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Ahmed Khaled Towfik
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3.92  ·  Rating details ·  41,125 ratings  ·  4,870 reviews
A grim futuristic account of Egyptian society in the year 2023, Utopia takes readers on a chilling journey beyond the gated communities of the North Coast, where the wealthy are insulated from the bleakness of life outside the walls. When a young man and a girl break out from this bubble of affluence in order to see for themselves the lives of their impoverished fellow ...more
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Published January 24th 2017 by Audible Studios on Brilliance Audio (first published 2008)
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Average rating 3.92  · 
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 ·  41,125 ratings  ·  4,870 reviews

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Jul 31, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
We are two peoples...two peoples...two peoples
Look where the first is, and where's the other
Draw the lines between them, brother
--Abdel Rahman el-Abnoudi

Draw the lines is what Ahmed Khaled Towfik does, spinning out the distance between the super rich, who have walled themselves into elite enclosed splendour on a small stretch of Egypt's coast, and the masses sunk into a hyper-violent and bestial state of misery and filthiest poverty. A violent and moral fairytale of one possible future, and a
Feb 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Disclaimer: I read this book in the Arabic version not the translated one.

I believe this is the first Arabic novel that I have ever read. It was a good read, tough, but good. The book takes place in the year 2023 in Egypt, it states in the beginning that everything in this books is a work of fiction and any resemblance to reality is a mere coincidence.


A political fiction novel about life in Egypt published under Mubarak's regime; one must say shit like so as not to go to jail. But the truth is
Mark Staniforth
Apr 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Egypt, 2023: the nation's elite cling to a stretch of its north coast, the eponymous Utopia, fenced off and fortified by shoot-to-kill squads of ex-US marines. Over the wire exist the Others, in a broken-down, left-behind world where there is no rule of law and day-to-day life is a brutal struggle.
Such a dystopian landscape is nothing new, but in Ahmed Khaled Towfik's more than capable hands it is lent a new sense of urgency, underpinned by a conceit which renders his own Utopia more chillingly
Sam Harris
Reading Utopia by Ahmed Kaled Towfik was really an eye opening experience. The book takes its reader through the life of two children from very different circumstances in a world with a huge economic disparity. Through the vehicle of children, the author is able to communicate the horrors of an insanely cruel world while at the same time clearly illustrating in an easy way how this world came about. Going even further it is set in Egypt an area which even today is highly volatile and with which ...more
Nov 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arabic
It’s very dark and horrifyingly possible.
3.5 stars because I think it could have been better in some way.
Mohammed Ashour
Sep 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
a great vision and imagination based on reality! amazing description and language used. takes your breath after 5 mins from reading then you just couldn't leave it from your hands!.
Karim Aladdin
Apr 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great writing the writer really knows how to make a gripping story. I finished the whole thing in 2 sittings and the moment you start reading you feel so immersed like you can really see the world the book is trying to create 5/5 immersion my only issue was the ending
Oct 23, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Utopia is a story about a corrupt society in 2023 where the rich live in the wealthy community called "Utopia" while the poor live in vicious slums. The main character is addicted to sex and drugs, but is generally completely bored with his life, though he has everything provided for him. He decides to sneak out of Utopia with one of his girlfriends, abduct a poor person, and murder them. Through a series of events, the two characters become stuck in the slums and try to sneak back into Utopia.

Jan 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thesis, arabic, dystopia
somewhere between a 3.5 and a 4 so i’m rounding up because its the first book of the year and i’ll be nice.

here’s to reading more books that i told my thesis advisor that i have already read

2019 Popsugar Reading Challenge:
7. Two books that share the same title: يوتوبيا
Shahenda Khaled
Apr 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Definitely thought provoking.
Eman Ali
Mar 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
just finished and started crying like a lot. confusion, sadness, shock mix them all together and u can know what I'm feeling right now. I don't know but this novel reveals how monstrous humans can get if they had no ethic bases or background. an excellent representation of what Egypt or any similar community would turn into if the gap between the upper class and the lower one continued to widen and whatever is between just fades away. a very very realistic piece of work as obviously anyone can ...more
Finished this in two big gulps. I'm still collecting my thoughts, but I want to point out this review of the English edition that chunks of the book were eliminated from the translation. Sadly those pieces put the treatment of women in this world into perspective:

I just got my copy of this today! I have been waiting over a year since they announced this translation. As far as I can tell this is not available in the US. I ordered my copy from
Salma Khamis
Sep 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book is told from dual perspective, the hunter's and the victim's. It's dark and full of uncomfortable themes definitely not for the faint hearted.
It's realistic in a very scary way; it's scarier that this book was written even before the january 25th revolution. It's sad how even if it has an open ending, you know exactly what's gonna happen.
The author put a lot of human history and human behaviour studies through our protagonists, making it easier to accept the harsh reality of the book,
Nov 30, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Surprisingly I liked it. Perhaps because I was reading similar novels at that time (1984, Brave New World, البداية - ثورة 2053). It's very depressing, but the use of current analysis and statistics gave it a realistic flavour.
Yen Ooi
Aug 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ahmed Khaled Towfik traverses the dystopia and reality with skill. Though short, this book is a hard read as it challenges our own considerations for how we choose to engage or disengage with various issues in society today.
Sara El-Kady
Apr 10, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked how he could take me to the other fantasy world, and how he predicited of what could happen before 25th Jan. revolution actually happen.

Excellent writing, really enjoyed it
Oct 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-challenge
A scary vision for how the future might be... I hated it so much that I love it!!
Dr. Ahmad, I'm a fan.
Ramy Johnny
Apr 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing book

My favorite author growing up! Such an interesting book that had me hooked up. Will gladly read all his work and happily recommend this one!
Jan 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mennat-Allah Chahine
There are times when I feel that rating a book with only 5 is unfair because they deserve more.
This took me back to "1984" by George Orwell but in a different way and taste.
both writers wrote a sort of future which we can't miss or deny now, They are both smart and have their own unique visions though here in "Utopia" things are different according to the time, the place, the actions and the people of course.
Ahmed Khaled Tawfik is the Egyptian Orwell.
whenever you read the word "Utopia" Plato
Rana Fathy
2.5 stars? *braces self for controversy
Muhammad Al Odah
Done in 2014.
Simple To Follow
The idea is Great <3
Dec 28, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Terrible story and terrible writing style. The author does not know how to tell a story; instead of immersing the reader, the author blatantly narrates what is happening through the characters. What you basically end up reading is a long-winded idea. The author fails to describe scenes for what they are. For example, he will tell you "it was like the scene from X movie" or "it was like the Holacaust." What he is really doing is showing off his knowledge of cultural events and objects, so that in ...more
منال الشعباني
After the 20 first pages of Utopia, I had started telling myself I probably had landed my eyes on the worst book Ahmad ever wrote. That maybe it was a bad choice to begin with. That there were many other options I could have taken.
But you can't really judge an imaginated story based on the values it chose to unveil, or the vocabulary the author had lent to his character's conversations. Or how disgusting the personalities he imagined were. Especially when it's done on purpose.
That was what
Bart Everson
May 30, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: octavia-sf
We immediately know the teenage protagonist is both debauched and depraved because he sports a purple mohawk. He takes all manner of drugs, has sex with anything that moves, thinks violence is thrilling, and has no respect for anyone or anybody -- not even his parents. He even listens to "orgasm music" which features "insane screaming" of lyrics with no redeeming social value. Horrors!

This city of Utopia is anything but. It's a dystopia (clever, what?) set in the near future in Egypt. Perhaps
Mohamed ElGohary
Jul 15, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Well I think the author is presenting the world as a result of extreme neo-liberalization of World Economy, the duality of poor and rich. And to present the unity of the two parts from the perspective of sex, drugs and violence (though for different reasons).

Not so bad for a pessimistic point of view, but personally I don't agree with the author.
Feb 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I finished this book on a train trip, and spent the rest of the trip stairing into nothingness. It's one of these books that made me re-consider my thoughts and atitude in fear of becoming anything like that utopian asshole.
Mohamed Gohary
Apr 01, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I believe the book is below average. The author was trying to imitate similar dystopian novels from other westerns writers but it ended up with an exaggerated and far from realistic account on events that could happen based on the current circumstances that made him write the book.
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