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The Road to Chlifa
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The Road to Chlifa

3.21  ·  Rating details ·  633 Ratings  ·  47 Reviews
Karim has journeyed a long way from his home in war-torn Beirut to his new high school in Quebec. He now faces many challenges including contempt and racism. But he does find a new companion who helps see him through this huge adjustment.
Published (first published October 21st 1992)
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Abbe Hinder
I read this in French for my French class. My exam was on this book and let me tell you, it took everything in me to finish this. Nothing happens until(view spoiler) So, for the first 200 pages it's just Karim in Montreal hating everything then back in Beyrouth where the civil war is still going on. And in Beyrouth all the way to Chlifa it's just them walking...and walking...and walking. They run into close to no danger, there is no action, and most of a ...more
Jun 09, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely and completely hated this book with the loathing power of eighty suns. The characters were tolerable at best, and at worst, I don't even want to go into it. The storyline was vicious and upsetting and just generally not good. I would never recommend this unless I didn't like you at all. That's all I can say.
Mar 23, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Petit roman,,,,je n'ai pas aimé le lire, je n'ai pas détesté le lire. Je l'ai lu, je l'ai fini, et je me suis dit: "ha bon? C'est tout?". L'idée de base était bonne mais il aurait fallu mettre plus de chair autour, plus de péripéties et l'auteur n'a pas réussi parfaitement à nous rendre copains avec les personnages. J'en ai quand même appris sur le Liban et son passé triste, mais je n'ai pas pu ressentir cette terreur à fond dans le roman. Quand la mort d'une chêvre est le moment le plus palpita ...more
Mar 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, wow et rewow. Un livre écrit il y a plus de 20 ans et toujours malheureusement aussi d'actualité. Un récit de guerre, de violence de haine. Marquant aussi de voir que malgré le changement de pays, la haine entre les différences est toujours présente et fait preuve d'une violence inconcevable. Pour tous les Karim et les Maha, pour s'ouvrir, La route de Chlifa est à lire.
Guillaume Labrie
Une des rares lectures obligatoires du secondaire que j'aurai dévoré en un seul moment. J'ai été touché par le livre comme peu de livres on su le faire, et même s'il as ses défauts, un de mes meilleur souvenir de lecture.
Sandrine Aufildesmots
Excellent roman jeunesse sur la guerre au Liban ! Le style manquait un peu de fluidité par moment, mais l'histoire est définitivement touchante et bien construite.
Sep 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sublime roman sur la guerre au Liban et sur les effets de cette guerre sur Karim, un ado de 17 ans. Le récit commence au Québec pour revenir sur un flashback où il est seul à Beyrouth, rencontre Maha (la soeur de la fille qu'il aime Nada) avec qui il entreprend un voyage à Chlifa après que celle-ci se retrouve seule avec son frère Jad, un bébé.

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Jun 07, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read it in French and then I finished it in English. It is a beautiful story and if you understand French I recommend reading it in French to truly appreciate the original piece of literature. If not it is just as amazing in English too. It didn't touch me deeply in the heart, but it made my friend cry, I can definitely say it is emotional.
Brett Selby
Dec 16, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book will make you question the meaning of life, and not in a good way. By that I mean you may seriously consider whether the positives of life outweigh this book. Nothing happens. It is a painfully boring book.
2.5 stars

I liked it more that I typically like French books. There's always something lacking, I find, when I read in another language. Maybe it's that I'm not as fluent, maybe it's just that the french books my school tends to pick are terrible. In any case, this was one of the better ones I've read.

The vision we got of immigrants in Canada was intriguing and I quite enjoyed the time we spent in Montreal. The other students weren't in the story for long enough to be much more than one-dimension
Darren Higgins
Jan 03, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
One of the worst books I have read in my entire life. We had to read this excuse for a book in french class and I had to physically and mentally force myself to read the book. I took in the first few couple of chapters but from then on it is all down hill. For most of the book I was just reading the words on the page and it felt like I was doing an incredibly difficult workout pushing myself to continue. The one star I gave this book cannot express how much I disliked it because it deserves less ...more
Darren Higgs
Jan 03, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

I have to say that this book is truly terrible. I read this book as a french assignment and had to suffer through this entire book. This book is a boring, tedious, dull, monotonous, repetitive, unrelieved, unvaried, unimaginative, uneventful; characterless, featureless, colorless, lifeless, insipid, uninteresting, unexciting, uninspiring, unstimulating, uninvolving; unreadable, unwatchable; jejune, flat, bland, dry, stale, tired, banal, lackluster, stodgy, vapid, monochrome,
Dec 27, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
the novel is pretty straight forward but that's not to say it isn't meaningful. The ideas and themes are in plain sight; about the loss of innocence etc and coming of age and the characters are straightforward but they are also at times hilarious and adorable. I'd say that the action was very slow mainly because emotions and scenes were played out very dramatically. (especially Karim's emotions) Its mainly about Karim's life and the war is just an important accessory to the story that we don't d ...more
Rinoa Malapaya
Their journey was painfully boring, there wasn't much action happening, however after the incident with Maha happened and section 3 of the book, it peaked my interest, enough to actually finish this book and because i needed to read this for English class. Unfortunately those last few interesting pages weren't enough to save the book. This book has a solid plot but was poorly written.
Lindsay Sanderson
Apr 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book heartwarming and inspirational. It reveals the hardships that I'm sure kids from other countries really do have to deal with. Karim, the main character seemed to be just in a bad mood at the beginning of the novel, but once the horrific story of his past is told, sympathy and understanding flows strongly.
Although I found this book went really slow, it's a great story.
Had to read this for French class and it was pretty good. The first and third part I didn't like, so for me they sucked. Almost one word per paragraph in those parts, I could not understand. I still didn't understand most of the words in the second part but it was better... Anyway the second part was my favourite, it was the best one.
A thoughtful look at what lead up to a fight between immigrant teens on a school trip. The first half of the book was a bit slow, but well worth the read. The events were disturbing but do tell of war's effects on children and how they carry it with them.
Oct 31, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Weak writng with a solid plot, but the connection to Beirut and that cultural aspect identified the message well. The book lacked in pizzaz and deep meanings. Also, I live in Montreal and I somewhat agree with Karim's objectionable views. I love it though, and that's why it doesn't matter.
Jul 02, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Read this book in school. I was rather underwhelmed, though some parts are very well written. It's a sad and realistic story about the war in Lebanon and two teenagers trying to find a better life in the middle of it.
Jessica Patel
I read this in English because I will be reading it in a month or so in its original language (French). There are most definitely aspects that are lost through the translation, however it's an okay read. Not highly recommended but it's not bad either.
Khadeeja Tariq
This is one of the boring type of books one would pick up thinking that it would be an extraordinary clssic... Total waste of time, i say. It was so boring that i ended up flippig the pages looking for highlights in the end...
A book I read for school. I thought it was okay. It didn't really wow me. I loved the little history about Lebanon that was put into this. Kind of iffy about this novel. It delt with themes that just weren't my cup of tea.
Livre intéressant du point de vue des thèmes abordés: culture, religion, guerre, immigration. Le personnage principal est un musulman ayant vécu au Liban durant la guerre et qui immigre au Québec. Sa transformation est remarquable et peut servir d'exemple pour plusieurs jeunes.
One of the better books I've read in french class.
Yu Ling
Dec 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Teenagers
Recommended to Yu by: School
C'est un bon livre pour les plus vieux. Il y a des scène moins appropriés pour les jeunes mais c'est un très bon livre.
Clara Stéphenne
Dec 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Heartbraking story about being brave and discovering not only yourself but others around you.
Pas si pire, pas si pire....Je m'attendais à ce que ce soit vraiment plate, mais c'était assez intéressant. Pas un livre que je voudrais relire, par exemple.
I hade to read it in French class and I found that it takes a long time to get the story going and that there is not much action.
A good book, well written. Sad story about things that really happenned. I read it in French. It was not long and difficult.
I read it for French class.
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Michèle Marineau est une romancière québécoise. Elle a ensuite amorcé une double carrière de traductrice et d'auteure de livres pour la jeunesse.

Michèle Marineau is a two-time Governor General’s Award winner. Marineau studied medicine, art history, and translation at the University of Montreal before she became a writer. After she began writing, she started translating the works of other authors.
More about Michèle Marineau...

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