Chris's Reviews > A House in Fez: Building a Life in the Ancient Heart of Morocco

A House in Fez by Suzanna Clarke
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's review
Aug 22, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: memoir, office
Read from August 22 to 28, 2010

Unusually for me, I actually had to force myself to finish this book. Other reviewers have cited the author's tone as something of a turn-off. As a frequent visitor to the Middle East, I'm familiar with the frustrations that Ms. Clarke expresses ("Why is everything so needlessly complex??") but there was a cross between self-congratulation for dealing with Moroccan bureaucracy and the informal economy (read: tips and bribes) coupled with a constant need to remind us that she basically didn't trust anyone she met in Morocco that really started to grate on me. Her constant friends throughout the book are all western or westernized Moroccans.

While I can't say that I would have written a different book in her shoes the overall approach was a little too light-and-fluffy for my tastes. By the end of if, I still just didn't feel like we'd gotten anywhere. What did she learn from this experience? I'm still not sure.

Anyone looking for a similar story with some meat on its bones would do well to track down a copy of Elizabeth Warnock Fernea's "A Street in Marrakech" instead.
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Reading Progress

08/22/2010 page 12
04/02/2016 marked as: read

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message 1: by Philipc (new)

Philipc Thanks for the pointer to A Street... You might like to try A Year in Marrakesh if you don't already know it - a Marrakesh long gone by now,but the author really got under the skin of the city.

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