Paul N's Reviews > Midaq Alley

Midaq Alley by Naguib Mahfouz
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Dec 19, 2007

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Paul Nicholas
Mrs. Ebarvia
World Lit
Midaq Alley Book Review

The book Midaq Alley written by Arabic author Naguib Mahfouz is a popular novel in the Middle East. Today he has written more than thirty novels and is especially famous for The Cairo Trilogy. Midaq Alley was written to simply show the darker side of human nature. The book takes place in a small, poor alley in Cairo. The alley has a wide variety of people some with normal characteristics and some that are just completely strange. The book shows what really goes on in people lives and shows just how dark humans can really be.

What I found interesting in the novel was how each chapter was the complete focus on one person’s life. It would show what was going on at the time with them and would reveal there perspective on things and how they really feel on the inside. I also found the character selection very interesting. It just amazed me how strange and different each person in the alley was from one and other. I noticed how Mahfouz was very descriptive with his writing and would put in all the little details. He made it very easy to visualize what the alley looked like and what was happening at the time.

I found the beginning of the novel extremely weak. When I first started reading it, I thought it was the worst book ever and could barely stand it. He started it off rather boring and had no hook or attention grabber. As the book went on it got a lot better and exciting. I also thought that the book was a bit too gossipy but that’s how Mahfouz wanted it to be. He did this so you could get a feel of what the people in this alley are like.

Despite its weaknesses Midaq Alley ended up being an okay book. I would recommend this book for anyone in high school or older. People that are more into science fiction and thrillers would not enjoy this book. This would not be a good read for younger children because it talks about some topics that are more mature. Children probably wouldn’t be able to understand this book or be able to go along with it. At first I thought it was going to be a horrible book but as it went on it got a million times better. It ended up being okay and I would rate it a 6 out of 10, 10 being the highest.


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