Have you ever felt like an outsider all the time? Like you could be an alien living on planet Earth, because no one understands you, or your feelings?
Do you feel sad, for ‘supposedly’ no reason?
Thoughts on Darius the Great is not OK:
First of all, I have to thank my friend Jayati for recommending this gem of a book to me. I wouldve never come across this book, had it not been for her screaming love for the book. Do check out her blog and review on why you should read Darius the Great is no OK, here 🙂
I absolutely loved this book. And I immediately recommended it to another very dear friend, because like Darius, she loves her tea and Star Trek. And like Darius, she is a gem of a person. I have highlighted so many sections in the book. The story made me laugh, because of the way Darius thinks. I think all book lovers will be able to relate, because he thinks in book terms. He thinks in Lord of the Rings and Star Trek language all the time and it completely cracked me up! Because I think in book terms too. From any recent book that I read and loved!
The other great thing about this story are the various relationships that Darius has. They all read so positive. Flawed but positive. There isn’t a romantic angle in the first book, but we get some hints about Darius questioning his sexuality. Maybe in the second book we will see more of Darius’s love interest. But I really loved his platonic relationship with Sohrab. His father-son dynamics with his father. His brotherly love for his younger sister Laleh. His love for the sweetest grandmother who he meets for the first time. His awkward yet loving and respectful relationship with his grandfather. I just lapped it all up.
But this book is not about relationships. It is about a sweet boy dealing with depression. I think most people who are either brought up in the Eastern countries or have some roots from here, will hear this at least once in their lifetime. There is no such thing as mental illness, or anxiety or depression. It’s all in your head. It is in our head alright, but it isn’t something one can fix by being different. Trust me, its really hard. And it is harder when friends and family don’t understand it, or don’t get your being sad for ‘no reason at all’. But on the other hand, we also see from Sohrab’s perspective, how hard just living is, in many of these countries. When one can be killed or jailed just because they were at the wrong place at the wrong time. Through both Darius and Sohrab, we see the power of friendship and being there for each other.
Finally, I loved all the touristy details about Iran and its cuisine mentioned in the book. I googled it all, because I have no idea if I’ll ever get to visit Iran in this lifetime. And I sure ate a lot of chips, while reading and googling about all the delicacies mentioned in the story. Yummm! 🙂
I rate this book high on my list this year, and like Jayati, I think this book should be read. Especially if you’re someone who is struggling with mental health and always feels like an outsider.