Adib Khorram has written a book that should be read by anyone who’s ever felt alone, different or like they just never fit in. Darius The Great Is Not Okay is definitely the book all of us need right now.
Darius Kellner is not normal. At least that’s how he feels. At school, where he’s bullied by the kids he calls the “Soulless Minions of Orthodoxy.” At home, where his architect father, Stephen “Übermensch” Kellner, whose constant disappointment in his son is an every day event. And in life, where Darius’ depression has a stronghold on him. But it takes a family trip to Iran and a new friend named Sohrab for Darius to find out if he really is okay.
With all of the anti-Middle East rhetoric that’s been constantly in the news and our social media feeds, it was refreshing to read a book about Iran and it’s people in a positive light. I adore traveling and would love to visit countries like Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and Jordan because of their long history, beautiful architecture and, of course, the food. Unfortunately, thanks to the ridiculous travel ban currently in place, who knows when I’ll be able to see some of those places. Until then, I have Adib Khorram’s wonderful book. He writes about Iran like he’s writing a love letter. His descriptions of what Darius and his family see while there made me long for my own trip. The author is especially adept at taking readers inside Darius’ friendship with Sohrab and his relationship with his father. Using references from The Lord of the Rings and Stark Trek: The Next Generation, Mr. Khorram takes us through Darius’ ever-changing emotions while he deals with his grandfather’s illness, acclimation to a new country, and his depression.
Darius The Great Is Not Okay is available now. Buy, borrow (but don’t steal) a copy of this lovely book and prepare to laugh, shed some tears and smile from ear to ear. Trust me, you’ll find out that Darius is more than okay. And you will be, too.