Review: The Comedian

Art is truly a therapeutic escape for anyone who indulges in it on a regular basis. One can escape from their everyday worries through the venues of literature, music or even art.  It is one thing to be a consumer of these mediums, it is wholly different to participate. When one makes their own, it becomes something so intimate, powerful and gives that person a sense of their own destiny.

This is what made watching Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, such an introspective look into what makes an artist and how does one start such a journey. In this story, a homemaker finds out her husband is cheating, decides to begin a career as a standup comic.  This is why life is more than work, as you need to find time to smell the flowers, and sometimes, you need to find yourself in the most unexpected places. In The Comedian, Khalid Nahar, give the reader somebody much like Midge Maisel, but in Amman, Jordan.

In the opening pages, we meet Fareed, a man who is considering ending his life, as his home life is in disarray and his job pretty much sucks. This changes when a work colleague gives Fareed a flyer for an open mic comedy night, at the local comedy club, one which may change his life, and one he did not know he longed for, until his drive home. Weeks later, he finds that same flyer, finds an old book of his jokes from college and decides to take a chance, on the open mic. His first time was rough but ignites his creative passion and a lust for the stage. As his mood changes, so does his relationship with his wife and so does his comedy routine. In fact, his whole life becomes better. His wife eventually finds out where he goes every Saturday night and is there for one of his routines, where he compares her to a truck. By book’s end, an accident leads to someone close to Fareed not surviving and to a shocking final scene.

Overall, an excellent comic which examines the solace of the mundane and the promise of dreams unfulfilled. The story by Nahar, is smart, funny, engaging, and heartfelt. The art by Nahar is simply beautiful. Altogether, an impressive debut book by this more than capable storyteller.

Story: Khalid Nahar Art: Khalid Nahar
Story: 10 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.7 Recommendation: Buy

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