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In the Country of Men is a stunning depiction of a child confronted with the effects of Libyan strongman Khadafy's 1969 September revolution. Libya, 1979. Nine-year-old Suleiman’s days are circumscribed by the narrow rituals of childhood: outings to the ruins surrounding Tripoli, games with friends played under the burning sun, exotic gifts from his father’s constant busin In the Country of Men is a stunning depiction of a child confronted with the effects of Libyan strongman Khadafy's 1969 September revolution. Libya, 1979. Nine-year-old Suleiman’s days are circumscribed by the narrow rituals of childhood: outings to the ruins surrounding Tripoli, games with friends played under the burning sun, exotic gifts from his father’s constant business trips abroad. But his nights have come to revolve around his mother’s increasingly disturbing bedside stories full of old family bitterness. And then one day Suleiman sees his father across the square of a busy marketplace, his face wrapped in a pair of dark sunglasses. Wasn’t he supposed to be away on business yet again? Why is he going into that strange building with the green shutters? Why did he lie? Suleiman is soon caught up in a world he cannot hope to understand—where the sound of the telephone ringing becomes a portent of grave danger; where his mother frantically burns his father’s cherished books; where a stranger full of sinister questions sits outside in a parked car all day; where his best friend’s father can disappear overnight, next to be seen publicly interrogated on state television. In the Country of Men is a stunning depiction of a child confronted with the private fallout of a public nightmare. But above all, it is a debut of rare insight and literary grace.


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In the Country of Men is a stunning depiction of a child confronted with the effects of Libyan strongman Khadafy's 1969 September revolution. Libya, 1979. Nine-year-old Suleiman’s days are circumscribed by the narrow rituals of childhood: outings to the ruins surrounding Tripoli, games with friends played under the burning sun, exotic gifts from his father’s constant busin In the Country of Men is a stunning depiction of a child confronted with the effects of Libyan strongman Khadafy's 1969 September revolution. Libya, 1979. Nine-year-old Suleiman’s days are circumscribed by the narrow rituals of childhood: outings to the ruins surrounding Tripoli, games with friends played under the burning sun, exotic gifts from his father’s constant business trips abroad. But his nights have come to revolve around his mother’s increasingly disturbing bedside stories full of old family bitterness. And then one day Suleiman sees his father across the square of a busy marketplace, his face wrapped in a pair of dark sunglasses. Wasn’t he supposed to be away on business yet again? Why is he going into that strange building with the green shutters? Why did he lie? Suleiman is soon caught up in a world he cannot hope to understand—where the sound of the telephone ringing becomes a portent of grave danger; where his mother frantically burns his father’s cherished books; where a stranger full of sinister questions sits outside in a parked car all day; where his best friend’s father can disappear overnight, next to be seen publicly interrogated on state television. In the Country of Men is a stunning depiction of a child confronted with the private fallout of a public nightmare. But above all, it is a debut of rare insight and literary grace.

30 review for In the Country of Men

  1. 5 out of 5

    Tea Jovanović

    Kod nas je objavio Marso... Proverite zašto je ova knjiga podobijala tolike nagrade (ili bila u užem/širem izboru za nagrade)... Libija... Za ljubitelje "Lovca na zmajeve" ili "Jutra u Dženinu"... ili "Pitanja i odgovora" i "Belog tigra"...

  2. 5 out of 5

    okyrhoe

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The child narrator’s point of view is only the tip of the iceberg. It’s as if the boy’s view of the world is warped by the surface of the water. Actually, Suleiman isn’t a particularly likeable character. On the contrary, the reader is discouraged from identifying with the first person narrator, for he recounts episodes of his boyhood in which he indulges in inexplicable cruel behavior which contrasts sharply with the boy's childish innocence in the face of evil and deceit. While the book’s lang The child narrator’s point of view is only the tip of the iceberg. It’s as if the boy’s view of the world is warped by the surface of the water. Actually, Suleiman isn’t a particularly likeable character. On the contrary, the reader is discouraged from identifying with the first person narrator, for he recounts episodes of his boyhood in which he indulges in inexplicable cruel behavior which contrasts sharply with the boy's childish innocence in the face of evil and deceit. While the book’s language is pretty much straightforward and uncomplicated, to the point that at first I thought this wasn’t going to be worth my while, as I read on, became engrossed by the subversive elements of the plot, and the constant interplay of the two temporal pasts of the narrative (Najwa-the mother’s past vs. Suleiman-the boy’s past). In the Country of Men has been criticized by Arab commentators for being politically vague, for depicting the opposition to the Libyan regime as a slipshod endeavor, in effect caricaturing the resistance movement. IMO this is what gives the book its humanity and poignancy. The novel's primary critique of contemporary Arab society is that this country of ‘men’ no longer operates according to ‘manly’ codes of conduct. All sense of justice, faith, honor, respect seems to have decayed. This can be seen in the juxtaposition between the strict moral codes women must still adhere to, a seemingly anachronistic tradition that persists in a society whose ruling regime loudly proclaims a total break with the past, the ushering in of the ‘modern’, the ‘revolutionary’, etc. We observe that the most devout adherents of The Guide are men who unashamedly forego ideological principles when it is convenient for themselves or for their superiors: Um Masood can be bribed by a cake topped with strawberries; the secret police try to score with Suleiman’s mother in exchange for overlooking the ‘shame’ of her drinking binges. And despite all the macho talk of capturing the ‘traitors’, the pistol-toting Sharief promptly abandons his idealistic mission when the ‘mighty hand’ decides to spare Suleiman’s father. However, the opposition isn't any better. Najwa’s brother, despite an American wife and a comfortable life abroad, reverts to the old ways when it comes to dealing with the matter of the family’s honour being compromised by the young girl. Faraj (Suleiman’s father), who is apparently one of the main financial benefactors of the opposition, has married an underage girl he has never seen before and even went so far as to deflower her as she lay unconscious with fear on her wedding night in accordance with tradition. Who better, then, to understand the futility of the 'resistance' than Najwa, (Suleiman’s mother). As a woman, as a victim of patriarchal status quo, she is aware that her husband’s struggle with the totalitarian regime is a futile battle. The system cannot be overcome when the men fighting it are themselves oppressors. And this is what In the Country of Men illustrates, by intertwining the two narratives: the subjugation of Najwa to the rule of men, and the subjugation of Faraj to the rule of the regime. Najwa’s adolescent ‘crime’ is that she was found talking to a boy in a public café. The ‘High Council’ of male family elders acted with the ‘efficiency rivaling that of a German factory’ in meting out the punishment after a closed ‘trial’ in which she is not allowed to come to her own defense. Her sentence begins with incarceration, beatings, a forced marriage, denial of access to books, and concludes with the rape on her wedding night. She remembers: “When I got home every light in my life was put out.” Years later, her husband’s fate echoes her own oppression. At the moment of Faraj’s arrest she immediately understands the enormity of his predicament: the possibility of being placed ‘behind the sun for ever’. His capture by the Revolutionary Committee men is followed by events paralleling her own submission: a mock trial, incarceration, beatings, forced confession, forced pledge of loyalty, deprived of his books, release. The ironic twist in this role reversal is that it is the woman who now holds the trump card --> She makes the morally superior choice to save him at all costs whereas no man or woman (not even her own mother) was willing to rescue/protect her. In the country of men, it is the woman who saves the day, overcoming the ‘cowardly’ stance of the Scheherazades past and present - idealists/fantasists who choose slavery over risking all for freedom. Najwa negotiates with her neighbor Ustath Jafer the until then much feared highranking Mokhabarat official and pledges obedience to the regime on behalf of her husband, as she had once given her own wedding pledge to him in order to ‘save’ her family’s honor: ‘A word had been given and word had been received, men’s words that could never be taken back or exchanged.’ Finally, I want to point out the crowning ironic symbol: The white handkerchief, a testament of Najwa's virgin ‘honor’ upon her bridal bed, becomes the white sheet on the mirror protecting the ‘violated’ husband from his own reflected image upon his return home a badly bruised and broken man.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    From my blog: written by Hisham Matar and published in February 2007 by The Dial Press. This is Matar's bio as written on the end flap: Hisham Matar was born in 1970 in New York city to Libyan parents and spent his childhood in Tripoli and Cairo. He lives in London and is currently at work on his second novel. In the Country of Men will be published in twenty-two languages. This was a difficult book to read, not because of the density of the writing - dense it was not - but because the characters From my blog: written by Hisham Matar and published in February 2007 by The Dial Press. This is Matar's bio as written on the end flap: Hisham Matar was born in 1970 in New York city to Libyan parents and spent his childhood in Tripoli and Cairo. He lives in London and is currently at work on his second novel. In the Country of Men will be published in twenty-two languages. This was a difficult book to read, not because of the density of the writing - dense it was not - but because the characters drew you into their lives in such a way that you wanted to, but couldn't, dialog with them. The story is told through the eyes and voice of a 9-year-old boy, Suleiman, as he describes how he sees what's happening to his family - his mother, his father, and his uncle - and their immediate friends and relatives in Libya in 1979. The story is tragic in many ways, but life is life and tragedy is part of it. You have to take it as it is because it's the only way to get to know, appreciate, and respect those whose lives are different from our own. Just the other evening, a group of us were talking about what we perceived as the tragic lives of an elderly couple we all know, a couple who never has enough money to buy healthy food or clothing and who lives in substandard housing. Yet, you can't go in and fix the situation, or even try, unless you're asked, because the damage to human dignity, when you try to make a "happily ever after," according to our own individual standards, is often more damaging than the "tragic" circumstances themselves. Thus is was with this book. I kept wanting to "explain things" to this little boy, to tell him to grow up and learn what it means to keep a secret, to trust his family, even though it seemed that all the world was falling apart. So much I wanted to tell him. I wanted to hold him in my arms with my hands close to his mouth to keep him quiet, perhaps in the way you might do with a small child. I wanted Suleiman to be more mature than he was, and I wondered why he wasn't. I wanted to tell his mother that she needed to help him grow up by explaining more than she did. The book made me want to get involved and "fix things." But this was Suleiman's life, his mother's life, his father's life, his uncle's life, and the lives of their friends and relatives, and I could only observe. It's better that way. We can't rule the universe; and even if we could, our disasters might be worse than the real ones we perceive. The book was disturbing, but I'm glad I read it. The story will stay with me for a long time. I'm glad Hisham Matar told the story in a way I could read and feel it. I am better, even though sadder, for having experienced a bit of Suleiman's life. Like the rest of us who survive childhood - and Suleiman did, we go on and we make of our lives what we can, the best we can. I hope he is doing well!

  4. 5 out of 5

    kaire

    في ليبيا حدثت ثورتان ثوره ضد العقيد القذافي !! وهذه الروايه روايه صادقه ومن القلب وللقلب وصلت المشاهد والأحداث والتاريخ الليبي الذي يغلي على نار هادئه أرض النفاق والأكاذيب شجاعه الأب بمواجهه العنف البوليسي وعدم الرضوخ للتهديدات والثمن الذي دفعه مقابل صموده ودفاعه عن مبادئه وإيمانه بالحريه والعداله الروايه رغم قسوتها إلا أن ما يلطف أجوائها هي قصها بلسان طفل بريء ملائكي يرى ما يدور حوله ويحكيه دون مواربه وخداع تستحق القراءه أكثر من مره وخصوصا ً أن الأجواء العامه والفضاء السياسي الليبي بعد الثوره قد كشف وظهر على ا في ليبيا حدثت ثورتان ثوره ضد العقيد القذافي !! وهذه الروايه روايه صادقه ومن القلب وللقلب وصلت المشاهد والأحداث والتاريخ الليبي الذي يغلي على نار هادئه أرض النفاق والأكاذيب شجاعه الأب بمواجهه العنف البوليسي وعدم الرضوخ للتهديدات والثمن الذي دفعه مقابل صموده ودفاعه عن مبادئه وإيمانه بالحريه والعداله الروايه رغم قسوتها إلا أن ما يلطف أجوائها هي قصها بلسان طفل بريء ملائكي يرى ما يدور حوله ويحكيه دون مواربه وخداع تستحق القراءه أكثر من مره وخصوصا ً أن الأجواء العامه والفضاء السياسي الليبي بعد الثوره قد كشف وظهر على الأعلام ما كان مخبوء وغير مكشوف جديره بالأهتمام وبالوقوف لها دقيقه أحترام

  5. 4 out of 5

    Chrissie

    I began by reading The Return: Fathers, Sons, and the Land in Between and I wanted more. In the Country of Men, by the same author, is fiction with a strong autobiographical basis. Having read the two books in this order one can easily differentiate between fictional and non-fictional elements. The two books are not the same; reading them both is not repetitive. In this book, we look at a young Libyan boy growing up under Qaddafi's military dictatorship. The year is 1979, and the boy's father is I began by reading The Return: Fathers, Sons, and the Land in Between and I wanted more. In the Country of Men, by the same author, is fiction with a strong autobiographical basis. Having read the two books in this order one can easily differentiate between fictional and non-fictional elements. The two books are not the same; reading them both is not repetitive. In this book, we look at a young Libyan boy growing up under Qaddafi's military dictatorship. The year is 1979, and the boy's father is a dissident fighting for change. We see through the eyes of a nine-year-old. The boy is trying to understand his parents' troubled relationship. He is trying to understand the world around him. It is a coming of age story about a young boy who wants to be a man, still loves his mother deeply with the immature love of a child and yet also loves, admires and respects his father. Growing up is about growing independent, and the book shows this with a deft eye. We observe the boy’s relationships with classmates, neighbors, and family. The ride is emotional, so "observe" is in fact the wrong word. The book shines in how it so accurately and so heartrendingly shows his innocence and his growing awareness of an adult world where opposition has dire consequences. What do you choose? Are you quiet, do you say nothing, do you stay in line, do you follow under the shelter of the wall or do you oppose and put both yourself and your family in danger? And if your mother and father see this differently, can you not understand both? But still you are only nine! The lines moved me. If I write them here will one grasp their poignancy? The novel ends with his mother straightening his collar. This brought tears to my eyes. The audiobook is narrated by Khalid Abdallah. Many will love his narration because he dramatizes with fervor. I prefer to hear every word spoken clearly rather than having them jumbled in expressions of anger, sadness and frenzy. I'd rather figure out for myself words' emotional content. The book emphasizes more the emotional turmoil of living under Qaddafi’s reign of terror than focusing on historical content.

  6. 5 out of 5

    ala'

    شاعرية جدا ، رغم جوها الكئيب ، كرهت المؤلف في لحظات معينة ، لأنه استدرج براءة الاطفال إلى عالم السياسة .. مشهد اعدام رشيد كان مؤلما جدا بالنسبة لي ، و همجيا جدا .. وددت لو أعرف ليبيا واحدا لأستفسر منه عن حقيقة الأمر .. - لكن لن أستغرب ما قرأت ما دام القذافي يحكمهم - .. أحببت شاعريتها جدا .. أحببت نجوى جدا .. جعلتني أستحضر نجوى منيف وجبرا في عالم بلا خرائط لا أعلم لماذا ، ربما هذا الجنون العشقي - لكنها مختلفة .. هي أيضا رضيت العبودية وآثرتها على الموت .. ---- جذبتني في الكتاب مقاطع لم أفكر فيها من ق شاعرية جدا ، رغم جوها الكئيب ، كرهت المؤلف في لحظات معينة ، لأنه استدرج براءة الاطفال إلى عالم السياسة .. مشهد اعدام رشيد كان مؤلما جدا بالنسبة لي ، و همجيا جدا .. وددت لو أعرف ليبيا واحدا لأستفسر منه عن حقيقة الأمر .. - لكن لن أستغرب ما قرأت ما دام القذافي يحكمهم - .. أحببت شاعريتها جدا .. أحببت نجوى جدا .. جعلتني أستحضر نجوى منيف وجبرا في عالم بلا خرائط لا أعلم لماذا ، ربما هذا الجنون العشقي - لكنها مختلفة .. هي أيضا رضيت العبودية وآثرتها على الموت .. ---- جذبتني في الكتاب مقاطع لم أفكر فيها من قبل .. حديث نجوى عن شهرزاد التي ارتضت العبودية بديلا عن الموت .. حديث سليمان عن التوت ومغافلة الملائكة لله لتسرقه و تزرعه في الأرض بعد نزول آدم اليها .. لكن في بعض اللحظات أحسست أن سليمان ليس ابن التاسعة انما ابن التسعين - لما حمله اياه الكاتب من وعي

  7. 5 out of 5

    Margitte

    The book is, once again, a narrative told by the people of a country, about their country for their country (and the world). As communism is dying around the world, and the effects it had on people's lives are appearing more and more all over the planet, the reader is drawn into this story by the nine year old Suleima writing about his life in Libya and what happened to his nuclear family, the extended family, the neighbor and friends in 1979 during the regime of Mohammar Khadafi. His dad, Faraj, The book is, once again, a narrative told by the people of a country, about their country for their country (and the world). As communism is dying around the world, and the effects it had on people's lives are appearing more and more all over the planet, the reader is drawn into this story by the nine year old Suleima writing about his life in Libya and what happened to his nuclear family, the extended family, the neighbor and friends in 1979 during the regime of Mohammar Khadafi. His dad, Faraj, is a successful businessman who did nothing unacceptable when he raped his unconscious fifteen year old virgin bride, Najwa, on their wedding night, since it was totally fine in their male dominated culture. But for the unhappy, unwilling bride, it created years of bitterness which she had to address on her own through her secret martini-addiction and cigarettes. Suleima witnesses her struggle as well as his father's political struggle and it has an effect on his inexperienced, young thoughts and decisions. He learns how to recognize danger, but also misinterprets people's intentions towards him, resulting in him betraying people he loved the most without knowing it. The boy tells three people's stories in one narrative His own, his mother's and his father's. It is the oppressed Najwa, his mother, who ended up resolving their situation and change their lives. An excellent read!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Nesrin Saad

    رواية مؤلمة عميق تمس الواقع بصدق وتميط اللثام عن وجه الحقيقة البشع وتعري ما دأب المنافقين و الافاقين على توريته ، وأصر المطبلين على تجميله و تزويقه، أكثر ماتمنيته لهذه الرواية أن تكون الحوارات القليلة التي تخللتها باللغة العامية الليبية .. لا أعرف ربما أردت لها أن تتزين بحله ليبية كاملة .

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sve

    Книгата разказва за ужасите на режима на Кадафи през очите на едно 9-годишно момче. Истинската история, обаче, е за жестокото, ненавременно порастване, за сътресенията в семейството и общността, които по-често разделят, но понякога и събират хората.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kyriakos Sorokkou

    AFRICAN BOOKS MARATHON BOOK: 3 TITLE: In the Country of Men AUTHOR: Hisham Matar COUNTRY: Libya I chose this book because it takes place in Libya of 1979. My father was working in Bengazi (2nd largest city in Libya) in 1979, and things he told me where present in this book. Policemen everywhere; in shops, in the streets, phone calls were usually tracked, you had to be careful of what you were saying, your posture, and attitude. 1979 10 years (1969) after Muammar Qaddafi's bloodless coup d'état and we AFRICAN BOOKS MARATHON BOOK: 3 TITLE: In the Country of Men AUTHOR: Hisham Matar COUNTRY: Libya I chose this book because it takes place in Libya of 1979. My father was working in Bengazi (2nd largest city in Libya) in 1979, and things he told me where present in this book. Policemen everywhere; in shops, in the streets, phone calls were usually tracked, you had to be careful of what you were saying, your posture, and attitude. 1979 10 years (1969) after Muammar Qaddafi's bloodless coup d'état and we see life in Libya under Qaddafi (The Guide) through the eyes of nine-year-old Suleiman. Seeing Libya through the eyes of a young boy is like seeing an iceberg above the sea level. You only see a small percentage. What's below is something larger and more complex. The boy's narration; (although we understand it is narrated by Suleiman in retrospective, now a 24-year-old and as a grown-up man can give more information and more description that what we might expect from a 9-year-old) is still a boy's narration, and we feel as outsiders. We don't know why A' is considered a traitor, and why B' was hanged, and why C' escaped Libya. The boy narrator leaves a lot to the imagination. I can't say that nothing really happens. A lot of things happen but they are presented as trivial every-day events, and the whole story feels like a soap-opera, where there's no much development of characters, and the plot takes a long time to develop, and when it does it's barely noticeable. There's no real climax or denouement, just several smaller climaxes and denouements. Suleiman is not a 100% likeable character, he betrays people around him, he tells secrets of his family to random people, he can be violent sometimes (usually kicking and throwing stones), he has an Oedipal relationship with his mother which is severed every time his father is at home, he feels resentment against others, for reasons unexplained and many more. When he discovers that his father is not on a trip abroad but he actually stayed in Tripoli, he feels betrayed by his father's lie and now he begins to understand when the grown-ups lie to him and demands explanations usually through the medium of tantrums. "Suddenly the wider world becomes a frightening place where parents lie and questions go unanswered." ( and this last applies to the reader too) To sum up, the plot had an open beginning and ending and a straightforward plot, didn't love it but didn't hate it either so I feel I should give this book a 3,5 stars. My 1st contact with Libya and certainly not the last. You can see the complete list of my African Books here:

  11. 5 out of 5

    Nada Elfeituri

    I'm a Libyan, so as soon as I heard of the existence of this book I ran to get it. There aren't many Libyan authors (because, as usual, of Gadhafi), so I have respect for the ones out there. My expectations for this book were really high. After the revolution any bit of culture that was Libya-related was treated like gold. I knew a lot of people who loved this book, so I guess I built it up in my head to be a masterpiece or something. Unfortunately it didn't meet up to my ridiculous fantasies. Th I'm a Libyan, so as soon as I heard of the existence of this book I ran to get it. There aren't many Libyan authors (because, as usual, of Gadhafi), so I have respect for the ones out there. My expectations for this book were really high. After the revolution any bit of culture that was Libya-related was treated like gold. I knew a lot of people who loved this book, so I guess I built it up in my head to be a masterpiece or something. Unfortunately it didn't meet up to my ridiculous fantasies. The story is told from the point of the view of the main protagonist, a nine year boy named Suleiman. While the portrayal of life under Gadhafi was accurate, it was told through the impatient and shallow perspective of a child. The story didn't really have a plot, it was more a short memoir. More than once I was reminded of The Kite Runner, albeit with more stilted dialogue and a slower pace. A lot of elements confused me, like the vaguely Oedipal relationship with the his mother, the fact that no one every explained to him what was going on, how he would begin narrating an event and then abruptly stop and move on to something else. What I'm trying to say is, without blatantly insulting a fellow Libyan, is that the book was interesting in the fact that it is one of the few books that speak from a Libyan point of view, but as a novel is wasn't particularly engaging.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Soumen Daschoudhury

    Betrayal. A stab in the back. If devoid of conscience, it is free of hurt; else you can never free yourself from the crushing ugly rock of repentance, of self pity. Did little Suleiman, a mere nine year old child know that he was betraying the ones he loved the most, murdering the hopes of a rebellion, a fight for a cause, a secret mission, a revolution to eradicate another? Was there a realization, even a tiny bit of shame when he did so? And for what, this heinous misdeed? It isn't easy for a Betrayal. A stab in the back. If devoid of conscience, it is free of hurt; else you can never free yourself from the crushing ugly rock of repentance, of self pity. Did little Suleiman, a mere nine year old child know that he was betraying the ones he loved the most, murdering the hopes of a rebellion, a fight for a cause, a secret mission, a revolution to eradicate another? Was there a realization, even a tiny bit of shame when he did so? And for what, this heinous misdeed? It isn't easy for a child to cope when the fatal realization dawns on him that his small world that he breathes in is built on a plinth of glorious lies. Is his Baba what he veritably knows him to be? Why does he leave them so frequently when he knows that Mama falls ill whenever he abandons them? Why can’t he be a simple man like Ustath Rashid, his best friends’ father? Left alone to be the man of the house, he is laden with his incapacitated Mama’s impressionable stories of her past, tales of woe and oppression a child should never discover. A boundary of hatred engulfs him when he realizes that his Baba has lied to him, to his Mama; what is this secret he can’t be told about? The internal turmoil lurking in a child’s mind can turn him into a monster, a fire breathing deadly ogre surpassing all confines of treachery. Hisham Matar’s story is based in Libya, during the trying times of Gadaffi’s revolutionary regime. It is a crushing tale of clandestine rebellion against this regime by a handful of comrades who strive for a better Libya, a free Libya lacking in oppression and dictatorship. It is the story of young Suleiman’s ugly and blatant utterance of truth, his gruesome effort of disentangling himself and breaking free from the cosmos of lies built around him. But truth comes at a price, at a devastating price. The writing lacks poetry, in fact is bland. It is plainly evident that the author thinks in his native language and what you read is a literal translation. You will inadvertently compare the story with Khaled Hosseini’s ‘The Kite Runner’. The stories from this part of the world are turning out into cliches but where the writing lacks in color, it compensates in its horrific simplicity and grotesque threadbare incidents of cruelty. Not for a moment did I feel any sympathy for the child; in fact I have to vulgarly admit that I hated him. Throttling freedom and strangling views under the veil of ideologies isn't manly, at all!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jenny (Reading Envy)

    Some authors make a political statement with their stories, powerful because of the emotional connections we make as readers to the circumstances. In this case, and despite the multiple awards and award nominations, I felt the story was a thin veil over circumstances that the author wanted to talk about. The nine year old makes confusing decisions, isn't afraid when a normal child would be, leading to destruction around him. He felt emotionally distant. At the same time, the author ends up not g Some authors make a political statement with their stories, powerful because of the emotional connections we make as readers to the circumstances. In this case, and despite the multiple awards and award nominations, I felt the story was a thin veil over circumstances that the author wanted to talk about. The nine year old makes confusing decisions, isn't afraid when a normal child would be, leading to destruction around him. He felt emotionally distant. At the same time, the author ends up not giving the reader very much background information on what is actually going on, since he tries to keep it to the world of that same nine year old. I'd have to go read another book to understand the context. I would prefer if it was all included here! At the same time, I wonder if that was the author's intent - to portray the confusion a child would feel during war, revolution, and oppression. In his small universe, the parts of life he depends on - family, friends, school - are all disrupted by forces he isn't sure if he should fear or show loyalty to. He suspects his Dad may be a traitor, what is a child to do when he isn't told everything?

  14. 5 out of 5

    Shawn Mooney

    Matar writes beautifully, here—sometimes to a fault. Told through the eyes of a 9-year-old Libyan boy in the early years of Khaddafy's reign, the novel suffers from child-narrator-syndrome: the boy couldn't possibly grasp the significance of what was befalling his family the way the narration suggests. The complex character of his mother interested me more than anything else in this rather slow-moving, Proustian take on a harrowing situation.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Shaghayegh

    كتاب از ديد سليمان پسربچه خانواده نوشته شده بود حقيقتا من انتظار داشتم با ليبي بيشتر اشنا بشم ولي اينطور نبود،در ضمن من شخصا كتاب هايي كه زياد توصيف شده رو باشه دوس ندارم،توصيفات خيلي زياد بود تو اين كتاب

  16. 4 out of 5

    Eslam Mohammed

    Does it worth a re-reading? I think, it earnestly does.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Невена Дишлиева-Кръстева

    От една страна романът стъпва на историческа основа, като разказва за случващото се в Либия в края на 70-те, когато режимът на Кадафи опропастява безброй животи. За поколения напред. От друга – и за мен по-притегателната – това е книга за отношенията вътре в едно семейство и на семейството със света. Майката, чиито разкази пренасят в други светове – тя е нежно, но невинаги понятно присъствие; бащата, за когото ти се иска да си достоен, но рядко намираш начин да го доближиш; приятелите от улицата От една страна романът стъпва на историческа основа, като разказва за случващото се в Либия в края на 70-те, когато режимът на Кадафи опропастява безброй животи. За поколения напред. От друга – и за мен по-притегателната – това е книга за отношенията вътре в едно семейство и на семейството със света. Майката, чиито разкази пренасят в други светове – тя е нежно, но невинаги понятно присъствие; бащата, за когото ти се иска да си достоен, но рядко намираш начин да го доближиш; приятелите от улицата – миниатюрен модел на света на възрастните; съседите, шпионите, сатрапите, бунтовниците – светът има и скрита страна и опознаването ѝ понякога ранява. Матар е спокоен и съзерцателен автор, не препуска бясно през сюжета, наблюдава, борави умело със символи и идеи. Има изящен слог. Действието е събрано в онова знойно лято на 79-а година, когато „човек, животно и буболечка отчаяно търсеха сянка“, за да се спасят от „вездесъщото“ слънце. Лятото, когато едно деветгодишно момче пораства по принуда. Преводът на Надя Розова е образцов.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Nojood Alsudairi

    It is nice to read this book in Arabic but if you can, read it in the language it was written in originaly; English. Reading the book in English gave it one more star. What amazes me is the development of the 9 year old character that took place in a small number of days. His adoration, love-hate and pitty relationship with his parents, especially his mom, is portrayed in a wonderful way. The struggle of the child between admiring the enemy and disliking him, at the same time, is shown in the vi It is nice to read this book in Arabic but if you can, read it in the language it was written in originaly; English. Reading the book in English gave it one more star. What amazes me is the development of the 9 year old character that took place in a small number of days. His adoration, love-hate and pitty relationship with his parents, especially his mom, is portrayed in a wonderful way. The struggle of the child between admiring the enemy and disliking him, at the same time, is shown in the violence of the child himself that is unexpected. One of the books I entend to read over and over.

  19. 4 out of 5

    ايمان

    رواية جميلة.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Amr Ezzat

    "لعل الشك أسوأ من الحزن، واليقين أثمن من الحب "

  21. 5 out of 5

    Samar Barakat

    Sadly, a quote from Francis Bacon comes to mind, that some books should only be sampled or some such thing. This book was quite dull. I started it with great expectations; it was the first novel I had read by a Libyan writer and with Libya constantly in the news, I thought its moment had come. It is also a book narrated from the perspective of a nine-year-old boy, and I was looking forward to some innocence, humour and charm. There was not much of that- the boy seemed at once too mature and too Sadly, a quote from Francis Bacon comes to mind, that some books should only be sampled or some such thing. This book was quite dull. I started it with great expectations; it was the first novel I had read by a Libyan writer and with Libya constantly in the news, I thought its moment had come. It is also a book narrated from the perspective of a nine-year-old boy, and I was looking forward to some innocence, humour and charm. There was not much of that- the boy seemed at once too mature and too clueless. Though not a translated work, the book uses language in a vapid, unimaginative manner. Again, we seem to have the usual genre coming out of the Middle East- sociology and political studies posing as literature. They don't make for good bedfellows, in my opinion, or at least not the way it's done in the Arab world. Perhaps the socio/political issues are so pressing and so current that writers cannot devote themselves to exploring the issues normally explored in the novel- by the time the writers are done with conveying what they perceive as the necessary information- of repression, brutality, torture, religion, and exile, there is not much time left for anything else. To be fair to the book, there were a few touches I liked. The fact that Suleiman (the nine-year-old) betrays his father and his best friend (though does not do serious damage to his father) is insightful. Is this the nature of such repressive regimes- that even innocent children end up betraying those they love most, as- at some unconscious level perhaps- they understand that it is the easier option. Another theme I thought was dealt with well was that of exile- Suleiman ends up forced into exile by his parents, and while he has no desire to return to his homeland, he resents his parents for depriving him of his homeland, no matter the reasons. And the irony is that for his parents, sending the son to Egypt was the ultimate sacricife they had to make to guarantee his safety, and yet the son, though understanding this, does not feel any more compassion towards them. Suleiman himself is caught in a cycle of safety and emptiness from which he can never be delivered.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Alshaimaa

    أحببته باللغة العربية، رغم محاولتي العقيمة لقراءته بالانجليزية .شعرت بعروبته بطعم المعاني التي لا أعرف لها فهماً إلا بالعربية في بلاد الرجال قصة حلم بالجنة، وورق توت قصة بعد جميل وأحلام وردية يحلمها حين يبعد عن أبيه، وقرب يجفله ويكرهه لحقيقة برودة ذلك القرب قصته مع أم كان هو أميرها الصغير قصة استيعاب طفل لعالم لايتكلم إلا بالألغاز يجب أن تقتنى من الكتاب " أتعرفين ماما كم بذلت الملائكة من جهد، وكيف خاطرت بكل شيء لتمنحنا التوت وكل ذلك لأنها أدركت كم ستكون الحياة قاسية علينا هنا في هذه الأرض ليتك كنت معي هن أحببته باللغة العربية، رغم محاولتي العقيمة لقراءته بالانجليزية .شعرت بعروبته بطعم المعاني التي لا أعرف لها فهماً إلا بالعربية في بلاد الرجال قصة حلم بالجنة، وورق توت قصة بعد جميل وأحلام وردية يحلمها حين يبعد عن أبيه، وقرب يجفله ويكرهه لحقيقة برودة ذلك القرب قصته مع أم كان هو أميرها الصغير قصة استيعاب طفل لعالم لايتكلم إلا بالألغاز يجب أن تقتنى من الكتاب " أتعرفين ماما كم بذلت الملائكة من جهد، وكيف خاطرت بكل شيء لتمنحنا التوت وكل ذلك لأنها أدركت كم ستكون الحياة قاسية علينا هنا في هذه الأرض ليتك كنت معي هناك لتذوقي ذلك التوت أتذكرين قولك لي كيف أن كل مانعرفه هنا سيكون أجمل بكثير في الجنة حسناً كل شيء ماعدا التوت إنها طريقة الملائكة لمساعدتنا كي نصبر التوت هو الشيء الوحيد من الجنة الموجود هنا" شكراً د نجود.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Safa

    رواية رائعة جداً ومتكاملة، تمثل مأساة الشعب الليبي خلال العهد السابق بأبلغ التعابير وأجملها، وأكثرها مرارة. شخصيات هذه الرواية تجسد أبعاد المجتمع الليبي سياسياً، واجتماعياً، وثقافياً بشكل ملم وسلس. سليمان الطفل الذي تأثر بخليط هذه الأبعاد إذ ارتسمت على طفولته إضطرابات ملامح السياسة المقفرة ومرارة ثقافة المجتمع التي تجرعتها والدته صغيرة في عمر الرابعة عشر والذي أحس سليمان بالمسؤولية إتجاهها. أحببت تفاصيل الرواية كثيراً وتشبثت بجميعها، بأولاد الشارع وموسى الرائع، بليالي سليمان وأمه في رحلات "مرضها"، رواية رائعة جداً ومتكاملة، تمثل مأساة الشعب الليبي خلال العهد السابق بأبلغ التعابير وأجملها، وأكثرها مرارة. شخصيات هذه الرواية تجسد أبعاد المجتمع الليبي سياسياً، واجتماعياً، وثقافياً بشكل ملم وسلس. سليمان الطفل الذي تأثر بخليط هذه الأبعاد إذ ارتسمت على طفولته إضطرابات ملامح السياسة المقفرة ومرارة ثقافة المجتمع التي تجرعتها والدته صغيرة في عمر الرابعة عشر والذي أحس سليمان بالمسؤولية إتجاهها. أحببت تفاصيل الرواية كثيراً وتشبثت بجميعها، بأولاد الشارع وموسى الرائع، بليالي سليمان وأمه في رحلات "مرضها"،بورشة سليمان فوق السطح، بشمس الظهيرة وبشجرة التوت.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Antonia

    “Революционните сили - разнесе се сласът на Лидера, - могат и имат право да прибягват до насилие, за да отстранят всеки, който се изпречи на пътя на Революцията. Вече наистина можем да премахмем старото либийско общество и да изградим ново, в което революционно настроените си помагат взаимо в борбата срещу антиреволюционните движения в университетите, заводите и по улиците.” Близо десет години след окончателното овладяване на управлението на Либия от Муамар Кадафи и две години след обявяването н “Революционните сили - разнесе се сласът на Лидера, - могат и имат право да прибягват до насилие, за да отстранят всеки, който се изпречи на пътя на Революцията. Вече наистина можем да премахмем старото либийско общество и да изградим ново, в което революционно настроените си помагат взаимо в борбата срещу антиреволюционните движения в университетите, заводите и по улиците.” Близо десет години след окончателното овладяване на управлението на Либия от Муамар Кадафи и две години след обявяването на страната за Джамахирия (управление на масите), британско-либийският автор, Хишам Матар, неудобно ни настанява в историята на деветгодишниня Сюлейман в дебютния си роман “Мъжка страна”. Триполи, лятото на 1979 година, улица “Черница”, на която живее Сюлейман внезапно ще се разтресе от поредица събития, които невъзвратимо ще преобърнат живота на детето. Преди обаче да започне плавнонто изливане на сюжетни слоеве, Хишам Матар, с ловкия похват на литературната си чувтвеност, любезно и уверено ще ни подкани да престъпим прага на романа: “Беше 1979 година и слънцето беше вездесъщо. Човек, животно и буболечка отчаяно търсеха сянка - благодатна сивкава кръпка, съшила тук-там повсеместната белота. Истинската благодат обаче настъпваше нощем, когато ветрец, охладен от безлюдната пустиня и овлажнен от бучащото море, прекосяваше празните улици като неохотен гост, неуверен докъде му е позволено да броди из това царство на звездно самовластие.” Някогашен кръстопът на велики древни цивилизации - бербери, финикийци, картагенци, египтяни, гърци, римляни, Либия в деветата година от живота на Сюлейман е обвита от сбъдната социалистическа мечта на военния лидер Кадафи. Историята на това знаково лято е разказана от порасналия Сюлейман, на когото тогавашната му невръстна възраст не е позволила да разпознае значимостта на събитията съпътстващи семейството и съседите му. През очите на детето се запознаваме с една неуравновесена и непораснала жена, майката, с нелегална алкохолна зависимост и фиксация върху насилствено отнетата й младост и един, обладан от нови политически идеи, вечно отсъстващ баща. Колкото по-дълбоко се потапяме с семейната обстановка, толкова по-ярко се откроява неефективността на родитеските отношения, отразяващи се пряко върху психиката на детето. Белези в съзнанието на Сюлейман обаче нанася не само липсващата семейна хармония, но и умишлено разпространените слухове от улицата за навъртащи се наблизо предатели на Революцията. Изцяло изоставен от родителско обяснение за нахлуващата контра-революционна вълна на улица “Черница”, Сюлейман грешно тълкува насилственото отвеждане от Революционните сили на устат Рашид - баща на най-добрия му приятел Карим, университетски преподавател по история на изкувството и верен приятел на собствения му баща. От този момент на нататък отношенията на деветгодишнното момче към хората, които най-много обича започват гръмко да се влошават. Серия от предателства, недоверие, нужда от внимание и изолация започва парливо да се нанизва пред очите на читателя. Детето расте във време, в което публични разпити, унижения и екзекуции се излъчват посред бял ден по националната телевизия. Из парещия, натежал летен въздух се носи зловредния дъх на политическо напрежение. Бащата го няма, майката упоена от “лекарството” е потънала в дълбок сън, на Сюлейман, неспособен да намери родителска утеха, не му остава нищо друго освен сам да се опита да разгадае пъзела на наредилите се едно след друго безпощадни събития. Но как като е само на девет и в гърдитите му, едва разлистена, се поклаща крехка и уязвима детска душевност. Колкото повече Сюлейман не разбира светът около себе си, толкова по-голяма расте агресията му към околните и никой, дори наглия, но безобиден просяк Бахул, не е пощаден от нея. “Протегнах ръка, но той я наплю и се озърна, сякаш търсеше друг спасител. Нямаше никой обаче, никой друг освен мен. И аз не знам защо започнах да го натискам надолу със стъпалото си. Чорлавата му коса беше подгизнала и груба. Той опита да се защити, като се вкопчи в глезена ми. Което ме разгневи още повече. И докато се мъчех да освободя глезена си, го ритнах в лицето. От носа му във водата рукна кръв. Солената вода е полезна за раните, добре ми беше известно. Бахул пак се разцвили, по-силно от всякога. Пак го натиснах надолу, за да млъкне. И изведнъж без никакво предупреждение съпротивата му секна.” “Мъжка страна” е многолик роман. Потресаващата изповед за едно принудително израстване в условия на семейна и обществена настабилност е само един от аспектите, разгърнати от майсторското перо на Хишам Матар. “Мъжка страна” е и разказ за тегнещата природа на предателството в размирни времена. Но също е и увещаване за значимостта на родителската грижа. Силата на романа е не само в психоаналитичният аспект на случващите се в сюлеймановото съзнание процеси, но и беззъбото, дремещо на хоризонта, тоталитарно битие, обезкриляващо всеки, дръзнал да мечтае за демокрация, човек. “Грижовност. Мисля, че за това копнеех. За топла, несекваща и неизменна грижовност. Във време на кръв и сълзи, в Либия, пълна с мъже в синини и петна от урина, обзет от неотложна нужда и жадуващ облекчение, аз бях странното дете, което копнее за грижовност. И макар че тогава не си го обеснявах така, самосъжалението ми се беше извисило до самоненавист.”

  25. 5 out of 5

    Branislav Breza

    Nedávam často štyri hviezdičky, ale toto bolo dojímavé. Príbeh o tom, čo znamená žiť v Kaddáfího Líbii z pohľadu malého chlapca, s tatkom disidentom a mamou s psychickými problémami.Dejiny na pozadí rodinného príbehu. Matar vie rozprávať. Nechcem spoilerovať, prečítajte si. Oplatí sa.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ibrahim

    راقت لي كثيراً!!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mohamed Al

    نعمد نحن القراء إذا أحببنا كاتبًا ما إلى محاولة اكتشاف المزيد عنه، إمّا بقراءة المزيد من كتبه، أو بالاطلاع على سيرته الذاتية، أو بمتابعة حواراته ولقاءاته الأدبية والصحفية. ولكن في رأيي هنالك شيء آخر أكثر أهمية من ذلك كلّه. ما هي الكتب التي قرأها هذا الكاتب وتركت فيه وفي كتابته أثرًا لا يمحى. دعكم من هؤلاء الكُتّاب المغرورين الذين يدّعون بأنهم لم يتأثروا بكاتب أو بكتاب، فهؤلاء عدا عن كونهم يكذبون، فإنك لن تجد فيما يكتبونه شيئًا يستحق القراءة في الغالب. دوستويفسكي الذي قال يومًا "كلنا خرجنا من معطف نعمد نحن القراء إذا أحببنا كاتبًا ما إلى محاولة اكتشاف المزيد عنه، إمّا بقراءة المزيد من كتبه، أو بالاطلاع على سيرته الذاتية، أو بمتابعة حواراته ولقاءاته الأدبية والصحفية. ولكن في رأيي هنالك شيء آخر أكثر أهمية من ذلك كلّه. ما هي الكتب التي قرأها هذا الكاتب وتركت فيه وفي كتابته أثرًا لا يمحى. دعكم من هؤلاء الكُتّاب المغرورين الذين يدّعون بأنهم لم يتأثروا بكاتب أو بكتاب، فهؤلاء عدا عن كونهم يكذبون، فإنك لن تجد فيما يكتبونه شيئًا يستحق القراءة في الغالب. دوستويفسكي الذي قال يومًا "كلنا خرجنا من معطف غوغول" دفعني لقراءة قصة المعطف لنيقولاي غوغول، وأورهان باموك الذي تحدث كثيرًا عن رواية "الشياطين" لدوستويفسكي دفعني لاقتنائها. ولولا ربيع جابر لما قرأت رواية "حب وقمامة" لإيفان كليما التي تكررت كثيرًا في مقالاته. وأعترف بأنني لم أقرأ رواية "مائة عام من العزلة" لماركيز إلا بعد أن بالغ ميلان كونديرا بمدحها زاعمًا بأن الرواية انتهت معها (أو شيئًا قريبًا من هذا المعنى). ولولا إشادة ماريو فارغاس يوسا برواية "جامع الكتب" لجوستابو فابيرون لما قرأتها، ولا أظنني كنت سأقرأ "أورشليم" للبرتغالي جونسالو إم. تفاريس لولا منح جوزيه سارامغو صك التفوق والعظمة الأدبية له. لذلك عندما التقيت بالكاتبة الليبية الجميلة نجوى بن شتوان، صاحبة رواية "زرايب العبيد"، في معرض أبوظبي للكتاب اغتنمت الفرصة لسؤالها عما تنصح بقراءته من روايات. ذكرت لي نجوى، بحماسٍ شديد، مجموعة من الروايات ولكن لم يعلق بذاكرتي المثقوبة حينها سوى اسم هشام مطر وروايته "في بلد الرجال". وبالفعل حرصت على اقتنائها من دار الشروق في آخر أيام المعرض، واستغربت بأنني لا أعرف هذا الكاتب الليبي الذي يكتب بالإنجليزية وفازت رواياته بالعديد من الجوائز الأدبية في الغرب، ولكن زال استغرابي عندما وجدت بأن الطبعة الأولى من روايته "في بلد الرجال" صادرة في عام ٢٠١٦ بينما صدرت الرواية بالإنجليزية عام ٢٠٠٦. أي أننا احتجنا ١٠ سنوات لترجمة كاتب عربي نال تقديرا في أمريكا وأوروبا لم ينل ربعه في هذا العالم العربي. وهنا استطراد، لاحظت بأن نجوى بن شتوان كانت سعيدة جدًا بلقاء القراء الإماراتيين في معرض أبوظبي للكتاب وكأنها فازت بجائزة البوكر، ولما سألتها ممازحًا، قالت لي بلهجتها الليبية الجميلة : وكيف لا أفرح بقرائي من الإمارات وهي الدولة التي منحتني أول جائزة في مسيرتي الأدبية (فازت مسرحيتها (المعطف) بجائزة مهرجان الشارقة للإبداع العربي عام ٢٠٠٢ ) عودة للرواية التي كانت أول ما قرأته من مقتنيات المعرض، وأنهيتها لجمالها في يومٍ واحد. تدور أحداث رواية هشام مطر في عام ١٩٧٩، أي أثناء حكم القذافي لليبيا، وعلى الرغم من أنها ذات طابع سياسي إلا أن الجميل/الجديد فيها هو أن الرواية تنقل وجهة نظر طفل لا يتجاوز عمره ٩ أعوام ينقلب عالمه رأسًا على عقب عندما يتورط والده، مع مجموعة من أصدقائه، في الانتماء لتنظيم سرّي، ويجد نفسه فجأة في مواجهة عالم الكبار القذر والدنئ. أنهيت الرواية وأنا ممتن لنجوى بن شتوان مرتين؛ مرة لأنها كتبت "زرايب العبيد" ومرة لأنها أرشدتني لهذه الرواية.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Serene

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book is an honest look at human weakness when facing tyranny. The author writes several variations on this theme -- how the young Suleiman gives his father's friend away to Qaddafi's security forces, how Suleiman's mother gives in to her circumscribed role as housewife in the face of a marriage forced upon her, and how even Suleiman's father confesses to rescue himself from punishment. In all of these events, we wish the characters had been able to hold loyal to their beliefs, but we are no This book is an honest look at human weakness when facing tyranny. The author writes several variations on this theme -- how the young Suleiman gives his father's friend away to Qaddafi's security forces, how Suleiman's mother gives in to her circumscribed role as housewife in the face of a marriage forced upon her, and how even Suleiman's father confesses to rescue himself from punishment. In all of these events, we wish the characters had been able to hold loyal to their beliefs, but we are not terribly surprised when they are not. So a story that starts out so innocent, so full of a boy's love towards his friends and parents, ends on a horribly cynical note. It is not that all humanity is destined to fail his beliefs (there are characters in the book who model the contrary), but certainly some if not most are, and it is this type of people that the author chose to focus on. It a strong, well-written novel, though occasionally gets repetitive. The author harps on the mother's drinking habit, and Suleiman's dreams of rescuing his mother, and the exchanges with the neighborhood kids get tiring. I also have a pet peeve about the "oppressed woman" in expat Arab literature. Can literature please show the diversity of Arab women's lives out there and not make it as if all Arab women are beaten and forced into child marriages? [End of rant.:] But I still am glad I read the book.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Tinea

    The narrator's mother tells him that Scheherazade, when the king finally allowed her a wish after 1,001 stories and she asked that he spare her, chose a life "of slavery" over death. But this whole book is about people choosing lives of slavery (to a husband, to a government, to an exile) rather than death. And the death we see, the lives that are lived, leave little evidence to judge if Suleiman's mother was right. Obviously, I side with the revolutionaries and the girls who talk back to their f The narrator's mother tells him that Scheherazade, when the king finally allowed her a wish after 1,001 stories and she asked that he spare her, chose a life "of slavery" over death. But this whole book is about people choosing lives of slavery (to a husband, to a government, to an exile) rather than death. And the death we see, the lives that are lived, leave little evidence to judge if Suleiman's mother was right. Obviously, I side with the revolutionaries and the girls who talk back to their fathers. But Matar writes the kind of fiction that deals with the practical convenience of caving. I believe in this reality, in which the only hero pisses himself and pukes in his mouth before hanging in front a jeering crowd. It's a depressing book in which the innocent are not honorable, and trauma is recycled with curiosity or indifference onto others. Nine year old boys are allowed to explore their full horrible privilege to inflict pain without consequences. Short work, feminist, prose that is rich. [Great African Reads book club]

  30. 5 out of 5

    Salma

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. As today marks the First Libyan elections after Gaddafi, I felt it was a victory well deserved for the Libyan struggle. Reading "In The Country Of Men" opened my eyes to a whole new world of complete oppression and tyranny that cannot be slightly compared to the case in Egypt. It's even when the parents of Suliman wanted to get him a better life, he travelled to our Cairo! I would never blame him that he didn't wish to return back to Libya. I would have never imagined myself living in a world of h As today marks the First Libyan elections after Gaddafi, I felt it was a victory well deserved for the Libyan struggle. Reading "In The Country Of Men" opened my eyes to a whole new world of complete oppression and tyranny that cannot be slightly compared to the case in Egypt. It's even when the parents of Suliman wanted to get him a better life, he travelled to our Cairo! I would never blame him that he didn't wish to return back to Libya. I would have never imagined myself living in a world of humiliation and gloring of the tyranny. I would never imagine finding the eavesdropper on a phone call interrupting two persons talking with such bravad. I would never imagine living in a world where a book called "Democracy Now" can get you to execution.. An execution implemented in a stadium and aired on National TV. It was painful that a young boy would be facing all this by himself. But I have to admit, I didn't like reading it through the eyes of a nine-year old boy. He took too much words in describing every single detail. But overall, this novel is a must-read.

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