The book starts off with Rashid being tortured and interrogated by the American Military.
Rashid was on his way from Hamburg, Germany to go visit his grandmother in Delhi but then he gets seized by the US military army as he gets “mistaken” for a terrorist. He gets transported to a camp on Guantanamo Bay. Here he gets tortured, caged and humiliated. Rashid becomes weaker during his time of captivity and he quickly learns that nothing he can do or say can help or save him.
However, the book ends abruptly showing us how Rashid is trying to cope in his imprisonment and it also shows us that the routinized torturing of the prisoners has no end in sight.
The novel was great because it gave us an insight of the powerful indictment of the US’s shameful programme of renditions and secret tortures. Did I love or even enjoyed this novel? Truthfully, I did not but maybe there are others who have read this novel that feels differently to what I am feeling…
I do however, find the story a bit sad for reasons that an innocent man has been imprisoned for a crime he did not commit and then he also endures punishment that no human being can take unless you condition your mind to be strong in order to survive being tortured. Also, I did not love the fact that Rashid does not walk out a free man. I felt that it is just so wrong. But I understand from the author’s point of view… I guess it leaves a greater impact on the reader by ending the novel the way it ends. Guantanamo has gotten much praise and has won the aptly named Three Percent prize for translated foreign fiction.