Erma Odrach's Reviews > The Yacoubian Building

The Yacoubian Building by Alaa Al Aswany
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Feb 11, 11

bookshelves: to-read

The Yacoubian Building is about an art deco building in Cairo, now in decay, housing a number of different characters - a corrupt politician, an extremist student, a newspaper man in love with a policeman. It's a glimpse into modern day Egypt, as seen through the eyes of the author (who is a dentist by profession and who happens to have had an office in the Yacoubian Building at one time). The read is a timely one considering what's going on in Egypt today. I especially liked the description of the building itself: "...ten lofty stories in the high classical European style, the balconies decorated with Greek faces carved in stone, the columns steps, and corridors all of natural marble ..." The writing is captivating and quite rich, but my one complaint is too many storylines at once.
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Friederike (new)

Friederike Knabe I have mean thinking of reading this soon. Now with all that is happening in Egypt it becomes even more topical. Like your review, Erma!


Erma Odrach Hi Friederike,

A view of contemporary Egypt aside, I just love a story based around an actual building, and such a beautiful one. I found this book thanks to Mary. Here's her as always excellent review in case you haven't already seen it. And she's also posted a beautiful shot of the Yacoubian Building. http://marywhipplereviews.com/alaa-al...


message 3: by Friederike (new)

Friederike Knabe Erma wrote: "Hi Friederike,

A view of contemporary Egypt aside, I just love a story based around an actual building, and such a beautiful one. I found this book thanks to Mary. Here's her as always excellen..."


Hi Erma, if you like books around actual buildings you should really read Jenny Erpenbeck's VISITATION. It is excellent and the house is a summer house near Berlin that belonged for a while to her own family. The novel, though, is fiction...


Erma Odrach Thanks Friederike. I read your review a while ago and I put it on my TBR. Looks really interesting. My library has a copy, so I think I'll just wait for it to come in, which should be soon.


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