Following his overthrow, however, Iraqi writers and intellectuals said Saddam did not write the books himself but got a committee to do it for him. His latest book tells the story of Salem, a noble Arab tribesman who represents righteousness and Arab nationalism, and defeats his American and Jewish enemies. When Montag begins to read, he experiences an awakening to a world greater than himself, one that suddenly becomes more valuable to him than anything else. In contrast, the people around him are like zombies, having forgotten the past and oblivious to everything but the here and now. “You’re not living,” Montag shouts at his wife’s friends, “you’re just killing time. Get off your steady diet of humans, gators, and snakes and over to Jimmy Dean pork sausage, Pringles, and Lucky Charms. And maybe use napkins and silverware.”

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