The Last Illusion by Porochista Khakpour

The Last Illusion
The Last Illusion by Porochista Khakpour

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

This was nothing like I imagined it to be. Definitely one of the most disappointing reads of the year so far.

This book follows a young Iranian boy who has been kept in a birdcage by his mother. At the beginning of the novel he is rescued from his ten-year long prison and taken from Iran to New York where he is adopted by a behavioural analyst. We then see his VERY speedy recovery – some how he manages to reclaim his posture, speech and can function pretty well in human company. The book then details his life as a young man and the struggles he is going through, we see him trying to make friends and battling with his inner ‘bird’ instincts. At this point the book was verging on the side of boring and I couldn’t see where the author was going with the strange addition of bizarre ‘friends’ for the young man. Each of these friends seemed to have a whole truckload of mental health issues of their own which I didn’t think were dealt with in a great way – particularly the eating disorders/body dysmorphia elements of the book. To top it off a large thread of the book revolves around 9/11 and the World Trade centre being destroyed – I won’t spoil it for you but I personally feel that this topic was handled in a very disrespectful way and I couldn’t really see why it needed to be added in to begin with – I mean we already have a kid who has spent most of his life in a birdcage and his peculiar friends…is that not enough for an engaging plot?! Clearly not…

This novel was all over the place, I don’t really know what the author was trying to do! She has taken on a lot of big topics – feral children, mental health issues, eating disorders plus 9/11 on top of all that! It was like she was trying to squeeze in as many things as possible and ended up doing a bad job of it all. I wouldn’t recommend.

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