BookBrowse Reviews The Hakawati by Rabih Alameddine

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The Hakawati

By Rabih Alameddine

The Hakawati

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A funny, captivating novel that enchants and dazzles from its very first lines

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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