Guns and Almond Milk

A Novel

This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Buy on Amazon Buy on BN.com Buy on Bookshop.org
*This page contains affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you.
Send NetGalley books directly to your Kindle or Kindle app

1
To read on a Kindle or Kindle app, please add kindle@netgalley.com as an approved email address to receive files in your Amazon account. Click here for step-by-step instructions.
2
Also find your Kindle email address within your Amazon account, and enter it here.
Pub Date Apr 02 2024 | Archive Date Apr 25 2024
BooksGoSocial | Interlink Books

Talking about this book? Use #GunsandAlmondMilk #NetGalley. More hashtag tips!


Description

An adrenaline-fueled journey into war-torn Yemen, this novel is the perfect read for fans of fast-paced fiction.

Luke Archer, a British Egyptian doctor, runs from his problematic past in the UK and becomes a war surgeon. When he is taken hostage by Western security contractors in a besieged hospital in Yemen, he realizes that after spending years saving the lives of others, he needs to face the demons of his past in order to save his own.

Guns and Almond Milk is a study of identity, war and redemption. It is The Sympathizer mixed with M.A.S.H by the way of Ramy.

Born to Egyptian parents and raised as a first-generation British Muslim, Luke Archer struggles to be from two worlds at the same time. He is working in a humanitarian mission in Aden, at the height of the Yemeni conflict. Max Gorsky, Luke's new patient, is a security contractor working for the government forces. Rebel forces have taken over the city, and Max's team is now taking refuge in the city's hospital, in preparation for their final stand. Luke and his team find themselves caught in a deadly clash between the ruthless rebel group and the desperate security contractors. At the same time, Max and Luke need to settle debts from their shared past in the UK where they joined forces in fencing a multi-million-dollar stolen artifact operation that went wrong.

Guns and Almond Milk is a fast-paced story of love, murder, and thrill that provides readers with a fresh perspective on humanitarian work, religion, assimilation, and Middle Eastern politics.
An adrenaline-fueled journey into war-torn Yemen, this novel is the perfect read for fans of fast-paced fiction.

Luke Archer, a British Egyptian doctor, runs from his problematic past in the UK and...

Advance Praise

1) ""This book takes the vibe and emotion of Jesus' Son and The Things They Carried, and shakes it up, telling a unique war-torn, medical thriller story infused with drugs, capers, and layers of trauma. It's Hunter S. Thompson via Usman T. Malik with a dash of Irvine Welsh.""—Richard Thomas, Thriller Award finalist

2)""Mustafa Marwan is coming out of the gate strong—GUNS AND ALMOND milk is an incredible debut, with a gripping voice, enthralling action, and a unique take on geopolitics that introduces you to an often-forgotten part of the world while never forgetting to uncover the depths of humanity to be found there."" —Rob Hart, author of The Paradox Hotel

3) ""Tense, fast-paced and propulsive, this novel takes you on an adrenaline-fuelled journey into war-torn Yemen where all bets are off. Packed with action and suspense, this book will have you at the edge of your seat as you race through it, devouring every last page. Marwan has truly arrived.""—Awais Khan, award-winning author of No Honour and In the Company of Strangers

4) ""This un-put-downable thriller weaves together two stories: one among high-end thieves in London and another among mercenaries and aid workers in Yemen. The two stories come together through the narration of a sarcastic, sharp-eyed doctor who can see the world clearly -- except when it comes to his own emotions."" Marcia Lynx Qualey, editor-in-chief of ArabLit

5) ""Absolutely amazing. I picked it up and literally couldn't put it down. Darkly comic and beautifully written with many plot twists. Guns and Almond Milk has all the elements of a fantastic story of love, grit, thrill, murder, everything. A winner!""—Pamela Paterson, Amazon Best Selling Author.

6) ""If you can imagine being unconscious in an operating theater somewhere in Yemen while a hideous war without rules is raging around the bedraggled hospital and then suddenly coming awake on the metal table just long enough to glimpse two bloodstained surgeons working away furiously over you who greatly resemble Raymond Chandler and Thom Jones, then you will start to grasp the beautiful monstrosity that is Guns and Almond Milk, the brilliant noir debut of Mustafa Marwan both traditional and unheard of, and one worth celebrating darkly. Trust me when I say this book goes places you've never been.""—Lee Durkee, author of The Last Taxi Driver

7) ""Guns and Almond Milk is a thrilling odyssey that explores themes of identity, redemption, and the price of one's choices. Marwan's masterful storytelling, rich with cultural and psychological insights, is set against the vibrant backdrops of London and the tumultuous regions of the Middle East, where we follow Luke, a man caught in the crosshairs of his own conflicted existence.""—Ahmed Naji, author of Rotten Evidence"

1) ""This book takes the vibe and emotion of Jesus' Son and The Things They Carried, and shakes it up, telling a unique war-torn, medical thriller story infused with drugs, capers, and layers of...


Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781623711054
PRICE CA$24.95 (CAD)
PAGES 248

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (PDF)
Send to Kindle (PDF)
Download (PDF)

Average rating from 11 members


Featured Reviews

One of my favourite books in the past year (I read about 30). I'd say 5 out of 5 for theme, 5 out of 5 for plot. Really liked learning about the war in Yemen and humanitarian work, which I did not previously know much about.
A fast paced easy read, yet raising important issues that I found super interesting.

Was this review helpful?

Right off the bat, the title should clue you in to the tongue-in-cheek, satirical content that this book possesses. Yes, you can expect to burst out laughing in public when delving into Mustafa Marwan's debut work. It was quite a challenge to read when the brutal realities are streamed daily: the actual horrors far surpassing anything fiction could devise. It is even more imperative for those of us who retain a flicker of humanity and haven't succumbed to indifference to be slapped in the face with different perspectives to proactively propel ourselves forward and fall into awareness. Guns and Almond Milk provides precisely that fresh outlook into the psyche and culture between the Middle East and West (with gut punching one liners). It truly makes me ponder how many close calls or wild negotiations have Marwan experienced in his own life as a humanitarian aid.

Guns and Almond Milk is an intriguing and satirical exploration of the realities of proxy wars and the absurdities of modern society. Through clever juxtaposition of serious issues and ironic humor, Marwan challenges readers to reflect on the state of our world between the Middle East and that of the West. This political/medical thriller is perfect for fans of S.A. Cosby (the only action thriller author I've read and enjoyed).
Marwan is a talent worth keeping an eye out for.

Was this review helpful?

In the thought-provoking novel "Guns and Almond Milk," Luke Archer, a British Egyptian doctor, embarks on a perilous journey that delves into the complexities of identity, loyalty, and redemption. As Luke flees his troubled past in the UK, he finds himself in the midst of a war-torn Yemen, serving as a surgeon in a besieged hospital. However, his life takes an unexpected turn when he and his team are taken hostage by Western security contractors. Caught in the crossfire between rebel forces and ruthless security contractors, Luke realizes that the only way to survive is to confront the demons of his past. This realization leads him on a quest for answers and reconciliation, uncovering a multi-million dollar stolen artifact operation gone awry. The narrative deftly interweaves Luke's experiences in Yemen with flashbacks to his life in the UK, shedding light on his struggles with identity and his involvement in the artifact heist. As Luke navigates the treacherous landscapes of war and his own troubled history, he finds unexpected companionship in Max Gorsky, a security contractor who shares a complicated past with him. Together, they must navigate the complexities of their shared history and find a way to survive the escalating conflict. Along the way, Luke discovers that true redemption lies in facing the consequences of one's actions and finding the strength to make amends. With its gripping plot, vivid characters, and exploration of profound themes, "Guns and Almond Milk" is a compelling and thought-provoking read. Luke Archer's journey is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the power of redemption. This novel will appeal to readers who enjoy stories of intrigue, self-discovery, and the complexities of human relationships set against the backdrop of international conflict.

Was this review helpful?

Having worked in the international humanitarian space, I was fascinated to see how this book would straddle two worlds. The author manages to bring credibility and realism to both Yemen and London, the former with often heartbreaking detail. Touches of humour remind us that humanity is what it is and that can sometimes mean the ludicrous is reality. I really enjoyed the writing style and felt that the author brought respect and perspective to a troubling context. Again, I loved the humour and the way the author wrote - just so fresh and new.

Was this review helpful?

📱E-Book Review📱

Guns & Almond Milk
Mustafa Marwan

🌟🌟🌟🌟

I wasn't quite prepared for this book at all.
I knew from the title that it was going to be pretty full on, but really wanted to stretch my reading with something a little different to my usual genre.

What I got was a brilliant, fast-paced thriller, packed with adventure, humour and a thought-provoking look at identity and predjudice.

There were some heavy themes within this storyline and I loved the way the author managed to diffuse some of the more difficult sections with humour - albeit dark humour, this really worked to make this read not as heavy as it could have been.

There was so much going on in the plot here but I particularly liked seeing the other side of war. So often, we see reports in the media about war zones and the humanitarian aid offered, but to live this through Luke here, really gave a much greater sense of the pressures and commitment these workers deal with.

This was a really engaging and enjoyable read which has stayed with me.

Was this review helpful?

Guns and Almond Milk by Mustafa Marwan is set in Yemen during the recent conflict. When I started this book, I really didn’t know what to expect but, from the beginning, it proved to be one explosive no-holds-barred thriller about war, its horrors, and what motivates people to volunteer, whether medical teams, mercenaries, or rebels. But there is also a more introspective side here about guilt and redemption and even a touch of humour. I would have liked a little more about the background of the War in Yemen but it does give a fascinating portrayal of what it’s like to be caught in the middle of a conflict but without the romanticism or heroics of too much war fiction. I can’t say this is an enjoyable read but a very interesting and compelling one, one that made me think and will stay with me for a very long time. That this is Marwan’s debut makes it even more impressive.

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and BooksGoSocial in exchange for an honest review

Was this review helpful?

Mustafa Marwan's Guns and Almond Milk is a novel based in war-torn Yemen. The plot follows Luke Archer, a British-Egyptian doctor. Circumstances push him to take up a job as a war surgeon in conflict-ridden Aden, a port city in Yemen.
I found the book to be slow in the beginning but the plot picked up pace a couple of chapters in. Mustafa Marwan's writing style was very engaging and sharp. To me, the main protagonist was quite Dickensian, like David Copperfield. Despite his innumerable flaws, I was rooting for Luke to rise out of his hard situations and find redemption. Such is the power of Marwan's writing that I finished reading the book in just a couple of days, absorbing each meticulously written scene.
The language is taut and often laced with dark war humans, reminiscent of classics like Joseph Heller's Catch-22. Moreover, with the novel set in Yemen, I found it highly useful for a nuanced understanding of the present geopolitics of the region.
I would recommend this book to those who enjoy reading a fast-paced thriller that keeps them on the edge. Also, those interested in learning about the political and social conflicts in the Middle East can find this book useful.
Thank you, Interlink Books, for sending this book for review consideration through NetGalley.
All views here are my own.

Was this review helpful?

Luke Archer is of Egyptian descent, but was raised by English adoptive parents. He is Muslim, but apart from respect for certain precepts, not particularly religious. He is a surgeon, but uses drugs to treat a possibly psychosomatic headache, and therefore can no longer practise in England. He is also someone who is used to losing everything, living between worlds and trying to disappear into the group. You would say he is the perfect candidate to become a war doctor, in places where the situation is so compromised that the rules somehow look more like a torn fabric. And indeed he ends up in Yemen, in the midst of a bloody revolution and with fellow adventurers whose motivations are as fragile as his own. It is in Yemen that the knots in Luke's life will come to a head, finally forcing him to give himself a true identity.
Written with skill and black humour, the novel does justice (however inappropriate this term may seem) to the reality of the many revolutions that are shaking the world's poorest countries, where the only widely available commodity is weapons, whose use and trade certainly does not benefit those for whose freedom and democracy they are said to be made available.

Was this review helpful?

Marwan's storytelling is so visually vivid and skillful, surprising in this debut novel. I read this in one sitting. It's a gripping story told in interwoven timelines - present-day war-torn Yemen and London in the past. I didn't know what to expect but was compelled by a story filled with the horrors of war and those who provide humanitarian aid. It is also a story about guilt and redemption, physical and psychological scars, religion and politics, and the complexities of the human condition.

Was this review helpful?

Not exactly what I expected in a good way. I can't say if it is best read all at once of taken in bites so you can digest it. War is hell and when those who are fighting it care nothing for themselves or others, it is a hell of an entirely different level. Not a feel good book, prepare to be taken to a plane of existence I, personally, hope to never see. Eye opening and gruesome.

Was this review helpful?

Readers who liked this book also liked: