci-fi adventure with all of the religious symbolism. There wasn’t just symbolism that related to Islam in Over the Tightrope, but also Hinduism and Indigenous religions, especially with the role of the Shaman.

Another aspect that stood out for me was the title of the dissertation, Paradise and Hell. Throughout the book, I felt as if the main character was living out the dissertation. Parts of the story seemed to be like paradise for Ismaeel, while other parts seemed as if he was going through hell.

Asif Ismael is a good storyteller. The reason I gave this book four stars instead of five, is that I felt one would need to really have a good understanding of Islamic words, and their definitions, to understand, at times, what the author was writing about.

Reviewed By:

Author Asif Ismael
Star Count /5
Format eBook
Page Count 350 pages
Publisher J.R. Sarmoun
Publish Date 1-Nov-15
ISBN 9780996715805
Bookshop.org Buy this Book
Issue October 2015
Category Humor-Fiction


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