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From a Persian Tea House (2007, Tauris Parke Paperbacks) 3 stars

The tea parts are good

3 stars

This was... okay. It's a travelogue of an Englishman in Iran in 1953. I have a specific interest in this period because it's when my father was a child in Iran, so it aligns to some extent with the stories of Iran I grew up with. Even so I found the book a bit of a mixed bag, sometimes incredibly tedious and other times insightful or laugh out loud funny.

The author is of course a clueless English traveler. I'd say he is about 50% aware of his status as such. There are some times when he talks about his own behavior in Iran that I think "wow what an asshole", though mostly he comports himself well and has reasonable empathy for the people he encounters.

The best part of the book is the very detailed depiction of a single tea house in Isfahan and its regulars. This makes up …