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Vita sessuale di un fervente musulmano a Parigi

3.12  ·  Rating Details  ·  220 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
Un quarantenne parigino di origini maghrebine, con un passato di fervente islamista, diventa direttore di banca. Belloccio e benestante, decide che è giunto il momento di affittarsi una garçonnière in pieno Saint-Germain-des-Prés, il quartiere più intellettuale e raffinato di Parigi. Basta con i couscous della domenica a casa di mamma nella banlieue di Saint-Ouen, basta co ...more
Paperback, Dal mondo, 229 pages
Published October 2009 by e/o (first published August 22nd 2007)
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(showing 1-30 of 658)
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Once again, I found myself at the conclusion of the evening with my plans all awry, the girl - Nadja? Yasmina? Djamila? - fled into the night on the feeblest of pretexts. It is for the best, Mohamed, said the voice in my right ear. Why don't you call your mother? But I ignored the eight messages that were still blinking on my voicemail and, listening instead to the voice in my left ear, clicked on the Goodreads site, the very portal of Iblis, and sent a friend request to the first name I saw, a ...more
Complete coincidence saw me reading this directly after Old Masters. There are odd points of comparison. Firstly, they are both related by others. 'Reger told me...' and, in this one, 'It came over me all of a sudden, he said.' So, in both we are aware of an interpretation going on, a reporting of the story even though 'he said' immediately becomes 'I'.

Secondly, both main characters are deeply unhappy and find the world an entirely unsatisfactory place. But whereas Reger is a completely detestab
I'm utterly bewildered. I'm not sure what the author, Leila Marouane, was driving at or if I came away with any kind of understanding at all. Because Marouane is a Muslim and an Algerian who was exiled as a child to Tunisia and now lives in Paris, I feel she has an axe to grind, but where is it? (She has, in fact, been labeled a feminist-Arab author and her work has been censored in Egypt and other parts of the Arab world.) The book is elegantly written and shows a great, understated sense of hu ...more
It started off well. A forty-year old virgin moves out to live in a swanky Parisian apartment but can he escape his mother? Divisions within a culture and between cultures destroy women AND men -- a common enough message but here, at least in the beginning, delivered with light humor and compassion and imagination. Momo/Basile fails so spectacularly at being a Mediterranean macho that the reader cannot but smile at him. What happens latter in the book is intense metafiction of which I cannot mak ...more
I read this a few weeks ago and have been puzzling over it. The story follows an Islamic man living in his mother's house on the outskirts of Paris. He is a 40ish virgin, has no prospects for love or marriage, and has a good job (we are told). His younger brother wants to marry but can't because his brother (apple of my eye to his mama) hasn't done so yet. So he decides to move out on his own. He sets himself up in a fabulous apartment in just the right arrondissement and from there the story ta ...more
Sep 12, 2014 Orde rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, islam
This book didn't do much for me. And in the end I found myself lost what it actually was all about. So basically this is the story about some turned apostate Muslim in his forties from the Parisian suburbs who has the means to (physically) escape his controlling mother and his pious younger brother by moving to the city and shedding his identity to enjoy the perks of secular society which in this case means first and foremost sex with no strings attached. I guess one of the intention of this pie ...more
Jul 22, 2014 Arie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is incredible. Yes, the title is provoking, but don't let it scare you away. This novel is thought-provoking, interesting, well-translated, and - educational.

Marouane has provided allot to think about. She exposes us to topics of women's issues and feminism, cultural and racial identities, and even paints a picture of current migration trends in Africa/Europe. All this through a fictional novel that provides us something to hold on to, until ... well, you can't keep your grasp any long
Nov 20, 2012 orsodimondo rated it really liked it
Shelves: francia, algeria
Woody Allen è forse diventato musulmano?
E' scritto da una donna, una scrittrice algerina che vive a Parigi: un particolare che ha subito acceso la mia curiosità.
Penso che se Woody Allen fosse nato musulmano avrebbe scritto un libro così.
E io non vedo l'ora di leggere il romanzo di Leila Marouane che tre anni fa ha vinto il premio Jean-Claude Izzo, "La jeune fille et la mere".
Dec 14, 2010 Erin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book deserves a much better rating than it's gotten here. It can come off as breezy and vapid unless you really look beneath the surface. The real story is written between the lines, and that's the brilliance in Marouane's writing.
Razia Khan
Oct 29, 2014 Razia Khan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Initially redeemed by its light-touch humour, the book just lost it by the end. Dark, depressing and clearly the oddest book I have read all year (and I kept asking myself, 'do I have to keep reading this?')
Kathleen Valentine
The narrator of this strange and fairly erotic tale is a 40-something Algerian man living with his mother and brother in a suburb of Paris. He has a good job and aspires to an even better one in a Paris bank. Living at home he is under his mother's control and she is trying to marry him off to an acceptable Muslim girl but he has other ideas. He has straightened his hair, lightened his skin, and changed his name with the intention of embarking on wild sexual adventures. The book starts out quite ...more
Jun 06, 2015 Katie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book out of my continuing interest in the situation of immigrants in France and of the implications for France. The book presents a lot of problems with no easy answer, but I didn't feel that it gave me a new perspective on any of them.
It is funny--which is always a nice surprise--and the comedy comes largely from the "sexual life" (or lack thereof) mentioned in the title. The relationship between the grown Algerian man and his overbearing mother is the other source of comedy and pa
Satinder Hawkins
Dec 30, 2015 Satinder Hawkins rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was a sly commentary on how traditional cultures simultaneously infantilize men (inept at basic tasks of everyday life, incapable of interacting with women on a non-sexual human level, a childish relationship with their mothers, etc) while at the same time giving them extraordinary power to make decisions about the lives and fates of women. The combination of these two makes for some very funny situations but ultimately this is a book about how such combined factors lead to unheal ...more
Michele Ponte
Quanti di voi sanno che nell’Islam c’è un colore principale, il verde? E che un ragazzo farebbe meglio a non sposarsi se il fratello maggiore non ha ancora convolato a nozze?
Certo, non tutti i musulmani sono così rigidi, però è bello apprendere le tradizioni di altri popoli attraverso un romanzo. Niente libri di scuola, ma solo una lettura piacevole, cosa si vuole di più?

Leïla Marouane, la scrittrice algerina residente in Francia più tradotta da sempre, firma un nuovo romanzo e questa volta ci i
May 21, 2010 Janet marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I read the following review on Shelf Awareness. Parts of Mohamed sound so much like someone I know (especially the 3rd paragraph below) that I can't wait to read it. My review to follow.
Mohamed used to be the perfect Muslim. He came from a conservative, fanatical small town in Algeria. He led the prayers and recited sermons. Now he's living in Paris and using skin-whitening cream. He's straightened his hair. He's turned his back on his Arabic past. He works at a bank, like a good capitalist. H
Jul 07, 2012 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I got this book for free from the Multnomah County Library stall at Good in the Hood, so I started with understandably low expectations. I was going for some light, and spicy, summer night reading to offset the political economic books I read during the day. The Sexual Life provided just that, and although I found the protagonist's descriptions of women to be blatant objectification, it was obviously a parody. I found the analysis of living as an Algerian Muslim to be very interesting. I wrote m ...more
Denise Ferniza
Apr 11, 2014 Denise Ferniza rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: denise-books
So strange. I got the same feeling when I read Confederacy of Dunces. Its about a 40 year old man, his sexual exploits, his family issues, and dealing with being an Algerian in Paris. Sounds simple enough.... than it gets bizarre. The book is narrated by the man but I really started questioning his perspective about halfway through the book. The book left me a little confused but definitely interesting.
Michele Benson
I am surprised at how much I liked this book. It is quirky to say the least and the ending is difficult to understand - but it is a fast and easy read. It provided a view into the European muslin world that was new to me.
Feb 04, 2016 Kerri rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, foreign-authors
I enjoyed the beginning of this book, but somewhere in the middle I felt like I messed up and started reading another book by mistake, or maybe half of one book got mixed up with half of another. The ending was beyond confusing. Maybe if I read it again, knowing the ending, it would make more sense, but I won't do that to myself. For those who get it on Kindle, be aware that the formatting is messed up a little. It's not bad enough to make it unreadable, but it is slightly off.
Margherita Dolcevita
Ma la vita sessuale del titolo, precisamente, dov'è nel romanzo?
Sarà che mi aspettavo qualcosa di totalmente diverso, ma questo libro è stato un po' una delusione.
Di fatto il protagonista è un uomo seriamente antipatico e sgradevole vittima di una madre che gli telefona tutte le domeniche alle 9, un uomo che affitta una casa per quagliare ma che poi si ritrova da solo in bagno a provvedere ai suoi bisogni in solitaria.
Del conflitto etnico, dell'essere di un'altra etnia in uno stato occidentale
Feb 07, 2016 Sprachenlernen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Einfach gigantisch!! Besonders für die leute , die sich für die fremden Kulturen und Religionen interessiern .. es macht auch bessere Eindruck über die Muslimen die in Europa leben ..
Apr 17, 2016 Jen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars....funny book, ending was surprising!
Dec 26, 2015 Chandhrika rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Superbly written, delightfully irreverent.
Kelly Lynn Thomas
This book is probably hard for most Americans to get into. It's very metafictional, for one, but the themes of identity crises with the Muslim population in France will also go right over your head unless you're somewhat aware of French/Muslim culture. I suggest doing a bit of research before picking this book up. The ending still felt like a cop-out to me, but the book is at least funny.
Apr 21, 2016 Eva rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Weet even niet helemaal wat ik hierover moet zeggen. Het boeide me gewoon niet genoeg. Te langdradige monologen en dialogen. Wel een interessant verhaal + vreemd vertelperspectief, waar ik nog wel even over kan nadenken.
Aug 19, 2015 Steph rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: women-authors
I'm torn between giving this a 3 or a 4.

The perspective of a Muslim in France trying to 'Westernize' himself is one that is completely foreign to what I know/live so I did find that interesting.. parts of it were funny, and I do enjoy a little metafiction thrown in. Maybe that wasn't executed quite perfectly, but it was a great twist.
Apr 06, 2012 Hubert rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, islam
The voice of the main character who moved from Algeria to France and suffers from an identity crisis gnaws at the bit ... While it's interesting to learn about Islamic issues as it pertains to contemporary French culture, the weak writing, posssibly weak translation, and non-compelling characters make this a tough and not-so-rewarding read.
I think I DID get a lot of this book, as I have followed issues about Algerians and North Africans in France. An interesting take on identity issues and on fiction, it was a 3.5 star book until just near the end -- the last 10 pages lost me. I would love to know what the reception of this book was like in France.
Nov 14, 2012 M. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have a problem with French or French speaking authors: I try to like them and I fail. This book was OK, but it's not my cup of tea. I don't feel it. Marouane's writing is distant and dull. At first I thought she would tell me a great story, but soon I got tired.
Nov 02, 2011 Juli rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The more I think about the story in this book the more I like it.
The twisty end was a little hard to read; it's fragmented and hard to follow.
It makes perfect sense upon reflection.
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“Biological racism has given way to cultural racism. It is no longer the color of one’s skin or the shape of one’s nose that are stigmatized, but a certain manner of being.” Les Damnés de la terre” 0 likes
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