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In the Country of Men

In the Country of Men Libya Nine year old Suleiman s days are circumscribed by the narrow rituals of childhood outings to the ruins surrounding Tripoli games with friends played under the burning sun exotic gifts f

  • Title: In the Country of Men
  • Author: Hisham Matar
  • ISBN: 9780241973622
  • Page: 452
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Libya, 1979 Nine year old Suleiman s days are circumscribed by the narrow rituals of childhood outings to the ruins surrounding Tripoli, games with friends played under the burning sun, exotic gifts from his father s constant business trips abroad But his nights have come to revolve around his mother s increasingly disturbing bedside stories full of old family bitternesLibya, 1979 Nine year old Suleiman s days are circumscribed by the narrow rituals of childhood outings to the ruins surrounding Tripoli, games with friends played under the burning sun, exotic gifts from his father s constant business trips abroad But his nights have come to revolve around his mother s increasingly disturbing bedside stories full of old family bitterness And then one day Suleiman sees his father across the square of a busy marketplace, his face wrapped in a pair of dark sunglasses Wasn t he supposed to be away on business yet again Why is he going into that strange building with the green shutters Why did he lie Suleiman is soon caught up in a world he cannot hope to understand where the sound of the telephone ringing becomes a portent of grave danger where his mother frantically burns his father s cherished books where a stranger full of sinister questions sits outside in a parked car all day where his best friend s father can disappear overnight, next to be seen publicly interrogated on state television.In the Country of Men is a stunning depiction of a child confronted with the private fallout of a public nightmare But above all, it is a debut of rare insight and literary grace.

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    1 thought on “In the Country of Men

    1. Onvan : In the Country of Men - Nevisande : Hisham Matar - ISBN : 385340427 - ISBN13 : 9780385340427 - Dar 246 Safhe - Saal e Chap : 2006

    2. Kod nas je objavio Marso Proverite zašto je ova knjiga podobijala tolike nagrade (ili bila u užem/širem izboru za nagrade) Libija Za ljubitelje "Lovca na zmajeve" ili "Jutra u Dženinu" ili "Pitanja i odgovora" i "Belog tigra"

    3. The child narrator’s point of view is only the tip of the iceberg. It’s as if the boy’s view of the world is warped by the surface of the water. Actually, Suleiman isn’t a particularly likeable character. On the contrary, the reader is discouraged from identifying with the first person narrator, for he recounts episodes of his boyhood in which he indulges in inexplicable cruel behavior which contrasts sharply with the boy's childish innocence in the face of evil and deceit. While the boo [...]

    4. From my blog: written by Hisham Matar and published in February 2007 by The Dial Press. This is Matar's bio as written on the end flap:Hisham Matar was born in 1970 in New York city to Libyan parents and spent his childhood in Tripoli and Cairo. He lives in London and is currently at work on his second novel. In the Country of Men will be published in twenty-two languages.This was a difficult book to read, not because of the density of the writing - dense it was not - but because the characters [...]

    5. في ليبيا حدثت ثورتانثوره ضد العقيد القذافي!! وهذه الروايهروايه صادقه ومن القلب وللقلب وصلتالمشاهد والأحداث والتاريخ الليبيالذي يغلي على نار هادئهأرض النفاق والأكاذيب شجاعه الأب بمواجهه العنف البوليسيوعدم الرضوخ للتهديداتوالثمن الذي دفعه مقابل صموده ودفاعه عنمبادئه وإيم [...]

    6. I began by reading The Return: Fathers, Sons, and the Land in Between and I wanted more. In the Country of Men, by the same author, is fiction with a strong autobiographical basis. Having read the two books in this order one can easily differentiate between fictional and non-fictional elements. The two books are not the same; reading them both is not repetitive. In this book, we look at a young Libyan boy growing up under Qaddafi's military dictatorship. The year is 1979, and the boy's father is [...]

    7. شاعرية جدا ، رغم جوها الكئيب ، كرهت المؤلف في لحظات معينة ، لأنه استدرج براءة الاطفال إلى عالم السياسة مشهد اعدام رشيد كان مؤلما جدا بالنسبة لي ، و همجيا جدا وددت لو أعرف ليبيا واحدا لأستفسر منه عن حقيقة الأمر - لكن لن أستغرب ما قرأت ما دام القذافي يحكمهم - أحببت شاعريتها جدا [...]

    8. The book is, once again, a narrative told by the people of a country, about their country for their country (and the world).As communism is dying around the world, and the effects it had on people's lives are appearing more and more all over the planet, the reader is drawn into this story by the nine year old Suleima writing about his life in Libya and what happened to his nuclear family, the extended family, the neighbor and friends in 1979 during the regime of Mohammar Khadafi. His dad, Faraj, [...]

    9. AFRICAN BOOKS MARATHONBOOK: 3TITLE: In the Country of MenAUTHOR: Hisham MatarCOUNTRY: Libya I chose this book because it takes place in Libya of 1979. My father was working in Bengazi (2nd largest city in Libya) in 1979, and things he told me where present in this book.Policemen everywhere; in shops, in the streets, phone calls were usually tracked, you had to be careful of what you were saying, your posture, and attitude.197910 years (1969) after Muammar Qaddafi's bloodless coup d'état and we [...]

    10. I'm a Libyan, so as soon as I heard of the existence of this book I ran to get it. There aren't many Libyan authors (because, as usual, of Gadhafi), so I have respect for the ones out there. My expectations for this book were really high. After the revolution any bit of culture that was Libya-related was treated like gold. I knew a lot of people who loved this book, so I guess I built it up in my head to be a masterpiece or something.Unfortunately it didn't meet up to my ridiculous fantasies. Th [...]

    11. Some authors make a political statement with their stories, powerful because of the emotional connections we make as readers to the circumstances. In this case, and despite the multiple awards and award nominations, I felt the story was a thin veil over circumstances that the author wanted to talk about. The nine year old makes confusing decisions, isn't afraid when a normal child would be, leading to destruction around him. He felt emotionally distant. At the same time, the author ends up not g [...]

    12. Betrayal. A stab in the back. If devoid of conscience, it is free of hurt; else you can never free yourself from the crushing ugly rock of repentance, of self pity. Did little Suleiman, a mere nine year old child know that he was betraying the ones he loved the most, murdering the hopes of a rebellion, a fight for a cause, a secret mission, a revolution to eradicate another? Was there a realization, even a tiny bit of shame when he did so? And for what, this heinous misdeed? It isn't easy for a [...]

    13. Matar writes beautifully, here—sometimes to a fault. Told through the eyes of a 9-year-old Libyan boy in the early years of Khaddafy's reign, the novel suffers from child-narrator-syndrome: the boy couldn't possibly grasp the significance of what was befalling his family the way the narration suggests. The complex character of his mother interested me more than anything else in this rather slow-moving, Proustian take on a harrowing situation.

    14. It is nice to read this book in Arabic but if you can, read it in the language it was written in originaly; English. Reading the book in English gave it one more star. What amazes me is the development of the 9 year old character that took place in a small number of days. His adoration, love-hate and pitty relationship with his parents, especially his mom, is portrayed in a wonderful way. The struggle of the child between admiring the enemy and disliking him, at the same time, is shown in the vi [...]

    15. От една страна романът стъпва на историческа основа, като разказва за случващото се в Либия в края на 70-те, когато режимът на Кадафи опропастява безброй животи. За поколения напред. От друга – и за мен по-притегателната – това е книга за отношенията вътре в едно семейство и [...]

    16. Sadly, a quote from Francis Bacon comes to mind, that some books should only be sampled or some such thing. This book was quite dull. I started it with great expectations; it was the first novel I had read by a Libyan writer and with Libya constantly in the news, I thought its moment had come. It is also a book narrated from the perspective of a nine-year-old boy, and I was looking forward to some innocence, humour and charm. There was not much of that- the boy seemed at once too mature and too [...]

    17. أحببته باللغة العربية، رغم محاولتي العقيمة لقراءته بالانجليزية .شعرت بعروبته بطعم المعاني التي لا أعرف لها فهماً إلا بالعربيةفي بلاد الرجالقصة حلم بالجنة، وورق توتقصة بعد جميل وأحلام وردية يحلمها حين يبعد عن أبيه، وقرب يجفله ويكرهه لحقيقة برودة ذلك القربقصته مع أم كان هو أ [...]

    18. رواية رائعة جداً ومتكاملة، تمثل مأساة الشعب الليبي خلال العهد السابق بأبلغ التعابير وأجملها، وأكثرها مرارة.شخصيات هذه الرواية تجسد أبعاد المجتمع الليبي سياسياً، واجتماعياً، وثقافياً بشكل ملم وسلس.سليمان الطفل الذي تأثر بخليط هذه الأبعاد إذ ارتسمت على طفولته إضطرابات ملا [...]

    19. This book is an honest look at human weakness when facing tyranny. The author writes several variations on this theme -- how the young Suleiman gives his father's friend away to Qaddafi's security forces, how Suleiman's mother gives in to her circumscribed role as housewife in the face of a marriage forced upon her, and how even Suleiman's father confesses to rescue himself from punishment. In all of these events, we wish the characters had been able to hold loyal to their beliefs, but we are no [...]

    20. The narrator's mother tells him that Scheherazade, when the king finally allowed her a wish after 1,001 stories and she asked that he spare her, chose a life "of slavery" over death. But this whole book is about people choosing lives of slavery (to a husband, to a government, to an exile) rather than death. And the death we see, the lives that are lived, leave little evidence to judge if Suleiman's mother was right.Obviously, I side with the revolutionaries and the girls who talk back to their f [...]

    21. As today marks the First Libyan elections after Gaddafi, I felt it was a victory well deserved for the Libyan struggle.Reading "In The Country Of Men" opened my eyes to a whole new world of complete oppression and tyranny that cannot be slightly compared to the case in Egypt. It's even when the parents of Suliman wanted to get him a better life, he travelled to our Cairo!I would never blame him that he didn't wish to return back to Libya. I would have never imagined myself living in a world of h [...]

    22. تدور أحداث الرواية في ظلال الثورة الليبية لـ معمّر القذافي D : بـ عقلٍ سئوول وعينيّ طفلٍ في التاسعة من عمره تتكشف صفحات الأحداث شيئاً فشيئا حملة الاعتقالات التي طالت أولئك الذين يرفضون الثورة الليبية ويُطالبون بالديموقراطية ، ثم حبل المشنقة الذي بدوره يتكفل بـ قطف الرؤوس !ال [...]

    23. Continuing my recent plough through the Booker lists of the last decade or so. A relatively simple and short tale set in an increasingly complicated environment, this was the Booker shortlisted debut of exiled Libyan author, Hisham Matar. Set in 1979 Tripoli during the oppressive regime of Qaddafi, this is a tale told from the point of view of its nine year old narrator as he gets inadvertently pulled into the murky world of deception and revolution. Matar has personal experience in this regard, [...]

    24. I'm normally not a fan of historical fiction, but as a world literature lover, I couldn't help but try this one. Even though it was a little difficult to get into, I am so, so glad I did.In the Country of Men is a gripping account, from a small boy's perspective, of Gaddafi's infamous terror regime. It shimmers in the triumphs and fumes in the horrors of the the Libyan revolution of 1979, and expertly depicts Libyan culture and customs—the entire "world full of men and the greed of men"—as w [...]

    25. Behind reports of dissidents intimidated, tortured and killed by the world's repressive regimes hide the subtler, more obscure stories of their young children. They experience a world overcast by two shadows: parents trying to shield them from alarm and Orwellian governments denying that anything is amiss. Writing from his current home in London, Libyan author Hisham Matar has captured this plight in his first novel, a haunting, poetic story about a 9-year-old boy struggling to comprehend what's [...]

    26. The young son of two parents witnesses the abduction and public hanging of his next door neighbor, the father of his best friend. He also witnesses the arrest of his father. Both men were found to be treasonous against a regime of terror, the regime of Muammar Gaddafi of Libya. Suleiman spent days and nights, comforting his mother, and hating his mother, for the illness that took her over when her husband was not home. This illness, the reader soon discovers, is alcoholism. It is in this state t [...]

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