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Carnival [Hardcover]

Rawi Hage
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 29.95
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Book Description

Sept. 29 2012 Editors' Pick: Best Books of 2012

Shortlisted for the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize and the Quebec Writers' Federation Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction

In the Carnival city there are two types of taxi drivers -- the spiders and the flies. The spiders patiently sit in their cars and wait for the calls to come. But the flies are wanderers - they roam the streets, looking for the raised hands of passengers among life's perpetual flux.

Fly is a wanderer and a knower. Raised in the circus, the son of a golden-haired trapeze artist and a flying carpet pilot from the East, he is destined to drift and observe. From his taxi we see the world in all its carnivalesque beauty and ugliness. We meet criminals, prostitutes, madmen, magicians, and clowns of many kinds. We meet ordinary people going to extraordinary places, and revolutionaries trying to live ordinary lives. Hunger and injustice claw at the city, and books provide the only true shelter. And when the Carnival starts, all limits dissolve, and a gunshot goes off . . .

With all of the beauty, truth, rage, and peripatetic storytelling that have made Cockroach and De Niro's Game international publishing sensations, Carnival gives us Rawi Hage at his searing best. Alternately laughing at absurdity and crying out at oppression, by turns outrageous, hilarious, sorrowful, and stirring, Carnival is a tour de force that will make all of life's passengers squirm in their comfortable, complacent backseats.

Frequently Bought Together

Carnival + 419: A Novel + Inside
Price For All Three: CDN$ 55.40

  • 419: A Novel CDN$ 20.06
  • Inside CDN$ 16.57

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It’s easy to see why Carnival made Hage one of the finalists for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize ... the strands of the story weave tightly around the reader, leaving one tangled in a web of enchantment. (Sofia Gay Concordian 2012-09-25)

The overall sense of the piece is a celebration of literature, but at the same time, Carnival is about the harsh, raw, senseless world that inspires books, driving home the fact that truth is -- unavoidably -- stranger than fiction. (Christine Mazur Winnipeg Free Press 2012-09-29)

The things that make Rawi Hage a major literary talent include freshness, gut-wrenching lyricism, boldness, emotional restraint, intellectual depth, historical sense, political subversiveness and uncompromising compassion. (T. F. Rigelhof Globe and Mail 2012-09-28)

Rawi Hage is, quite simply, a brilliant writer ... Carnival confirms Hage's status as a star in the literary firmament. (Laura Eggertson Toronto Star 2012-09-29)

Carnival is a rich and compelling read, a testament to a daring and talented novelist. (Devon Code National Post 2012-10-02)

The normally polite CanLit canon won’t prepare you for the violence, obsession, anger, lust and corruption of Hage’s books ... imagine Camus rewriting Taxi Driver. (Toronto Life 2012-10-10)

Hage’s prose is addictive ... [Carnival is] amazing, original, and impolite. (Eric Boodman Montreal Review of Books 2012-10-01)

[Hage's] most exuberant, imaginative and playful [novel] yet. (Telegraph Journal 2012-10-06)

Finally, a piece of fiction that roars...Hage’s language is vivid, full of surreal imagery and laced with metaphor...literary risk-takers are rarer every day. I’ll take a novelist with Hage’s energy any time. (Susan G Cole NOW Magazine 2012-11-08)

Hage continues to display a refreshingly confrontational aspect, and is unafraid to address material that writers more steeped in CanLit’s pervading politesse would studiously avoid. (Steven W. Beattie Walrus Magazine 2012-12-01)

Hage’s writing can be poetic, funny and tragic. Most importantly, it always bears the mark of displacement. (Paste 2012-12-01)

…richly mysterious… (David Kloepfer The Rumpus 2013-06-03)

[Carnival] is delivered in Hage’s festive, hard-boiled style. The novel’s short scenes of decadence and desperation spray across the pages like buckshot –loud and scattered, but still penetrating. (Manoli Kouremetis Time Out New York 2013-06-13)

Fly's world is a bleak place, filled with themes of death and the grotesque and gritty pleasure. (Fraser Julia Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 2013-07-28)

About the Author

Rawi Hage was born in Beirut, Lebanon, and lived through nine years of the Lebanese civil war. His debut novel, De Niro's Game, won the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, was a finalist for numerous prestigious national and international awards, including the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Governor General's Literary Award, and has been translated into several languages and published around the world. His second novel, Cockroach, won the Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction and was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Governor General's Literary Award, and the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize. Rawi Hage lives in Montreal.

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars One sleepless night in Lehfed May 19 2013
By Lizot
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Brilliant, poetic, thrilling. Rawi Hage`s Carnival has given me pleasure, wonderment and a magical sleepless night.
The author masters the art of story telling and opens several doors to uncharted emotions. His characters are vibrant and his narrator attaching.
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5.0 out of 5 stars BRILLIANT... A CHEF D'OEUVRE! Dec 20 2012
By Ziad
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is an exceptionally exciting work of modern literature: your imagination will be boiling with visuals and you can't help but smile as you read it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dreams of a Flying Man Feb. 6 2013
By ihath - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
A brilliant and thought provoking novel. The story has many surprises which I don't wish to spoil for you - that kept me engaged waiting with breathless anticipation at what might happen next. I also enjoyed the use of humor in this book. Sometimes dark and other times slapstick, I found myself laughing out loud at certain points. It will keep you thinking for many days after you finish reading the last page and place images inside your imagination that will never be erased. At one point I found myself thinking "I wish I was a Taxi driver" and later I remembered that I don't enjoy even being inside a Taxi .... that is the power of this novel. It will make you think and say things that are out of your character.
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