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Anatomy of a Disappearance

3.39  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,708 Ratings  ·  311 Reviews
Nuri is a young boy when his mother dies. It seems that nothing will fill the emptiness that her strange death leaves behind in the Cairo apartment he shares with his father. Until they meet Mona, sitting in her yellow swimsuit by the pool of the Magda Marina hotel. As soon as Nuri sees her, the rest of the world vanishes. But it is Nuri’s father with whom Mona falls in lo ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published August 23rd 2011 by The Dial Press (first published 2011)
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الجيش والإخوان by مصطفى بكريالأسود يليق بك by أحلام مستغانميكلمة السر by محمد حسني مبارك28 حرف by أحمد حلميالجيش والثورة .. قصة الأيام الأخيرة by مصطفى بكري
كتب لن أقرأها أبدا
62nd out of 143 books — 319 voters
The Sense of an Ending by Julian BarnesThe Night Circus by Erin MorgensternThe Tiger's Wife by Téa ObrehtThe Absolutist by John BoyneThe Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt
Impac Dublin Award 2013 Long List
62nd out of 154 books — 56 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Carol
May 19, 2015 Carol rated it really liked it
I was fascinated with this spare yet elegantly written coming of age novel because so much of the story parallels the author, Hisham Matar’s own life. In this semi-autobiographical story, Nuri, a young boy of 14 years, loses his father (a diplomat and dissident living in political exile in Egypt) when he is suddenly abducted and “disappeared” by some unnamed foreign government. The novel recounts the next 10 years of Nuri’s life as he uncovers pieces of his father’s mysterious past and attempts ...more
Kwesi 章英狮
Aug 29, 2011 Kwesi 章英狮 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011, e-book, hisham-matar
My father is a quite type, you will always see him sitting in a sofa watching television or sitting in the near bench. He never cared of his surroundings or maybe I'm too heartless to share his feelings. I live with that kind of situation and never regret that I have a father like him. I lived closely with my mom and siblings and if you ask me, I used to having my mom at my side than sitting with my quite father.

Anatomy of Disappearance is written by Hisham Matar, a Libyan author and shortlisted
...more
Iman
Mar 26, 2013 Iman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
رشحتها لي إيمان خفاجي.. رغم حداثة صداقتنا إلا أنني أحب حماسها المفرط وهي تتكلم عن هذه الرواية أو تلك.. لذلك عندما رشحت لي "اختفاء" بدأت في قراءتها مدفوعة بتلك الحماسة وانتهيت منها في يومين..
شيء ما كان مختلفا في هذه الرواية.. حكاية الغياب.. ذاك الخواء الذي يطاردك كلما اختفى من حياتك شخص أحببته لتواجه الحياة دونه.. اﻷصعب الغائبون وهم معك.. حتى تغدو وحيدا جدا..
أحببت سرد قصة ذاك الفتى "نوري".. يتيم اﻷم وهيامه بزوجة أبيه "منى" مرورا بتطور مشاعره نحوها من خالص البراءة حتى خالص الاثم والندم ثم الهروب
...more
أحمد البخاري

من المؤكد أن هشام مطر يمزح .. ما هذا يا هشام !!


لاشك أن هشام يملك لغة سرد جميلة ومحكمة ، ولا يمكننا أن نصف هشام مطر بعدم الإحترافية أو السوء ، لكن هذه الرواية عدا اللغة التي كتبت بها سيئة بالفعل ، قصة متواضعة جداً ورتيبة إن لم أصفها بالمملة ، بالكاد أستطعت إكمالها ، الأحداث لا جديد فيها ولا إثارة .. عبارة عن وصف مشاعر بين شخصيات قليلة عبرالرواية ، النهاية سيئة للغاية ، لم أفهم ماذا يريد الكاتب وأين هي الرسالة الخفية الذي أراد إيصالها ، القصة نفسها متواضعة ولا تقدم جديد ، توقعت أن تكون هناك مفاجآت
...more
Tariq Alferis
Nov 05, 2014 Tariq Alferis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
.مش عارف الشُعور الصح إلى جاني بعد ماكملت الرواية، بدأت قراءة الرواية من فترة وكل مرة نقرأ فصل ونسكر ونرجع بعد فترة وهكذا، الفصول الأولى كانت مُملة، لكن قررت اليوم أنه نجازف ونكمل لعند أخر حرف، والإعتراف بالحق شيء عظيم لهذا نعترف أنه كنت ظالم الرواية بشكل كبير، رائعة حد الحزن، طريقة السرد جميلة جدا لدرجة ماكنتش نعرف أنه مترجمة أصلا، مع أنه الموضوع مُكرر وعادي جدا لكن عجبتني، نوري الشاب يمثلني،..
Dina
Jan 06, 2013 Dina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-it
رواية ساحرة! اتردد كثيراً فبل قراءة أي كتاب مترجم إلى أن شجعتني رحاب بسام مؤكدة أن الترجمة جيدة جداً وبالفعل اللغة رائقة فلا تكاد تشعر ان الكتاب مترجم وأُحي محمد عبد النبي (المترجم) على المجهود الممتاز.
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السرد رائع والرواية فاتنة تدخلك عالم ناس أخرين بهدوء شديد وترفع عنك هم الأحداث الفرعية الغير مهمة إلى الأحداث الرئيسية المحركة فلا تشغلك عن المهم في القصة وتترك لك أبواب كثيرة مقتوحة لتأخذ منها الحقائق التي تروق لك كقارئ، ومع ذلك فهي لا تخلو من تقاصيل دقيقة لرسم الأشخاص وحبكة القصة.
رواية جميلة ،
...more
رحاب
May 02, 2011 رحاب rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
I’m really charmed. On every page I was torn between turning the page quickly to know what happens next, and slowing down so that I can enjoy it for longer. The language is so intense, so condensed (distilled is a better description), yet so elegant.
Nesma Zazou
كتاب محبط و قصة مكررة .. لم تحدد الرواية في اي خط تريد ان تسير .. لم استماع ع الاطلاق .. عندما تزور سراي مكتبة الشروق بمعرض الكتاب وفر ثمن هذا الكتاب و أكمل مجموعة عز الدين شكري أفضل .. و ان لم ترغب توجه لنهضة مصر أو سور الأزبكية و ابتاع ميكي
Ursula
Mar 06, 2013 Ursula rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Is it possible to be enthralled by the writing and yet left wanting by the story of a book? Of course it is - and that's what happened for me with Anatomy of a Disappearance. The story centers around Nuri, who is twelve years old when his mother dies. Within a year, his father has remarried a younger woman, Mona. Nuri has complicated feelings about that, at least partially related to his jealousy of his father because of his own crush on Mona. Everything changes, though, when Nuri's father is ab ...more
Aya Mamdouh
Feb 25, 2013 Aya Mamdouh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
أنا المفروض اكتب رائي هنا عن الرواية ...انا لما خلصتها حسيت اني مش استفدت حاجة علي المستوى الفكرى ...بس يسطر عليا شعور وهو المكتوب علي ظهر الغلاف للرواية ..." يتساءل هشام مطر عن كيف نواصل الحياه رغم اختفاء لأحبابنا عنها" وكتشفت ان دا هو مغزى الرواية ..ازاى نكمل حياتنا وجوانا احساس بالفقدان ماحدش عارف يملئ مكانه ، احنا بنقدر وهنقدر نكمل حياتنا مش علشان البطل قدر يكمل ..لا ، لان دى فعلا الحقيقية .
اعتقد ان الكاتب بيقدر يسيطر علي مشاعر القارئ بدرجة تجعلك تنفصل عن الواقع بتأمن بان الروايه هي الواقع و
...more
عبدالله ناصر

للروائي و الصحافي عزت القمحاوي رأي يؤكد على أن موهبة الروائي الحقيقية مرهونة بالرواية الثانية لا الأولى . مع أن عزت نفسه لم يقنعني لا في الثانية و لا حتى الأولى . من هذا الرأي أقول و بخيبة أمل أن هشام يخطو إلى الوراء . أحببت روايته الأولى غير أنه كرر نفسه تقريباً دونما انتباه فالوالد هنا و هناك معارض سياسي و سيدفع ثمن ذلك كما أن الراوي هنا و هناك طفل لم يصل للخامسة عشر . و كنت سأغفر ذلك لو التزم بالعنوان و الذي بالمناسبة تم تسطيحه بالنسخة العربية مع أن الأمانة تقتضي أن أشيد بالترجمة فيما عدا ذلك
...more
Trish
May 16, 2012 Trish rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story is a novel, but reads like a memoir. Judging from the short biography about the author on Goodreads, one must assume Matar is “writing what he knows,” since the thread of the novel closely follows the arc of his life. In real life his father, a former Libyan government minister, is persecuted by the Gaddafi regime, and is subsequently kidnapped. In the novel, we know the family is in exile in Cairo, but we never learn the country from which they fled.

Matar is extravagantly talented:
...more
Kim
Nov 06, 2015 Kim marked it as to-read
Shelves: first-reads
This book has an interesting cover! I am excited to have won it through First Reads and am looking forward to reading it.
Ellie
Apr 15, 2012 Ellie rated it really liked it
Anatomy of a Disappearance: A Novel by Hisham Matar is a fragile dream of a novel, a sliver of memories from the childhood of the narrator. At first, it focuses on the death of his mother and the woman he and his father meet at a hotel, Mona. Both the 14 year old boy and his father fall in love with the woman but the father marries her and soon the boy is sent away from Egypt, his home, to a boarding school in England.

But when his father is kidnapped from Switzerland and is not heard of again, w
...more
شكري الميدي
" تمر الاوقات يثقل فيها غياب أبي علي كأن هناك طفلاً جاثماً على صدري "

هكذا يبدأ الكاتب روايته التي استهلهما من عاملي بناء في الاسكندرية .

الرواية ليست غريبة في أحداثها .


أب مع ابنه - ذكرى والدة ميتة - خوف و عمل تحت الستار ضد نظام يظهر و لا يظهر و الجميع يعرف بأنه النظام الليبي و لكنه يمكن أن يكون اي نظام ديكتاتوري في العالم .

في البدء تظنها رواية ذكريات زمن الطفولة ، سرعانما تفكر مجدداً حين تظهر تلك الأغواءات و المتابعات الملحة من قبل الراوي - الطفل ، لإمرأة ، تكبره بنصف عمره .

مع أبيه في رحلة صيف
...more
Chad Sayban
When a young arab boy, Nuri, loses his mother to illness, he and his dissident father must emotionally support each other in their apartment in Cairo. However, bikini-clad Mona arrives in their lives, and Nuri must watch as his advances go unnoticed and she falls in love with his father. But when Nuri’s father disappears under mysterious circumstances, Nuri must come to grips with his relationships with his father and Mona while trying to find his own place in the world.

Hisham Matar does a good
...more
Gina Roitman
Sep 18, 2011 Gina Roitman rated it really liked it

“There are times when my father’s absence is as heavy as a child sitting on my chest.”
With this tender opening sentence, Hisham Matar begins to weave a subtle pattern of absence and loss that defines the emotional territory of Anatomy of a Disappearance, his second novel.
The narrator of this beautifully paced story is Nuri el-Alfi, who at 14 loses his father when he disappears from an apartment in Geneva, likely the victim of a political kidnapping. The loss is unbearable yet even before his fa
...more
Ron Charles
Jan 04, 2014 Ron Charles rated it really liked it
"Anatomy of a Disappearance” is about a boy of privilege set adrift by political intrigue. Libyan writer Hisham Matar won international acclaim with his poetic first novel, “In the Country of Men,” and once again he draws on his family’s terror under the reign of Moammar Gaddafi to tell the harrowing tale of a son deprived of his parents. The tone here is melancholy and steeped in regret as the narrator recalls himself as a lonely 12-year-old, grieving for the death of his mother, pining for his ...more
Siria
May 12, 2013 Siria rated it it was ok
Nuri is 12 when his mother dies, 14 when his father is kidnapped by political opponents and probably murdered; he spends the next few years shuffling between his English boarding school and the apartment of his beautiful young step-mother, Mona, on whom he is uncomfortably fixated. I liked the prose of Anatomy of a Disappearance—there were one or two of the more lyrical lines which didn't quite work for me, but otherwise Matar's style manages to be spare while also being descriptive and suggesti ...more
Ctb
Nov 09, 2011 Ctb rated it it was ok
Shelves: giveaways
I received this book free from Goodreads First Reads. Thank you.

An apathetic, opaque book whose narrative, especially its dialogue, keeps the reader at an emotional distance even during what should be distressing, devastating, and daring moments. Lacks tension and tenderness, intrigue, eroticism and drive. The first-person narration is robotic and the narrator isn't convincingly human. The other characters lack psychic and emotional energy, an animating spirit. The novel reads like a very detail
...more
Karen Skinner
Jan 20, 2012 Karen Skinner rated it it was amazing
One of my favorites of 2011! As the survivor of a "disapearance" perhaps this tale resonated with me in a particular way, but beyond that, this all at once precise, yet gentle writing style teases the reader into carrying the book everywhere, anxious for the chance to read another page, another chapter. Matar's actual story is compelling, but his style even more so. Maybe this is a bit of a political espionage mystery, maybe it is an exploration of an eastern culture, but certainly it is a comin ...more
Nada EL Shabrawi
May 19, 2016 Nada EL Shabrawi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
هايل
Alicia
Apr 16, 2016 Alicia rated it liked it
There is much about this book that I took issue with, but, overall I found it evocative. The narrator loses his father when he was 14 under very sudden and mysterious circumstances. Sadly, he and I share that in common. So I identified with the profound loss and conflict of who his father really was vs who the child thought the parent was. I could relate to the adult child who goes on the scavenger hunt to revisit places and people to reconstruct his father. It is a haunting that never really di ...more
Maye Saleh
أسلوبه جيد محستش انه كتاب مترجم خاصةَ إن الأحداث معظمها في مصر، في أجزاء كتير مملة غير إني محستش بأي فكرة في القصة كلها، رواية عادية. في أجزاء كتير خصوصا في الأخر حسيت بشبح "هولدن كولفيلد" مع إن شخصية نوري مش قريبة بس واضح إن الكاتب كان متأثر بهولدن كولفيلد لما كتب عن "نوري". وده ممكن يكون أكتر جزء شدني.
طريقة السرد جيدة والترجمة جيدة واللغة راقية بس مفيش حبكة وفي حاجات كتير ناقصة ومبهمة، الكتاب يستحق نجمتين ونصف إلي ثلاثة
Loraine
May 08, 2013 Loraine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing, nothing less. Complicated and full, fiction that feels true, nothing contrived or forced. Beautifully written, grabbed me right at the start and never let go. Altogether a very satisfying, memorable read. I recommend it highly.
I've decided not to hold back on my stars. When a book is wonderful, it is just plain wonderful and deserves all 5 stars.
س
Feb 06, 2012 س rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully written book. The prose is elegant and crisp, and Matar's voice has an understated and quiet power. I started reading it and couldn't put it down. The story is about the disapperance of Kamal, Nuri's father. Matar is able to express the feeling of something being snatched, with no explanation and no resolution. The characters are then left to search for their own resolutions and come to terms with the disappearance. The plot isn't the most thrilling, and most of the action seems to h ...more
Christie
May 14, 2012 Christie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Haunting, beautiful. I finished this novel -- a novel with a narrator who cannot confide in his closest friends, connected to people who only reveal the truth decades later -- with a sense that no one can understand another person's life, and that no one, really, can enter into or become part of another person's culture. At least not strictly by willing it.

The first half of the novel does not prepare the reader for the second half. The teenage lusts of the first half should seem petty in the fa
...more
Ali
Apr 22, 2012 Ali rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read Hisham Matar’s first novel “In the country of Men” – a few years ago and absolutely loved it. It has been a long old wait for this one – but it has been worth it.

I have seen some great reviews of this novel – but feel I can’t really do it justice. How can I put across the absolute pathos and beauty of this novel?

Two things stood out as I read Anatomy of a Disappearance. First, there was the quiet power of the language, and the author's control of it. Second, there was Hisham Matar's abil
...more
orsodimondo
Apr 06, 2013 orsodimondo rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: inglese, araba
NESSUNO AL MONDO
Nuri, l’io narrante di questo romanzo, racconta la sua vita tra gli otto e i 25 anni.
Ma se adesso dovessi descriverlo, dire perché si comporta come si comporta, cosa sente (a parte la lapalissiana mancanza del padre), non ci riuscirei, andrei un po’ di qua e un po’ di là, farei confusione e non saprei centrare il fulcro.
Non avrei più successo con Mona, oppure provando a descrivere il grande assente, il padre.
Men che meno con la madre morta.
Forse, mi andrebbe meglio con Naima, m
...more
Shorouq
الحبكة بسيطة. وزير سابق في دولة عربية تحاول بشتى الطرق التخلص من رجالات الدولة التي قامت على أنقاضها بعد ثورة تسببت في هرب أغلبهم خارج البلاد، وفي ظروف -متوقعة- يختفي الرجل مخلفا ابنا وزوجة أجنبية، يحاولان التوصل إلى الأحداث - يدعى أنها غامضة- التي أدت إلى اختفاءه. وفي أثناء ذلك يكتشفان أنه رجل شرقي عادي كان له ماض "متوقع" أموال في مصرف أجنبي، عشيقات، وطبعا أعداء.
لا أستطيع أن أصنف هذه الرواية بالتحديد. أعترف أنها كادت تكون نوعي المفضل من حيث التسلسل والغموض والنهاية الغير مألوفة لكن المتوقعة! و
...more
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Great African Reads: May | "Anatomy of a Disappearance" 5 43 May 26, 2012 02:58PM  
Naima 1 11 Apr 29, 2012 10:17AM  
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Hisham Matar was born in New York City. He spent his childhood in America with his Libyan parents while his father was working for the Libyan delegation to the United Nations. When he was three years old, his family went back to Tripoli, Libya, where he spent his early childhood. Due to political persecutions by the Gaddafi regime, in 1979 his father was accused of being a reactionary to the Libya ...more
More about Hisham Matar...

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“I wanted to wear her as you would a piece of clothing, to fold into her ribs, be a stone in her mouth.” 10 likes
“There and then, sitting beside her and within the strength of my adoration, I felt invincible.” 6 likes
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