This book's back cover describes it as a "masterpiece". I don't agree. I found it deliberately obtuse. John Pitt, an 18 year old Brit, hops down the hippie trail to Isfahan, Iran. He forges credentials to land a job teaching English as a second language to precocious Iranian girls. He falls in love with the daughter of a colonel in the Shah's air force. Dad does not approve (no big surprise). The young couple elopes with the help of an addicted Soviet and have a baby girl. Sherin, the bride, is a sharp tongued harridan who can break a snake's neck without a second thought. They decide to flee Iran with the help of a couple of junkies. This ends badly and the couple are separated. John spends the rest of the novel searching for his wife and child. He is imprisoned, tortured, fights in the Iranian army against Iraq and ends up in Pakistan and Afghanistan. We don't know why at 18 he had no family wondering where he was. This seems terribly convenient for the author. We never learn how the couple was separated.
The second part of the novel was confusing. I found myself flipping back to clarify what had happened. The ending was short and unconvincing. I wouldn't recommend it.