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The Death of Murat Idrissi

3.38  ·  Rating details ·  1,179 ratings  ·  145 reviews
Two venturesome women on a journey through the land of their fathers and mothers. A wrong turn. A bad decision.

They had no idea, when they arrived in Morocco, that their usual freedoms as young European women would not be available. So, when the spry Saleh presents himself as their guide and saviour, they embrace his offer. He extracts them from a tight space, only to lead
Hardcover, 112 pages
Published January 10th 2019 by Scribe UK (first published 2017)
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Average rating 3.38  · 
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 ·  1,179 ratings  ·  145 reviews

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Paul Fulcher
Mar 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
He is not only a stranger now, he is an enemy. He has nothing left in common with the nice boy she saw yesterday.

The final book from the Man Booker International longlist and a shortlist contender for me.

The Death of Murat has been translated by Sam Garrett from Tommy Wieringa's 2017 Dutch original De dood van Murat Idrissi.

Garrett is translator of, amongst other authors and novels, Arnon Grunberg and his wonderful Tirza, Gerard Reve's long-considered untranslatable The Evenings, Herman Koch's b
Jan 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Thouraya’s hair was blowing wildly in the wind. They smoked one cigarette after the other, in silence. Ilham admired her, her independence and her fearlessness – she took what was coming to her, she was bellicose, in everything, including her desires. Thouraya – and this was what she admired most – had tamed the beast of shame.”

The Death of Murat Idrissi is a novel by prize-winning Dutch author, Tommy Wieringa. It is flawlessly translated from Dutch by Sam Garrett. Ilham Assouline and her
Lark Benobi
This novella is a relentless, compulsive, driven, and desperate story of two young women whose good intentions lead them to make ever more terrible choices. The way I experienced reading this novel reminded me of reading "Of Mice and Men"'s a claustrophobic reading experience, where you know from the first few sentences the story is going to end badly, but you keep reading because the story and the situation feel true and important.

Wieringa brings alive the way his characters, second-genera
Abbie | ab_reads
Apr 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Thank you @scribepub for sending me a copy of The Death of Murat Idrissi to review in my quest to read the Man Booker International long-list! At only 100 pages, this one is more novella than novel, but the imagery is very striking, like the cover, and a pertinent story.
The translation from the Dutch by Sam Garrett was well done I thought, I didn’t really come across any awkward passages and I think that’s probably because Tommy Wieringa employs very straight-forward, no-nonsense language which
Apr 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mbi-2019
It’s safe to say without spoiling the plot that Tommy Wieringa’s very short novel The Death of Murat Idrissi, translated from the Dutch by Sam Garrett, is built around a striking image of a dead boy. It’s one that I will probably remember for some time. Besides that and the fine prologue, however, I found this a rather insubstantial novel/la that in my humble opinion has similar problems as Hubert Mingarelli’s Four Soldiers, which I briefly reviewed yesterday: somewhat two-dimensional characters ...more
A very short, but griping story. Two women with Maroccon roots, but Dutch by nationality smuggle someone illegaly into Europe. But things go completely wrong.

The migration theme i.e. escaping your destiny, fleeing your country, not belonging anywhere is the major theme in this novel.

Some people escape their fate and got to Europe because their parents made the right choice. When going back to their roots, they feel like not belonging there. Neither do they belong in their countries of birth whe
This short 100-page novella really packs a punch. I was invested in the decision-making of these two young women during their whole journey, and it's said to be based on true events. An intense read.

Two young Moroccan-Dutch women in their early 20s are on a road trip visiting Morocco, the land of their parents and forefathers. Traveling alone as a female in Morocco has to be done carefully. As both were raised in Western society and have all but dismissed their parents' cultural heritage to have
Jul 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-reviews
This is the kind of slim book that you think won’t take very long to read, but I found Tommy Wieringa’s short, sharp novella, The Death of Murat Idrissi — longlisted for this year’s International Booker Prize — so shocking in places I could only read it in intermittent bursts. I’ve been mentally processing it ever since.

A fable for our times, it tells the story of two young women from the Netherlands, on holiday in Morocco, who agree — somewhat reluctantly, it has to be said — to help smuggle a
Scribe Publications
The gifted Dutch writer Tommy Wieringa is a bold, intelligent stylist, unafraid of exposing the ugliness of society juxtaposed with the vagaries of human nature. [A] taut, intense contemporary thriller of multiple exploitations.
Eileen Battersby, The Guardian

The sentences are concise, propelling the action along and keeping readers on the edge of their seats … a vital must-read.
Clayton McKee, Asymptote

The Death of Murat Idrissi is powerful tale of identity, relationships and the desire to both fi
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A minimalistic attempt to describe the rifts between continents, cultures, individual people. There are considerable weaknesses: Irrelevant characters are introduced, stereotypical character descriptions, the bad smell at the end...
Strangely, I feel the book would have been much stronger (and even shorter) without the main plot (Murat, his death, and its consequences) being part of the story.
Apr 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Interesting story, but I think it could have been fleshed out more. Sometimes less is more, but I think these characters and the awful situation they find themselves in could have benefited from more time.
Lesley Moseley
Feb 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Quick easy read. Short story, really.
Rani Multani
*3,75 stars - my first, but definitely not last Wieringa book!
Nancy Oakes
Apr 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Tempted though you may be to read this in one sitting, don't. I can see why people may not have been happy with it, but I found that in a very short space the author manages to convey a lot about immigrant experience, not only those looking for a better life, but those whose children don't quite fit. Much more, of course, but I'll have to come back to this one, hopefully tomorrow. I thought it was quite well done -- the rating shouldn't be about what's not in this book (meaning, what was expecte ...more
Mar 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
In a few short chapters Wieringa takes us on a dark and shocking journey examining the value of life and death and the risks people will take. Two girls who are on the brink of womanhood and caught between cultures make some seemingly simple choices that have cataclysmic results. The vivid descriptions of the parched Spanish landscape accentuate the feeling of desperation and death. Death cannot be undone.
Mar 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-bitchess
I really really liked this. Perfectly gripping and atmospheric. It uses its length well and parts with information that's quite right enough to create a history of conflicting emotions and struggles. You really get a sense of the line she's treading, her fears, how they get entrenched in the dead boy in the *****(spoiler))).

Also, I have read The Diner by Herman Koch translated by the same person who translated this and I got a sense of him! How cool!
Miina Saarna
May 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reading2019
Reading this novella felt like watching a very well-paced, intense and powerful movie.
Apr 14, 2019 rated it liked it
In this novella, Tommy Wieringa shows another aspect of illegal migration and tackles cultural and identity issues of second generation immigration in the Netherlands.

His writing is lyrical yet much lighter in this book, compared to Those are the Names. I like the latter much better, since I couldn't have sympathy for the two girls in this book. I guess I have low tolerance for irresponsible and immoral behaviors.

Some reviewers criticized the cultural appropriation in this novella, Wieringa bein
Marty Büch
Short novel with nice sometimes very clever short sentences all in all a very easy to read book.
Concept and theme is strong as always in Wieringa's books however this time it lacks a bit of a quality in the main plot. It feels as if big parts, of this otherwise short novel, are more of a sideline.
I liked but I had higher expectations from this writer thus I would say it was ok. (two stars)
Mar 25, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary
This is the second book by Tommy Wieringa that I didn't love. The first one was "Dit zijn de namen" about a refugee crises. Last time, I didn't completely understand the story. This time I did, but the way the scenes are described is so wordy and convoluted that all pleasure in reading this book escaped me.

The premise is interesting - it's about two girls who are travelling back from Morocco to the Netherlands with a body in the trunk. This body used to be a boy who wanted to travel illegally t
Oct 07, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
... it could be worse, but this is certainly not Wieringa's best work to date. His story of two rather silly Dutch women who find suddenly find themselves in the position of human traffickers, is based on a real story, which is, in itself, quite shocking.

I see the book getting lauded for its style, which is okay - nothing remarkable, really. No 'haunting prose' in my book, even though Wieringa is well capable of producing such writing. The story is sad enough - perhaps I'm just callous and hear
May 07, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
very impressive. Wieringa makes a current issue and turns it into something that's personal, about individuals. It gets under your skin. I felt sympathy for the two main characters and felt dismay for them.
May 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Erin Britton
Dec 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thouraya and Ilham are young women who belong to two worlds, although they fear that in reality they truly belong to neither. Born in Holland to Moroccan immigrant parents, the girls are modern Europeans. Like many young people, they consider themselves to be sophisticated, chic and savvy. They enjoy the freedoms that growing up in Holland affords them. However, they have both increasingly begun to realise that, despite having been born in the country, they are still perceived as outsiders, thei ...more
William Koon
Mar 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Tommy Wieringa’s novel is not so much about the death of Murat Idrissi as it is about the young women Thouraya and Ilham and their ill fated meeting with con man Saleh. We have a very European novel with the Dutch citizens of Moroccan descent on holiday in North Africa. They realize that not only are they outsiders in their native Holland but also in their “home land.” Yep, I thought of the competition in this theme: Hideous Kinky, The Sheltering Sky, and Lawrence Osborne’s brilliant Only to Sle ...more
Gregory  Hunt
Mar 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 21st-century
The language of this book is visibly penetrative. There is an in-between to most sentences. This in-between is the plunge that tells the reader more of what's foot, both in the physical world and the psychological worlds. Also, the prose's quality of being impossibly concise and expansively descriptive at the same time evokes DeLillo for me, but that's my opinion.
Narrative-wise, it is a simple tale. Precarious young women venture into the underbelly of the modern world and are forced, in a way,
Oct 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
4/5🎒. Beautiful writing. Ilham and Thouraya take a trip from Holland to Morocco. While in Morocco 🇲🇦 they meet a man by the name of Saleh who offers to show them the “real” Morocco. Ilham and Thouraya are offered a deal they do not refuse which leaves them in a terrible situation. Long listed for the Man Booker International award, this nove is short but packs a punch.

Anne Goodwin
Jan 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: translations
Born in the Netherlands to Moroccan immigrants, friends Thouraya and Ilham are determined to claim the freedoms taken for granted by their peers. So, despite being short of money, and having to borrow her sister’s passport, Ilham hardly hesitates when Thouraya suggests hiring a car and travelling to their parents’ homeland for a couple of weeks in the sun. But things don’t go as smoothly as they’d hoped.
Full review
Out of their depth: Loyalties & The Death of Murat Idrissi https://annegoodwi
Ann Tonks
Mar 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I longed for more about the young women at the heart of this story but I don't know whether I could bear any more. This is an insightful and tough story about where Dutch-Moroccan second generation immigrants fit into the world. It's a metaphorical journey but also a finely described literal one. Gut wrenching.
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Tommy Wieringa (born 20 May 1967 in Goor, Overijssel) is a Dutch writer. He received the Ferdinand Bordewijk Prijs in 2006 for his novel Joe Speedboat.