The Gardener of Baghdad

  • by Ahmad Ardalan
  • Narrated by Randal Schaffer
  • 5 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

"Two people, one city, different times; connected by a memoir. Can love exist in a city destined for decades of misery?" 
Adnan leads a weary existence as a bookshop owner in modern-day, war-torn Baghdad, where bombings, corruption, and assault are everyday occurrences and the struggle to survive has suffocated the joy out of life for most. But when he begins to clean out his bookshop of 40 years to leave his city in search of somewhere safer, he comes across the story of Ali, the Gardener of Baghdad. Adnan rediscovers through a memoir handwritten by the gardener decades ago that beauty, love, and hope can still exist, even in the darkest corners of the world.


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Most Helpful

What a wonderful book!

Would you listen to The Gardener of Baghdad again? Why?

This is a book I would listen to again.

What about Randal Schaffer’s performance did you like?

The narrator was great.

Any additional comments?

This book was gifted to me in exchange for an honest review. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it was beautifully written and the characters were very likable. What I loved most about it was the description of Baghdad, the author has a beautiful way of taking the listener through his writing to the wonderful city and bringing it alive in our imagination. I would highly recommend this book and will definitely be looking for other books by this author.

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- Hedges

Baghdad, city of romance.

This book was an interesting balance between the violent Baghdad of today and the genteel place of luxury gardens that it once was.

Current day Adnan struggles to run his bookshop amongst bombings, terror and intermittent electricity. His wife is desperate to leave the city, but Adnan is attached to the shop, which he inherited from his father. Although he has reluctantly agreed to leave, he is still nostalgically pottering around, when he comes across an old handwritten memoir hidden on shelves right at the back.
It immediately grabs his attention and he spends several nights ensconced in the shop, reading by candlelight.

The manuscript details the story of Ali, a young farmer who branches out into gardening and makes quite a name for himself in 50's Baghdad. Unfortunately he falls in love with a young lady whom he is prohibited from marrying. When the narrative of the sad love story comes to a sudden end, Adnan uses his contacts to try and find out what happened - and he takes us with him; we too are longing to know how the story ends.

This book has a beautiful cover, which appealed to me immediately. There is some fairly floral language, but this is not inappropriate when reading a book set in the Middle East. The story is told in an interesting way, using Adnan's bookshop and later his contacts. It is also well read in the audiobook version, by Randal Schaffer.

Ahmad Ardalan has other books set in Iraq and I am hoping that it won't be too long before these are also available as audiobooks.

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- DubaiReader

Book Details

  • Release Date: 28-11-2017
  • Publisher: Ahmad Ardalan