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Darius the Great Is Not Okay

Written by: Adib Khorram
Narrated by: Michael Levi Harris
Length: 7 hrs and 33 mins
5 out of 5 stars (18 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Darius doesn't think he'll ever be enough, in America or in Iran. Hilarious and heartbreaking, this unforgettable debut introduces a brilliant new voice in contemporary YA.

Winner of the William C. Morris Debut Award.

“Heartfelt, tender, and so utterly real. I’d live in this book forever if I could.” (Becky Albertalli, award-winning author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda)

Darius Kellner speaks better Klingon than Farsi, and he knows more about Hobbit social cues than Persian ones. He’s a Fractional Persian - half, his mom’s side - and his first-ever trip to Iran is about to change his life. 

Darius has never really fit in at home, and he’s sure things are going to be the same in Iran. His clinical depression doesn’t exactly help matters, and trying to explain his medication to his grandparents only makes things harder. Then Darius meets Sohrab, the boy next door, and everything changes. Soon, they’re spending their days together, playing soccer, eating faludeh, and talking for hours on a secret rooftop overlooking the city’s skyline. Sohrab calls him Darioush - the original Persian version of his name - and Darius has never felt more like himself than he does now that he’s Darioush to Sohrab.

Adib Khorram’s brilliant debut is for anyone who’s ever felt not good enough - then met a friend who makes them feel so much better than okay.

©2018 Adib Khorram (P)2018 Listening Library

What the critics say

William C. Morris Debut AwardAsian/Pacific American Award for Young Adult Literature; Publishers Weekly Flying Start; TIME's 10 Best Young Adult and Children's Books of 2018; Boston Globe Best Books of 2018; Wall Street Journal Best Books of 2018; BuzzFeed Best YA Books of 2018; Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2018; Kirkus Best Books of 2018; New York Public Library's Best Books of 2018; Book Expo Young Adult Buzz Panel Selection; Indies Introduce Selection for Fall 2018; Indie Next Top Ten Pick for Fall 2018

“Layered with complexities of identity, body image and mental illness that are so rarely articulated in the voice of a teenage boy of color. Khorram writes tenderly and humorously about his protagonist’s journey of self-acceptance, making it hard not to want to reach through the pages, squeeze his hand and reassure Darius that he is, in fact, going to be O.K.” (The New York Times)

“Reminiscent of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (better known in movie form as Love, Simon) and Angie Thomas’ phenomenal The Hate U Give, the novel chronicles a politically aware teendom where microaggressions are as much an everyday obstacle as untamed acne and humdrum mall jobs… Darius the Great Is Not Okay will have you craving a freshly steeped tea, an episode of Star Trek, and a glass of faloodeh - all courtesy of one delightful package.” (Entertainment Weekly)

“This is the hilarious and heartbreaking story of Darius: a clinically-depressed, half-Persian lonely American teenage Trekkie who heads to Iran for the first time to meet his mom’s family.” (Cosmopolitan)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Touching, funny and it made me cry

This is an amazing book enhanced by the passionate reading of the narrator.
I ached with the soul of the young protagonist, reveled in his ability to survive through his bonds with science fiction and fantasy fiction and tea and Iranian food. The author builds the pace so well and never bends to the temptation to speed it up or hurry through. Every time I stopped listening, I felt I was leaving my heart behind with Darius and 'Mamoo' and 'Sorab' and 'Lale'. I have been reading for more than 50 years and I have rarely finished a novel in which I loved so many characters at the end. This is a book that breaks your heart and saves it, that lays bare the cruelty of the 'soulless minions of orthodoxy' and how we can, perhaps, survive despite it.
As far as I can tell, this is the author's only book. He really needs to write more. Please.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2018-12-02

Amazing story, amazing book!

Thought the narrator was perfect! Truly a great book and I felt that the narrator captured emotions and characters fantastically. Its just such a deeper view into how depression affects people and it did an amazing job!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2018-09-09

Darius

Thought it was a great story for the young adult reader. I did also appreciate the afterward about mental illness. I especially enjoyed the narrators use of the different accents for different characters. He obviously did his research.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Alana
  • 2019-09-20

trying to fit in

it was a great story full of cultural differences that I as the reader was enchanted and intrigued to learn more about. Darius was a very relatable character with depression and his struggle with his relationships in his family and friends.

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  • Austin T. Walden
  • 2019-09-16

Great narration - KSU

Amazing Narration! Read this book for Kansas State University 2019. a book of many themes that relate to early college students.

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  • Justin
  • 2019-09-09

It’s better than OK

I love this book, and when I say love, I’m in love love with this book. Truly an amazing and inspiring tale. And it’s not a memoir. Truly a beautiful story .

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  • Derek
  • 2019-09-03

Love Love Love

This story is so full of love on every page that I'm just bursting with it. And not "easy love" either, but the kind that's hard to understand and accept, and the kind that demands struggle and growth to express, like with language and culture, not to mention general personal/MH barriers.

These friendships! This family! The food! My heart might explode!

PLUS ALL THE STAR TREK TNG REFERENCES--LOVELOVELOVE!!!

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  • Samantha Hite
  • 2019-08-06

amazing. simply amazing.

I think I cried at least twice while listening- so spectacular! I don't think I've ever really connected so well with a book character before.

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  • Elena
  • 2019-07-16

It was so good!

Beautiful story beautifully read. Highly recommend to anyone!
The story is full without a possible romance, all the characters are well-developed and real and you instantly care about them.

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  • Valerie Johnson
  • 2019-04-29

Good Story

I really enjoyed Darius’s story. My favorite parts were meeting his family members in Iran. I thought there would be more to his story with Sohrab, but I am okay with it simply being a lasting friendship for both of them. I also love the recurrence of “your place was empty” and the way depression is portrayed. Darius’s depression shows with a higher frequency than other stories in which the characters are diagnosed. It was satisfying to finally hear from his father as well.

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  • Jesse Morgan
  • 2019-03-25

A journey beyond time and space

One of the most memorable stories I have ever experienced. From the poignant discussion of not fitting in, to the dynamics of family and friendships, to the way mental health is addressed, this book speaks to teens with an equal parts geeky and relatable tone. Heartwarming and hilarious. A part of DARIUS exists in all of us.