‘Not on Fire, but Burning’ by Greg Hrbek has been on my to-read list for ages.
But I have this ‘rule’ where I only order books when it’s under €10 because otherwise, it’d just be too expensive for too little books. And I hadn’t found ‘Not on Fire, but Burning’ anywhere for this price.
So when I put in my big October order, I decided to just go ahead and order it. I didn’t want to wait any longer to read this book that I’d been wanting to read for months, maybe even longer than a year!
It’s the same way people have always felt. Since the days we lived in caves and feared the violence of nature and then dreamed up the idea of gods and feared their anger and then joined together in groups and came to fear each other.
‘Not on Fire, but Burning’ by Greg Hrbek revolves around twelve-year-old Dorian, who lived through 8/11, a terrorist attack on San Francisco. Nobody knows who did it, but they blame Muslims, who have been put in reservations in the West.
Dorian dreams of a sister whose existence is denied by his parents. He hates Muslims. And then his neighbor adopts an orphan Muslim boy from the reservation.
Hating…not him exactly, but the idea of him, or the idea of people like him—and though he has been taught to not believe in the sameness of all such persons, a logic as inborn as the structure of his DNA connect each and every one of them.
I’m just going to say it: I was very disappointed after finishing ‘Not on Fire, but Burning’ by Greg Hrbek.
Maybe I’m not smart enough for this book or I missed a puzzle piece somewhere. I was so confused and full of questions after finishing the book!
And I hate it. I was so excited and I think it could’ve been great. But it’s some weird mix of dystopian and science fiction and I’m lost to how it all works.
Grek Hrbek writes from different points of view. Which on one side is very interesting, it’s not just Dorian’s thoughts that we learn about, but also his dad, his neighbor, the orphan. What makes it confusing is that it happens in the first, second, and third person.
The storylines aren’t bad. Actually, they’re very interesting and could’ve been great. Dorian having to learn to deal with ‘befriending’ a Muslim boy while hating Muslims and dreaming about a sister who seems to never have existed. The boy himself having to deal with leaving his community and going out into a Muslim-hating world. Violence from both sides.
But ‘Not on Fire, but Burning’ by Greg Hrbek is complicated and confusing because there are so many elements, people, points of view, and complex explanations about how the sister may or may not have existed.
So even though I was super excited about reading ‘Not on Fire, but Burning’, unfortunately, I can’t recommend it. Unless confusing is your thing.