Sunday, April 29, 2007

in the country of men

Picked this up on the cheap at tescos. Liked the front cover, shortlisted for the man booker, and the synopsis sounded good. Hooray, it was a good on the spot purchase as i enjoyed this story. It's set in post revolution libya, late 70s and is a story told from the perspective of a nine year old boy who's father is involved in anti-gadaffi propoganda. The story is thus interpreted from the snippets of conversation and scenes viewed by the nine year old. Which i like as it keeps you guessing as to what is actually happening, it's not an unreliable narrator, but some things take a while to make sense. In addition it is well written, though i wonder if some of the descriptions and metaphors are those of a nine year old, am i showing my writing prowess, or am i writing as a nine year old, that seems to be the dilemma of the author (hisham matar). The imagery is good and you feel like you are in arabic north africa. Being fairly short it didn't take long to read.

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