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Fiction: Rooftops of Tehran

The popular, touching novel by Mahbod Seraji is Diablo's Online Book Club pick for March


At first, it is a story any one of us can relate to. Two best friends, 17-year-old boys, talk about the two girls they love from afar. They hang out on the roof of a house, playing fanciful games such as naming stars for people they know. They have their own ideas and ideology.
And, that’s where the familiarity ends. The boys live in Iran in 1973, and by the end of the book, all four of the main characters undergo traumatic life-changing experiences.

San Ramon author Mahbod Seraji says Rooftops of Tehran is based on real people (himself included) and real events. He skillfully conveys how the Iranian teens are like teens everywhere—until the country’s intelligence agency, SAVAK, invades their lives with its terror tactics.

Fifty thousand copies have sold since the book was published last May, and Seraji says he’s received more than 10,000 e-mails from fans. He’s answered all but one. There was a computer glitch, and he lost the address. “I feel so bad, because they really were such nice e-mails,” he says.

Beginning March 21, Diablo’s Online Book Club will read Rooftops of Tehran. Seraji will answer questions from readers at diablomag.com/bookclub

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