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Mama Hissa's Mice

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  10,181 ratings  ·  2,229 reviews
From the author of The Bamboo Stalk and winner of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction comes an apocalyptic and caustically funny novel about the power of friendship in a war-torn world.

Growing up together in the Surra section of central Kuwait, Katkout, Fahd, and Sadiq share neither ethnic origin nor religious denomination—only friendship and a rage agai
Kindle Edition, 389 pages
Expected publication: November 22nd 2019 by Amazon Crossing (first published February 21st 2015)
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Average rating 4.17  · 
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 ·  10,181 ratings  ·  2,229 reviews

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Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arabic
Saud AlSanousi is legitimately one of the greatest Kuwaiti writing voices. I cannot recommend this text enough. It was banned for a time in Kuwait (unsure if it's still banned since I did purchase additional copies of it at a state-sponsored book fair), and it really gets down to the nitty and gritty of what is wrong with Kuwaiti society and what's right in it. It frankly did leave me feeling a little hopeless, but hey, I can explore that more in my thesis *finger guns*.

2019 Popsugar Readi/>2019
هيله؛ من حبة الهال...
I loved some of the main characters, the writer's style is intriguing and beautiful. However, his first book will always be my favorite
Full review at Syrian Researchers website (الباحثون السوريون):
Shrouq Karam
Too long, too many details but it made me cry, smile, laugh and freak out every time this sentence was written"الفئران آتية إحمو الناس من الطاعون"
I love how much this book made me miss home but I hated it because the cliffhanger and the fact that i have no idea what am I suppose to think about the end.
But the ending feels similar to an Indian movie (Rang De Basanti).
Aug 20, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The novel was monotonous to read. It could not create nor maintain interest. Some of the characters left a touch but most were bland. I also partly attribute my dislike of the novel to my ignorance of the socio-political situation of the country.
Can't wait to read it
Nov 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mama Hissa’s Mice transports readers to Kuwait, providing insight into the political, cultural, and religious tensions during the years leading up to the Persian Gulf War, the post-war period, and the present. Born in 1981, Saud Alsanousi, the Kuwaiti novelist and journalist, is roughly the same age as his narrator and possibly drew, at least somewhat, from his experience.

With most chapters divided between two time period—the past and the present, Mama Hissa’s Mice is narrated by the
Lulu Almasoud
Sep 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From the author of #TheBambooStalk and winner of the International Prize of Arabic Fiction comes an apocalyptic and caustically funny novel about the power of friendship in a war-torn world.
#MamaHissasMice is a powerful novel that talks about Two time periods in Kuwait, between 1985 and the fictional time in 2020. From simplicity and kindness to the struggle of racism and identity. It was a heavy read, don’t get me wrong it wasn’t because of it’s weight, but emotionally. I couldn’t
May 28, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book tells a compelling story set in Kuwait. It starts on one street and telescopes out. It reveals the conditions that existed before the Iraq Invasion and the aftereffects. The narrator, as a boy, a young man, and later an older man, tenderly recounts the steadfast friendships he cherished in his neighborhood. “Friendship” is inaccurate here as the intimacy is almost as close as those in a family. And it is that proximity which makes the ensuing conflicts, disagreements, and misunderstand ...more
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Mama Hissa’s Mice was a banned book in Kuwait, where the book is set, for over four years.

Katkout, Fahd, and Sadiq are the best of friends while growing up in central Kuwait. Though friends, they are of different religions and ethnicities.

What joins them beyond their friendship is their desire to protest against the divide causing their neighborhood to become a war zone. In turn, the friends are found to be extremists.

Fahd’s grandmother, Mama Hissa, is wary th
Apr 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I could spend a very long time praising this work. I actually was reluctant to finish it. This has taken the Arab political fiction to a new level. A contemporary, elegant, and more literary level. I am forever impressed by the craft of this author, starting slightly from the first novel up to his 2017 novel. There are no loose threads, and he always closes his novels at exactly the right time. The convoluted double-threaded plot here remind me of the time continuum of the movie Dunkirk. At firs ...more
Oct 19, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I’m afraid I found this very difficult to get on with, confusing and hard to relate to. I understand it’s considered an important book and it’s had some very positive reviews, but the narration jumps about in time and place and although I could follow the central thesis about sectarian strife, as a whole it was frankly beyond me. It’s set in Kuwait and follows the lives of three boys as they grow up in turbulent times (the Iran-Iraq War, the Iraq-Kuwait War), opening slightly in the future in 20 ...more
Nasraoui Manel
Mar 22, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dfn
-DNF'ed after 200pages, skimmed through the rest and read the last chapters. I'm so disappointed since this one of my most anticipated read and a 5 stars prediction... I just couldn't even force myself to finish it.
-The topic in this book is a bit over done, yet still so important to talk about, the execution of it was however absolutly terrible
-The same ideas were repeated over and over again, every 2 pages we're reminded of something that already was talked feels like th
Sep 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My keyboard can't type Arabic yet ... it was an enjoyable and light read. The writing style was what attracted me to the book, in addition I could related to a childhood in the Arabian Gulf and painful civil war over petty meaningless opinions. The flow of the story and chosen sequence and all the details were enjoyable it felt so real, which makes painful when some characters passed away. The book had a message yet at the same time was a nice art work.
DNF in the 17th of May 2018
I honestly tried with this book. I just couldn't continue through with it , it was simply too boring for me.
The story wasn't going anywhere, it was just repeating itself.
Characters were the best part ,especially hessa.
I don't know if this simply his style or if it's just this particular novel, but it was really hard to follow or maintain interest.
Language was okay for the most part but it wasn't at the level I expected it to be for a booke
Nov 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Review coming in NPR, but this book made me think so much, and raised so many questions for me about how different political, social, religious histories create different forms of strife and intergenerational trauma and how and when storytelling can intervene and help and humanize. I'm going to be thinking about this book for a long time, I suspect.
Al Waleed
Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best novels I've read ever. I read it two years ago and still remember how amazing it was!
I stopped in the middle because I couldn't complete reading about religious believes and sects.
Apr 27, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Maram Alghamdi
I couldn’t finish it
Was little bit boring for me
Nora Cassandra
Jul 21, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Young readers under 30
What can I say to give fairness to this book?

Well It was very boring and difficult for me to get myself to sit and read it. The emotions and feelings were either over exaggerated in parts or unfairly described (the true feelings would have been much more that what described). Maybe because I have experienced in my own personal life most of what happened in this book and I know how it actually feels being in those situations.

On the other hand it was a very good thought of story, and how the wri
Sajeda Barni
Mar 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Saud has impressed me again in this book. A novel that takes place in the past and continues to the future. The narrator of the story is a guy who has two extremely different friends one from a religious sector and the other from another and he is lost between the two. It's true that both of his friends are different but they share the fanaticism they have! The novel takes us through some historical events highlighting how each of his friends takes a side based on his religious background. The n ...more
Mohammed Gamal
May 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Well-crafted masterpiece !!!!
A real whistle blower. No wonder it was banned in Kuwait "where the events take place". It's always easy to bury your head in the sand !!!!
Soon enough the fiction in the novel will ultimately be a reality in all arab countries.
And there will be no way out. The smart guys are those who read the signs early, and escape their way out !
A must read
"كلهم سفلة .. القتيل و من قتله"
"كراهيتنا كالهواء، لا مفر منها"
"ليتهم يموتون جميعا. ندفن
Iman Ben chaibah
I think it's a must read book for anyone who is conscious and aware of the extremism going around us, to be more conscious of it and to see where the extremism will take the community if they don't snap out of it. It sheds some lights on how some issues started and how they seeped through the community. It explains why it's more of an issue in Kuwait than the rest of GCC but still explains the sources of it. Amazing book! Imm glad I finally read it and ignored the blurb behind the book that at a ...more
Nov 15, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The subject of this book is an important topic to be tackled and was interested to see the author's to take on it. Unfortunately I did not enjoy it like his previous book. The writing style did not pull me in and found it dragging and confusing at times. I loved the second part of the book where it moved in one tone but there was just too much inconsistency in the flow that put me off enjoying this.
Mar 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: loved
loved it ! although the last chapters were kinda disappointing .... these two characters have come along way and its not believable that the event on the beach will lead them to such a huge disagreement.

I enjoyed mother Hessa a lot! her and the storyteller had the best interactions and I kinda want to read the storyteller books which are based on mother Hessa stories


Wafa'a Tawalbeh
Maybe because I'm not From Kuwait I didn't understand most of the words and the places and the events .. But I do find it really a courage from the author to write about a topic that is influences every aspect of the arab world ... The only thing I enjoy is the ending but the rest of the story is boring and complicated .. I raid this book because I love the author first novel
Oct 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was on an emotional rollercoaster reading this book and I loved it. It's about a sensitive topic but it made me aware of how deep the issue is. Overall, this book was a great experience and I'm definitely a new fan of the author.
Abdullah Alhaidari
Amazing book. So exciting that I finished it in 3 sessions. Ended up living an experience rather than reading a book. A book that would intrigue those who lived the 1980s and addresses a currently very confusing and dangerous issue. 10/10 thank you Saud.
Abdulraouf Banaja
Apr 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good but very scary to think we can get to this stage of hatred among the different sects. Dark but an eye opener, I hope.
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Saud Al-Sanousi is a Kuwaiti novelist and journalist, born in 1981. His work has appeared in a number of Kuwaiti publications, including Al-Watan newspaper and Al-Arabi, Al-Kuwait and Al-Abwab magazines. He currently writes for Al-Qabas newspaper. His first novel THE PRISONER OF MIRRORS was published in 2010 and won the fourth Laila al-Othman Prize, a prestigious award for novels and short stories ...more
“هُم يرتكبون خطأً. هو يكتب عن الخطأ. آخرون يلومونه على الكتابة!” 263 likes
“أنتم لا تبكونَ موتاكم، أنتم تبكونكم بعدهم” 204 likes
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