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Silent Day in Tangiers

Silent Day in Tangiers

by Tahar Ben Jelloun, David Lobdell (Translator), Tahar B. Jelloun

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Prolific Moroccan writer Ben Jelloun ( The Sand Child ; The Sacred Night ) portrays the stream of thoughts of one old man as he looks back on his life. Originally written in French, this subtle translation reveals much to the reader about the particulars of life as a middle-class artisan of Morocco while at the same time dealing with universal human themes. It is this incidental unfolding of the similarities as well as the differences between this contemporary, anonymous Moroccan Arab and ourselves that gives an added dimension of empathy and value to these fictional reminiscences. If the dying man does not fully captivate the reader, perhaps it is because he is too clear-sighted and honest in his self-analysis, or too traditional for our tastes. We may finish the book with little sympathy or compassion, but we gain enhanced understanding of the exigencies of existence and a little awe for the tenacity of one irascible old Arab. By this standard, Ben Jelloun's book is a success. (Apr.)
Library Journal
In a run-down house in Tangier, an old man waits to die. Embittered by loneliness, he resents the earlier deaths of his friends the card players, the womanizers, the devout Muslims. They should be entertaining him now. Instead, he crosses their names out of his address book and satisfies himself with memories. Moving his fabric shop from Fez to Tangier was the biggest mistake of his life. The boy he took in and raised like a son instead became his biggest enemy. And when was the last time he made love to his wife? Never mind. She does not deserve it. This is an interesting, though too brief, character study of a man who, rejecting medicine, uses words to lance the boil of his discontent. The rich texture of Moroccan life shines through briefly but would be more appealing if developed further. Therefore, this novel should only be considered by very large or special collections.-- Paul E. Hutchison, Pequea, Pa.

Product Details

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st ed
Product dimensions:
5.78(w) x 8.57(h) x 0.63(d)

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