But not for the first time, Arzee has it all wrong! The Noor is about to be closed down, taking away to its grave all his hopes of this world and his walls against it. A new darkness threatens, more sinister than the comforting womb-night of the Noor. Arzee knows he will be crushed by that new cycle of rage and impotence, all these added to the perpetual indignity of walking face-to-face with "the crotches and asses of this world".
Arzee the Dwarf follows Arzee over two weeks, setting off Arzee's frenzied plotting and pleading against the beating and pulsing of the great city around him. The narration vividly brings to life not just the protagonist, but also a host of characters to whom Arzee turns in his hour of need: the departing head projectionist Phiroz, the sneering faux-gangster Deepak, the poetical taxi-driver Dashrath Tiwari, the enigmatic hairdresser Monique, and the garrulous and homely Shireen.
Can Arzee fight off all the forces that menace his world, or will the vast city that he loves succeed in crushing him? Chandrahas Choudhury's bittersweet comedy, selected by World Literature Today as one of 60 essential works of modern Indian literature in English, is a novel about the strange beauty of human dreaming.
Throughout the mission, Armstrong finds himself engaged in an upside-down interior labyrinth: struggles with his deeply held moral and religious convictions; conflicts within his work for the C.I.A. in Iraq; his love for Iraqi medical doctor Haifa al-Hashimi; commitments he cannot keep to his wife and children in the States; and the ideals and policies that he has always defended working for the U.S. government that don't seem to 'fit' any longer.
Armstrong is partnered up with middle-aged Iraqi informant, Daoud al-Hassan, a pensive former victim of torture from the old regime, full of old-world wisdom and common sense survival tactics who gets Armstrong out of many a tight circumstance. Colin MacPhearson, an old friend from British Intelligence, joins Armstrong and Daoud in their pursuit of 'Jabbar' - the symbol of all this is evil and the ultimate target of the mission. The characters, conflicts, carnage and circumstances that Jack Armstrong becomes enmeshed in make for not only an action-packed drama but a study in the common denominators that make us all human. It offers a front-row center seat to the real-life story of today's Iraq through the eyes of Jack Armstrong and the circle of humanity around him. It presents a human face to the Iraqi people and 'their story'.
But the real 'man from Baghdad' is not revealed until the very end of the story - or is it the beginning?
Eldest son Alex lived by the rules of his legendary family's proud heritage and would never disgrace the revered Coleman name by seducing an innocent like Hannah Clark. Yet when the spirited beauty turned the tables, the infamous horse breeder found her impossible to resist. Honor demanded he make Hannah his bride. But Alex's destiny had already been carved in a land far beyond the Lone Star State. And his heart now faced the ultimate decision—the choice between love and duty.