Magazine article New Internationalist

Frankenstein in Baghdad

Magazine article New Internationalist

Frankenstein in Baghdad

Article excerpt

Frankenstein in Baghdad

Junk dealer Hadi sews together body parts belonging to the victims of the daily explosions in Iraq's war-torn capital. His aim in creating a corpse fit for burial is, he says, to force the government to recognize the pieces as human and to treat them with dignity. Meanwhile, the soul of Hasib, a young man killed by a suicide-bomber outside a hotel, searches for a body to occupy. Thus is born the monster known as Whatsitsname, who roams the city meting out justice on those who killed the people whose parts make up his body.

Attempting to make sense of the spate of mysterious murders is a colourful cast of characters, from Brigadier Majid, a government official in the shady Tracking and Pursuit Department, to eager journalist Mahmud and to Hadi himself. …

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