I Dream of Microwaves
Amazon.com review--In his smashing debut story collection I Dream of Microwaves, Imad Rahman navigates the world of marginal actors looking for work--and love--in quirky, unseemly venues. Following the travails of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, a young Pakistani actor whose career highlight has been playing perpetrators in crime reenactments on America's Most Wanted, Rahman offers over-the-top episodes of astounding wit and hilarity, in no particular chronological order, as Kareem: finds work as a costumed hawker of a trendy drink at a dive bar where he battles a dwarven rival for the crowd's business; reprises Brando's role of Kurtz in a musical production of Apocalypse Now at the Steak 'N Stage dinner theatre; and partakes in his recurring girlfriend, Eileen's, plan to pry money from her philanthropic grandmother. In the latter, title story, Kareem pretends to be a Bosnian war survivor, pitted against Eileen's ruse. The B-listers recognize each other and, rather than tattle, enter into a duel of "acting one-upsmanship," telling increasingly grandiose stories of atrocity and third-world living. After joining a Shakespeare troupe stranded in Pakistan and watching their driver revive his van with a mouthful of gas, then immediately light a cigarette without incident, Kareem: "expected his head to pop off with a bang, flames bellowing out his open neck." Self-deprecating and funny, Kareem is a memorable thespian worth following around. --Michael Ferch
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
American Popular Culture | Arts and Humanities | Creative Writing | Fiction
Rahman, Imad, "I Dream of Microwaves" (2004). Scholarship Collection. 150.