Wendy's Reviews > In the Country of Men

In the Country of Men by Hisham Matar
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's review
Aug 27, 2012

really liked it
Read in August, 2012

I loved this book. It reads like poetry. Yet, it describes the hell that exists in the life of a family because of oppressive government and religion. The narrator is a nine-year-old boy who is not so innocent. In fact he is somewhat on the sadistic side in his betrayals and brutality. Later in life when the narrator is in his 20's he writes about suffering an absence, "an ever-present absence, like an orphan not entirely certain of what he has missed or gained through his unchosen loss." Later: "My expression shifts constantly, like that of the prostitute who waits in your car while you run across a busy road to buy a new pack of cigarettes for the night. When you walk back, ripping the cellophane, before she has time to see you, you catch sight of her, temporarily settled in another role as a sister or a wife or a friend. How readily and thinly we procure these fictional selves, deceiving the world and what we might have become if only we hadn't got in the way, if only we had waited to see what might have become of us."

I highly recommend this beautifully written and tragic novel.
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Etienne Nice review! I like how you quoted the same part of the book as I did! -):

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