Based on fact, this is the story of twenty-three Moroccan prisoners incarcerated in a hell-hole prison after a failed coup attempt to oust King Hassan II in 1971. It is one of the most painful books of torture, endurance and survival I have ever come across. The writing is very impressive.
Comparison: Solzhenitsyn, Primo Levi, Elise Blackwell (Hunger).
Similar this month: None but try A L Kennedy or Roddy Doyle for fine writing.
In this extraordinary non-fiction novel, based on a true story, Tahar Ben Jelloun traces the experiences of Salim who, in 1971, took part in a failed coup attempt to oust King Hassan II of Morocco. With sixty others Salim was incarcerated in a secret prison complex in the Moroccan desert: he was to remain there for nearly twenty years.
In starkly eloquent, beautiful prose, Ben Jelloun relates the prisoners' experiences as they struggle to survive. The son of a witty, feckless courtier who disowns him, Salim tells stories to keep sane - from the suras of his beloved Koran to the plot of A Streetcar Named Desire. Even in the darkest, most terrible conditions, sympathy, insight, the human quest for meaning and understanding, never desert Salim. The resulting novel is a wrenching yet exquisite celebration of the human spirit and its determination to survive.
Publication date: 01/09/2005
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Format: Paperback (b Format)
|Publication date:||1st September 2005|
|Author:||Tahar Ben Jelloun|
|Publisher:||Penguin Books Ltd|
|Format:||Paperback (b Format)|
|Categories:||Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945), Fiction in translation,|
Tahar Ben Jelloun was born in 1944 in Fez, Morocco, and emigrated to France in 1961. He is one of North Africa's foremost novelists. His novels include The Sacred Night which received the Prix Goncourt in 1987 and Corruption.More About Tahar Ben Jelloun