In a series of deftly drawn scenes Funny in Farsi chronicles the American journey of Dumas' wonderfully engaging family: her engineer father, a sweetly quixotic dreamer who first sought riches on Bowling for Dollars and in Las Vegas; her elegant mother, who never fully mastered English (nor cared to); her uncle, who combated the effects of American fast food with an army of miraculous American weight-loss gadgets; and Firoozeh herself, who as a girl changed her name to Julie, and who encountered a second wave of culture shock when she met and married a Frenchman, becoming part of a one-couple melting pot.
An unforgettable story of identity, discovery, and the power of family love, Funny in Farsi will leave us all laughing, without an accent.
It reminds me of Amy Tan in the sense that her story, though factual, is one filled with cultural nuances that sometimes go unnoticed to the mainstream, but when revealed in the author's special way, they are humorous but not at all mean-spirited. It's a sweet story of the love of her family and the people she meets along the way... and growing up, just a little bit different than those around you. And I love her voices for her characters! Reminds me of my family some - though not Iranian, but Japanese.
28 of 28 people found this review helpful
I listened to this hilarious book during my commute to work on the subway, and I caught myself nodding in agreement and laughing out loud almost every morning, only to realize that my sleepy fellow passengers were glaring at me for waking them up! Although I live halfway across the world in Austria, I have had a similar history. The book not only touched me but it also made me realize that life ain't so bad as a multi-cultural adult after all. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to know what it means to grow up as an immigrant, and to anyone who happens to be one!
25 of 25 people found this review helpful
I am on a quest to read memoirs, and my search through Audible turned up this one, which I had not heard of before, but based on the blurb, thought it would be interesting. I met my first Persian in 1965, a fellow student at the University of Wisconsin, and when he told me he was Persian, I didn't know where it was, or what it meant. He was a sweet, gentle person, and while I know it was wrong of me to judge an entire nation by this one encounter, his charm certainly disposed me kindly towards his country. Now 40+ years later, I have met my second Persian, and based on my experience listening to this memoir, I am happy to say my first impression was correct. Firoozeh's voice and story make me feel like I know her, and share her experience. And I see in her story an updated version of what it must have been like for my own grandparents to come here from a foreign land, and try to make their way in the cauldron of America.
While her humor is often not "laugh out loud" it was "funny" in the sense of irony, observation of the misunderstandings that take place between people of different origins. And frankly, one of the best things about it was to remind me that people, underneath the cloaks of different names and accents, are actually the same. Laughter is a great reminder of that universal connection.
34 of 35 people found this review helpful
Funny wherever you're from or wherever you live. This story cuts across all cultures and makes you laugh from your heart. My entire family has enjoyed listening and more than once. Actually, we found that the voice of the author reading her book was very enjoyable and we look forward to more stories in the future.
18 of 19 people found this review helpful
What made the experience of listening to Funny in Farsi the most enjoyable?
The authors reading
Who was your favorite character and why?
Firoozeh. She adapted her culture to the US with such aplomb.
What does Firoozeh Dumas bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
I loved her voice inflection and obvious enjoyment of her material.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Any additional comments?
I listened to this book because I have a son in law who is half Iranian. I was quickly caught up in Firoozeh's story and enjoyed her honest, frank, depiction of her family's trying (or not) to adapt to the USA. It was very enjoyable. I recommended it to my son in law's family. I think it is definitely a women's book.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
The lives of the author's Iranian immigrant parents and extended family along with her own adventures and misadventures provide more than enough material for each chapter. Lively narration keeps the stories moving along. Beyond the upbeat rendition of the author's personal history, there's a poignant subtext regarding the plight of her native country and what it was like to be an Iranian immigrant in the US in light of the infamous hostage crisis.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful
This book was really entertaining and interesting. I was expecting either an "American Dream Come True" or "Shattered American Dream" account, but this was neither. It was actually a very down to earth account of a more than slightly strange situation.
The author's story meanders through normal situations like awful babysitting jobs to completely crazy situations like being stuck in the middle of an Anti-Shah demonstration in Washington D.C.. She's sincere as she details both the good and bad experieces she and her family experienced here.
I didn't think the reader had the right voice for this book - but she was clear and distinct. And if you're looking for an interesting book on life in America through an Immigrant's eyes that won't leave you completely despondant - this is a great choice.
22 of 26 people found this review helpful
It is so nice to hear somebody write about a kind family. She does not air dirty laundry. It is a nostalgic look at a life spent in two very different cultures. She does not make one country seem perfect and the other flawed but she seems proud of her Persian heritage and her American citizenship. The thing about this book that is so great because it reminds us that in America we are all descended from immigrants. The blending of cultures is what makes this country great. It is easy to forget that and this book is a treasure.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
I thought the memoir was the equivalent of a good "formula" sit-com, offering some insight for the listener into the immigration experience along with some laughs, but I was left at the end wondering if it had been worth the listening time. One reviewer mentioned that she listened with her family while driving - might be a perfect choice for a situation like that.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful
Would you try another book from Firoozeh Dumas and/or Firoozeh Dumas?
I probably wouldn't wouldn't try another book by Firoozeh Dumas. While I enjoyed her book, I didn't feel a strong draw or connection to her writing.
Did Firoozeh Dumas do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?
She did an okay job differentiating all the characters. Her voice doesn't offer much variety but her linguistic accents are pretty good.
Any additional comments?
Firoozeh's book started out strong, but around the time she became an adult in her storyline I found that I started to lose interest. Her experiences as a child that lived in Iran and then, in the US, were really interesting. Her comparisons of the cultures and experiences were what I enjoyed the most. The end of the book wasn't nearly was entertaining or enlightening to me because I felt like she was a character of someone who is uptight and sheltered.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful