Beyond the Book: Background information when reading Terrorist

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Terrorist

by John Updike

Terrorist by John Updike
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  • First Published:
    Jun 2006, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2007, 320 pages

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John Updike is the author of more than fifty books, including collections of short stories, poems, criticism and novels. His novels have won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the American Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Rosenthal Award, and the Howells Medal.


The Ad
are believed to be an ancient Arabian people who became rich through the production of frankincense and as a trading point for spices from India.  The Qur'an says that the prophet Hud was sent by Allah to the city of Ubar/Iram (famed for its tall towers) to warn them that the city would be destroyed if they continued to worship multiple gods.  The people ignored the warnings and the city was destroyed by a massive sandstorm.  In the early 1990s scientists studying satellite images identified a buried city on the fringe of the Arabian Desert in Oman which they believe to be the lost city of the people of Ad

According to Islamic tradition, the prophet Hud was born 5 generations after Noah which could make him the same person as Eber, mentioned in the Hebrew bible which, if true, would be a little ironic as according to Jewish legend Eber refused to take part in the building of the Tower of Babel, and thus when it fell only he retained the original human language - which became known as Hebrew.

This article was originally published in July 2006, and has been updated for the May 2007 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

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