Mahmud's Story is introduced as the ""personal, true"" account of a Palestinian refugee with only ""one incident"" added. Unfortunately it reads like fiction interspersed with tracts--against Zionism and Herzl, against the myth that Palestine was an unoccupied wasteland before Israel, against misguided American policy, and for Al Fatah. Mahmud's own story might have been effective without the preaching: he grows up in Tul Karem on the fringes of a refugee camp, seeing his once-respected family reduced to rations and his mother die of cancer, unable to afford a doctor; he risks his life to enter British-administered Kuwait; he sees his family's home-in-exile conquered by Israel in the Six Day War. . . . However, the diary form, which Noble does not employ very convincingly, is a poor forum, especially since neither Mahmud nor Cousin Nador's seemingly objective background lectures ever mention Soviet arms or any threat to Israel's existence. And surely straight non-fiction would have been a better vehicle for a message that will be new and controversial to most. Heavy-handed.