The Hakawati is a big, giant treat of a book, which is not to
say that it's an easy read, or that it isn't packed with more meaty fare closer
to the bone. Rabih Alameddine shines as a storyteller and a novelist, and
nowhere are the distinctions between the two vocations more evident than in this
lovely, captivating tome. As a storyteller, Alameddine dazzles us with bejeweled
adventure stories of lust and love, murder, scandal, and war. As a novelist, he
crafts a complex structure, shaping subtle mirrors between the flights of fancy
and the central story of a family in war-torn Beirut, gently shifting the
perspective until, like a mosaic, the tiny pieces begin to take shape, and the
real picture of the novel emerges.
Like a merry-making band of magic carpets, the folk tales and adventure stories woven into the central story of a Lebanese family whisk the reader ...
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