Monday, February 11, 2008

The Yacoubian Building.

I have just finished reading the novel called The Yacoubian Building written by Alaa Al Aswany . He wrote this book in 2002 and it became the best selling Arabic novel in 2002 and 2003. Humphrey Davies translated this book into English in 2004 and it was published in paperback in 2007.

The novel is set in Cairo, Egypt around 1990, the time of the first Gulf war, but reflects the culture and problems of the present day. This is a very enjoyable book and you get a feeling of being on a foreign holiday, only you get to meet and know the locals. The book is full of local colour and is done in the style of a soap opera. A kind of Shameless of Cairo. Now that we are a multicultural country here in the UK, this book is accessible to British readers.

The author fully understands human nature and he writes about love, desire, power, corruption and the religious impulse. This book has deserved to become the world wide hit that it has become. It involves a full range of characters that are representative of Egyptian society. You feel as though you have actually spent time living in Cairo by the time you have finished this book. A feeling of been there, got the T shirt. One death occurs but the book finishes on a happy ending. There is a lot of humour in the book and only the most prudish of women could take a tiny offence at some of the content.

Travel broadens the mind, just like this book does.
Agree with you. It had an overall representation of the Cairo ; all section of the populace. Well written book.

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