Brenda C Kayne's Reviews > The Hakawati

The Hakawati by Rabih Alameddine
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's review
Feb 20, 2011

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bookshelves: fiction
Read in February, 2011

An amazing novel that combines modern day stories of a Lebanese family with rich Middle Eastern lore and fantasy. Intermixed with the tragedy of a war-torn Beirut and how it affected the typical middle class (which could be Druze, Christian, Jewish, or Arabic) are fantastic yarns of ancient battles, sorcery, and royalty. This clever mix of tales is an interesting means by which to develop cultural understanding, but equally important, has a wonderful poignancy particularly as the stories come to a close. The characters in the glorious legends become grand foils to the protagonist's personal trials of modern life and human relationships. While each set of stories could stand on its own, they enhance each other in a kind of mysterious literary dance.

You can't help but love Uncle Jihad.

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