Gruber, Michael. The Good Son. Read by Neil Shah. Blackstone Audio, 2010.
Reason read: The history of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan begins in March.
From the very beginning you cannot help but root for Theo. He is an ex-Delta soldier trying to be the sensitive tough guy while is mother is being held captive. But, he is only part of the story. Let’s talk about the mother, Sonia Laghari, for a moment. She, along with eight other members of a symposium on peace, have been kidnapped by armed terrorists. Being a deeply religious Jungian psychologist, Sonia becomes the leader of the abducted group. Using her knowledge of the kidnapper’s language and religion she uses her Jungian psychology to interpret their dreams if only to get in their heads. She wants to instill the premise that you can simultaneously hate the war but love the soldier. Despite her own life being in danger, she attempts to generate harmony to “protect” her fellow captives. A sort of reverse Stockholm syndrome. Meanwhile, in Washington there is a Vietnamese National Security translator listening in…The Good Son combines psychology, sociology, religion, and relationships into a thriller well worth the read.
Quotes to quote, “It is easier to tell the truth to the world than to people you love” (p 125) and “Hope and some slight relief from the worst are the best weapons of any tormentor; the torturer smiles and offers a a cigarette” (p 158).
Author fact: Gruber used to be a marine biologist, a restaurant cook and a federal government official. A man of many varying hats. He could be called one of the most interesting men in the world…
Narrator fact: Shah has appeared on the television series, Law & Order.
Book trivia: Due to the nature of Sonia’s character, be prepared for a few didactic moments as Sonia interprets the dreams of her captors and recites poetry.
Nancy said: Nancy called The Good Son a “riveting thriller” (p 214).
BookLust Twist: from Book Lust To Go in the chapter called “Sojourns in South Asia: Pakistan” (p 212).