Anatomy of a Disappearance
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Anatomy of a Disappearance

3.38 of 5 stars 3.38  ·  rating details  ·  1,356 ratings  ·  276 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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Carol
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
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
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
Dina
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
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
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
Abdullah

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
Ron Charles
"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
Aya Mamdouh
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
Kim
Aug 27, 2012 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
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
Trish
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
Gina Roitman

“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
Karen Skinner
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
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
Saleem
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
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
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
Alison Kennedy
The synopsis on the back of this book suggested a complicated book with complex relationships and mystery. Indeed there were complex relationships (sometimes a little uncomfortable too) but the book really fell short on the promise of mystery. The efforts were primarily concentrated on weaving a complex web of relationships that didn't feel as deep as they could have been or as deep as the author intended. It felt like the execution of the plot fell short of what the author intended and I didn't...more
Ctb
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
Michael
I wish they could allow me to give 1/2 stars -- I'd give this book 3.5 stars. This is the account of a boy whose father, who was a higher up in the Egyptian government, is kidnapped (which certainly explains the title). Matar has a very spare writing style, which fits his protagonist's somewhat flat effect. The book unfolds in interesting ways, and there are some big revelations, but they are handled fairly subtly. I would have actually liked more development of the protagonist. For a book that...more
Ari
IQ "'Something occurs between a man and a woman that no one can access.' He looked out onto the street. 'A secret that even they might never know.'" Monsieur Hass, pg. 195

Point successfully made, not knowing is the worst burden. I am extremely impatient and like knowing all the answers so I am very annoyed that not all threads were explained. However I understood what the author was doing by not explaining past histories or forecasting the future. The writing drifts along, on the surface there's...more
Sunny Shore
The writing was exquisite...I listened to it and the reader also had a beautiful speaking voice. That is mainly what kept my interest. It was a little slow and the story didn't capture my attention in a big way. It seemed like the author may have written this from his own experiences....little vignettes from his life...but there seemed no closure with any of the characters. It almost seemed like a recollection of sorts, but I still enjoyed it.
LAPL Reads
In this heartbreaking and haunting coming-of-age tale, an adolescent boy suffers the loss of both parents. Through a series of reflections and encounters that are seamlessly woven into a plot filled with the intrigue of a John Le Carre novel, family secrets are revealed that bit by bit clarify childhood misperceptions and longings for familial intimacy. Anatomy is aptly used in the title, since this is his dissection and examination of events surrounding the mysterious disappearance of his diplo...more
المايونيز
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
Irwan
What a great read! The prose is simply beautiful, the plot is engaging and carefully-crafted, and the story drew me to immerse in its universe.
I was a tad disappointed when I learnt that the story was inspired by the author's own life, hence a semi memoir, because how fantastic it would have been to invent such a plot. But then again life itself is a master plotter.
Loraine
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.
Bachyboy
A great book. Nuri is a young boy when his mother dies. On holiday with his father two years later, he sees Mona and instantly is drawn to her. His father marries her however and he is in turmoil about this. Later his father, an Egyptian politician, disappears and the book deals with his life after this. Really well written and I loved the Cairo setting.
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Great African Reads: May | "Anatomy of a Disappearance" 5 39 May 26, 2012 02:58PM  
Naima 1 8 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
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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.” 4 likes
“There has not been a day since his sudden and mysterious vanishing that I have not been searching for him, looking in the most unlikely places. Everything and everyone, existence itself, has become an evocation, a possibility for resemblance. Perhaps this is what is meant by that brief and now almost archaic word: elegy” 2 likes
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