Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Book Review

So I haven't posted in ages, been busy, bla bla bla..yada yada yada..moving on.

The next couple of posts are some thoughts on a few books I've read recently (warning: Some spoilers included) :

Vertigo by Ahmed Mourad
I saw this in a bookstore and after reading the summary on the back and seeing that it was already in its fifth edition, I decided to give it a go .

The short version of my review :

I hated it and I can't believe trees had to die to make paper for this crap.

The detailed version :

Ten pages in, I felt like I was reading a movie rather than a novel. A movie starring Ahmed El Sakka no less (with Karim Abd El Aziz as a possible stand-in in case El-Sakka pulls a muscle). Just in case you're confused, this is in no way, shape or form a compliment. I don't like my novels playing out like bad action movie scripts.

The lead protagonist (Ahmed) and his best friend and partner in crime are in a word: repulsive.

They're sexist and disgusting. They almost always fail to have a conversation where they don't talk about women derogatorily and I just don't understand why the writer insisted on letting us know every time the best friend farts or burps.

I hardly think his intestinal movements are pivotal to the novel's events and if it was an attempt at comic relief, it failed miserably.

I also don't understand the reason for the incessant use of vulgarity in this book. Was this supposed to be some sort of lame attempt at gritty realism by trying to accurately depict conversations between young Egyptian men? So how accurate was this depiction? Do all young Egyptian men have conversations that are this sexist and retarded? In that case, we're even more screwed than I had ever previously thought.

Now that whole alter-ego business...

-An old dude shows up...
-He knows stuff only *gasp* Ahmed himself could possibly know!
-He shows up suddenly and disappears into thin air!!
-And he has a ring with the first letter of his deaf girlfriend's name!!!

It was not only painfully obvious that the mysterious old man was a ~figment of his imagination~, he also had absolutely no use in the novel. Seriously, erase him completely and see if anything's different.

Don't even get me started on the ~big revelation~ when Ahmed suddenly realizes that he and the old dude are actually...*drumroll please*...the very same person!

As Keanu Reeves would say: Whoaaa...

The most tragic part I suppose is the ending. While reading the last pages of the book, the only thing I could think of (besides I can't believe I spent money on this friggin' book) was...damn, they couldn't think of that a couple of hundred pages ago?

I'll admit that I did like the sister's story line quite a bit and even Gouda's although it's hardly original as a viewing of several Egyptian movies can demonstrate.

Next up, A review of 1/4 Gram...


marooned84 said...

Good to know I'm not the only one who insists on finishing the worst of books :)

You've been missed!

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