A Poet of the Invisible World by Michael Golding [in Library Journal]
To get her four-eared infant to safety, Nouri Ahmad Mohammad ibn Mahsoud al-Morad’s mother gave first her body, then her life. In 13th-century Persia, a child so different would require divine intervention to survive, and Nouri literally falls into the arms of a gentle, crippled man who takes him to the Sufi lodge where he finds his first home.
For the first seven years, Nouri is lovingly raised by Sufi brothers. For the next seven years, he is adoringly educated by the resident Sufi master. Before Nouri reaches maturity, the brotherhood is decimated by marauders, and he is set adrift – physically, emotionally, and spiritually – with stopovers as a sultan’s tea boy, a shepherd’s helper, an opium-addicted launderer, a mountaintop ascetic, and a poet, until he can no longer silence his soul.
Narrator Kirby Heyborne embodies Nouri’s aching, searching journey with wonder and discovery, never allowing for maudlin self-pity. For Jewish author Michael Golding, Poet proved to be a seven-year pilgrimage into an ancient Muslim world in the midst of personal crises; Heyborne’s deliberate recitation seems to underscore the gravity of both author and protagonist’s transformation. An ideal addition to literary fiction collections.
Review: modified from “Audio,” Library Journal, July 1, 2016