The Dark Side of Love by Rafik Schami

The Dark Side of Love

Rafik Schami

The sheer length was daunting, but this has rave reviews from people who want just that - to soak themselves in a really long read. A mosaic of many different voices and stories - the most enjoyable part for me was Farid's growing up in Damascus: the street scenes, family life, clubs and cafes. The dark side? Ancient feuds that become ever more poisonous when repression exploits them and informers who threaten prison and torture on a whim.

Extract

Gibran told a great many stories, but most of them were lies and often macabre too .... He was ready to tell a story in return for a cigarette, and if there were women in the story he would want an extra five piastres to buy a shot of arrack. If he was drunk he would tell stories for free, but he needed half a litre of high-proof arrack to get drunk in the first place.

Parallels
  • The Lovers of Algeria by Anouar Benmalek
  • The Cairo Trilogy by Naguib Mahfouz
  • The Black Book by Orhan Pamuk

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