By Alaa Al Aswany
From the preferred Egyptian novelist of his iteration ("a compatible inheritor to the mantle worn through Naguib Mahfouz" --The Guardian), a rollicking, exuberant and powerfully relocating tale of a kin swept up via social unrest in post--World battle II Cairo.
Once a revered landowner, Abd el-Aziz Gaafar fell into penury and moved his kin to Cairo, the place he was once compelled into menial paintings on the car Club--a shelter of colonial luxurious for its eu participants. There, Alku, the lifelong Nubian retainer of Egypt's corrupt and dissolute king, lords it over the workers, a squabbling yet tight-knit staff, who reside in perpetual worry, as they're thrashed for his or her errors, their wages depending on Alku's whims. whilst, at some point, Abd el-Aziz stands up for himself, he's overwhelmed. quickly later on, he dies, as a lot from disgrace as from his accidents, leaving his widow and 4 young children extra impoverished. The family's loss propels them down diverse paths: the dependable son, Kamel, takes over his past due father's publish within the Club's storeroom, whilst his legislation college associates seduce him into innovative politics; Mahmud joins his brother operating on the membership yet spends his loose time napping with older women--for a price, which he splits along with his companion in crime, his devil-may-care work out blood brother and neighbor, Fawzy; their grasping brother acknowledged breaks away to stick to goals of his personal; and their merely sister, Saleha, is torn among her dream of learning arithmetic and the safety of settling down as a spouse and saving her family members.
It is on the membership, too, that Kamel's risky politics will locate the desire and patronage of the king's seditious cousin, an not going innovative plotter--cum--bon vivant. quickly, either servants and masters can be subsumed through the brewing social upheaval. And the Egyptians of the auto membership will face a stark selection: to stay adequately, yet with out dignity, or to struggle for his or her rights and possibility every thing.
Full of soaking up incident, and marvelously drawn characters, Alaa Al Aswany's novel supplies us Egypt on the point of adjustments that resonate to at the present time. it really is an impossible to resist affirmation of Al Aswany's popularity as one of many center East's such a lot beguiling storytellers and insightful interpreters of the human spirit.