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I Know Many Songs, But I Cannot Sing
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I Know Many Songs, But I Cannot Sing

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  19 ratings  ·  5 reviews
In Cairo, an American named Ib encounters an Armenian named Gamal-Leon, who begins to follow Ib as a joke one evening toward the end of Ramadan, the period when Muslims fast by day and feast by night. As the two strangers roam the night, the readers swim with Ib against a tide of mistranslation and rumor thst submerges them in an almost hallucinatory experience of foreignn ...more
Hardcover, 190 pages
Published April 28th 1999 by Simon & Schuster (first published January 23rd 1996)
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Val Killpack
A subtle, profound, and haunting story

I sat down in the early afternoon and cracked open the cover. Sometime later, in the darkness of night, not sure if I even ate dinner, I finished the last sentence. Whereas Still Life With Insects is haunting and beautiful and The River Gods interestingly innovative, this book has more narrative force, a driving, dreamlike, and shifting perspective, but a real movement of energy. The main characters have depth, as well as the setting, which seems to almost h
I'm usually a fan of stream of consciousness writing but this was a bit confusing to follow. I must say that the writing was well done in terms of beautiful language and the way it was parceled out. It made me want to visit Egypt in the future. Not bad.
A wonderful journey that follows Ib, a soul who is not quite lost but not quite at home. The various threads which run through the novel are not quite tied up at the end, which gives the sense of realism to a novel which isn't exactly grounded in reality, but which still gives the reader a sense of Cairo.
I loved how story telling is central to this story, how the city is present, and layers of narration make fiction and reality intermingle. Once again geography and traditions leave traces in form and style, even though the writer is not from that geography and tradition.
Mariana Pereira
It was ok, but it got a bit confusing towards the middle. I had to return it to the library, but do not plan on finishing it.
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