Thrilling, stunning story in the aftermath of 9/11
"The Unknown Terrorist" is Richard Flanagan's so far best book, I would say. It is so far also the only book I have read, which manages to convey a real point in the aftermath of 9/11, without working superficial tears or shallow points. His point here is to show how manipulative media and politics are, how easy people are manipulated, how little someone's rights count and how easy it is to misuse well-staged mass hysteria for personal benefit.
The main hero of this book is the pole (or lap-) dancer Gina Davies, shortly called "The Doll" throughout this book. The Doll's main interest is making enough money by stripping and dancing at the "Chairman's Lounge", in order to change her life. Her biggest mistake is not the one-night stand she has with Tariq, but the rejection of Richard Cody, the media star. When three bombs are found in backpacks, Tariq is far too quickly and easily identified by media as the wanted terrorist. Footage from the supervisory-cams of Tariqs appartment building showing him with Gina, gives Richard Cody the chance to identify Gina and to misuse her for personal advantage as "The Unknown Terrorist". I will not reveal more of the story here.
Richard Flanagans writing is brilliant (even superior to his "Death of a River Guide"), he never lost my attention at any moment. A thrilling book, great literature, beating any thriller by it's writing and it's message, which leaves you stunned and with the shocking thought, that by virtue of some coincidence, this could happen to each and every single one of us. A book, which pleads for understanding rather than prejudice.
One of my personal books of the year!