This controversial bestselling novel in the Arab world reveals the political corruption, sexual repression, religious extremism, and modern hopes of Egypt today.
All manner of flawed and fragile humanity reside in the Yacoubian Building, a once-elegant temple of Art Deco splendor now slowly decaying in the smog and bustle of downtown Cairo: a fading aristocrat and sel...more
I nearly tossed this into the nearest patch of long grass, as I got so thoroughly sick of the descriptions of boobs and buttocks, so impatient with the fact that ALL the women fell into only two categories: young and therefore luscious and desirable, or old, and therefore no longer desirable. Worst of all is old and skinny - and yes, it says a LOT about me that I'm particularly sensitive to this - because old and skinny means you turn into a screeching termagant. (Somebody better wa ...more
The building doesn't talk, of course, but it shelters the many people whose lives the book recounts. Brought together only by their place of residence, these very different people are, by the end, brought together in a second way, by the common experience of lif ...more
The first time I read it, I truly believed that the situations that happened within it were exaggerated for artistic license. Now? It's all true. No artistic license needed. Just straight forward truth. I see so many of these things happening, and many more besides.
Al Aswany's depiction of Egyptian life, his clever way of writing about Egypt's elite and corrupt, making sure reade ...more
It is funny that I read it while the Egyptian revolution of February 2011 was going on. The book gave me an insight into the contemporary Egyptians' lives and pr ...more
I have had a lifelong love affair with Egypt, ever since I studied about pharaohs and the pyramids and hieroglyphics in middle school. I have seen the similarity with India, the paradox of being immensely rich culturally and dirt poor monetarily. Visiting the country had been my secret dream, which was realised three years ago.
I read t ...more
I could recognize the Cairo I visited many years ago, and even as a stranger in a strange city it gave me a warm feeling.
Considering the melting pot Cairo is, it is not at all strange to find a house with a number of so diverse inhabitants - but Alaa Al Aswany uses it as an instructor would use the scene; presenting a time when everything you used to know is breaking up - and yet unchanged.
There is a lot of love for his countrymen, but also poli ...more
The author was a dentist and he fills his book with the lives of the occupants of the Yacoubian Building. The poor live on the roof, the rich in once luxury apartments that are now showing signs of wear and tear. The author drills into the lives, extracting all of the sins of humanity. He also uses one character to talk about the rise of Islamic supporters who wish to rid the country of all of it's corruption and Western ways.
The writer has the ability to steal the reader and race him with his lines. He keeps firm grip on the reader's mind...even when you leave the book you keep thinking about the events and when will you go back to read more. You can live easily inside his story lines.
I have not seen the movie but I've seen some of the tv episodes, and i think the book is much much more exciting.
I'm thinking of buying the English version to compare it with the original Arabic versions...also I look forward to readin ...more
Al Aswany uses a building as the organizing principle of this well populated book. Each character inhabits a different part of the building and lives a different thread of the story. The pacing takes some delightful cues from that of Egyptian soap operas with a small cliffhanger at the end of each part. This does not become disjointed because the stories are woven from good strong skeins, twisty and brightly dyed. Some get snapped.
Like all the best Egyptian stories, this one ends with a weddin ...more
The book captures the collective moral and physical destitution of the post-1970s Egyptian society like no other book has; at least none that I have eve ...more
The book revolves around the stories that takes place in Yacoubian Building - one of the most luxurious and prestigious building in Cairo that public figures, politicians, and wealthy people livi ...more
|Club littéraire p...: Club Littéraire Parisien du 14 mars 2021 à 17h00 (en ligne)||1||3||Jan 10, 2021 12:39PM|
|Middle East/North...: Discussion of The Yacoubian Building by Alaa Al Aswany||18||27||Jul 02, 2019 04:50AM|
|What are the fixings utilized in Trialix?||1||2||Jan 09, 2019 10:26PM|
|UWCiM English A B...: First impressions||1||7||Aug 07, 2018 02:36PM|
|UWCiM English A B...: Our first book||1||7||Jul 05, 2018 05:41AM|
|21st Century Lite...: The Yacoubian Building - Chapter 2 and Whole Book (August 2015)||17||43||Sep 10, 2015 06:47PM|
|21st Century Lite...: The Yacoubian Building - Chapter 1 (August 2015)||5||29||Aug 11, 2015 05:56AM|
Alaa al-Aswany (Arabic: علاء الأسواني), Egyptian Arabic (Masri) "علاء الاسوانى" (born 1957) is an Egyptian writer, and a founding member of the political movement Kefaya.
Trained as a dentist in Egypt and Chicago, it took him 9 years to earn his degree from Chicago National University where he spent 17 years in his life, al-Aswany has contributed numerous articles to Egyptian newspape ...more