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The Golden Legend
4.02/5 by 214 users

The Golden Legend


A brave, timely, searingly beautiful novel from the acclaimed author of The Blind Man's Garden set in contemporary Pakistan, the story of a Muslim widow and her Christian neighbors whose community is consumed by violent religious intolerance.

When shots ring out on the Grand Trunk Road, Nargis's life begins to crumble around her. Her husband, Massud--a fellow architect--is caught in the cross fire and dies before she can confess her greatest secret to him. Now under threat from a powerful military intelligence officer, who demands that she pardon her husband's American killer, Nargis fears that the truth about her past will soon be exposed. For weeks someone has been broadcasting people's secrets from the minaret of the local mosque, and, in a country where even the accusation of blasphemy is a currency to be bartered, the mysterious broadcasts have struck fear in Christians and Muslims alike. When the loudspeakers reveal a forbidden romance between a Muslim cleric's daughter and Nargis's Christian neighbor, Nargis finds herself trapped in the center of the chaos tearing their community apart.

In his characteristically luminous prose, Nadeem Aslam has given us a lionhearted novel that reflects Pakistan's past and present in a single mirror, a story of corruption, resilience, and the disguises that are sometimes necessary for survival--a revelatory portrait of the human spirit.

Title:The Golden Legend
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:368 pages
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    The Golden Legend Reviews

  • Carol
    May 14, 2017

    [It may be some time before I have the bandwidth to write proper reviews. Penning this one would be my first priority, when time permits.]Until then: I would give it ten stars if I could. I will press...

  • Ace
    Jun 13, 2017

    This story depicts in detail the violence in current day Pakistan. It is beautifully told but hard to read. It must be so hard to remain patriotic in some countries when madness seems to have taken ho...

  • William Koon
    Jan 18, 2017

    I discovered Nadeem Aslam many years ago. He is totally delightful as a writer. He never disappoints with his intelligent and thoughtful themes. His Map for Lost Lovers remains one of my favorite nove...

  • Eric Anderson
    Feb 13, 2017

    I’ve greatly admired Nadeem Aslam’s writing since I read his 2004 novel “Maps for Lost Lovers” which focused on an immigrant Pakistani community in the north of England. There is something so ...

  • Saloni Sharma
    Feb 27, 2017

    We live in a difficult world and it is up to writers and artists to make it worth living in, even while engaging with the worst it has to offer. Aslam's latest is almost morbid in the way it connects ...

  • Penny (Literary Hoarders)
    Jun 07, 2017

    To say this is a timely read is an understatement. The capacity for violence and hate in humans and to use that hatred and violence in the name of religion, any religion, is terribly sad making. A sad...

  • Vivek Tejuja
    Jan 22, 2017

    With every book that he writes, Nadeem Aslam only gets better at his craft. Since his debut novel in 1993, “Season of the Rainbirds”, Aslam returns to Pakistan with his latest book “The Golden L...

  • Jane
    May 23, 2017

    In shimmering and exquisite prose the author rails against the various forms of religious bigotry and hatred in a dystopian Pakistan: a wife, Nargis,and her Muslim husband, Masood, who are architects ...

  • Jane Steinkraus
    Jun 10, 2017

    This book was so beautifully written, sometimes I would stop in awe and read phrases over and over, just to soak up the imagery, the felicitous perfect choice of words.Learned a lot about Pakistan, Ka...

  • Rachel Watts
    Jan 20, 2017

    This novel is a stunning work. It tells a story both wide, and spread over centuries, and very intimate. That Aslam manages to step across that gulf so easily, and so frequently, is an incredible achi...