Books in Canada "...a literary equivalent of the senseless ruin to which Beirut has been reduced… what remains is an effective portrait of society reduced to chaos by war—a tragic reminder of a warning ignored."
De Niro’s Game, Rawi Hage’s critically acclaimed and astonishing first novel, is an unflinching and timely look at civil-war era Lebanon. Through flesh-and-blood characters, a gut-wrenching plot and incandescent language, Hage plunges us into the breathtaking tale of two young men trying to survive war in Beirut. Childhood best friends Bassam and George are faced with two choices for survival, leave their home and take a chance in a foreign city, or join the corrupt militia and gain a foothold in Beirut. Ultimately, their paths explosively—and tragically—collide. Hage presents an explosive portrait of life in a war zone, one that fuses vivid cinematic imagery with the measured strength and beauty of Arabic poetry.
Awards: Scotiabank Giller Prize, Finalist (2006) Commonwealth Writer's Prize—Best First Book, Finalist (2007) Winner, Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction (2006) Winner, McAuslan First Book Prize (2006) Governor General's Award—Fiction, Finalist (2006) Rogers Writer's Trust Fiction Prize, Finalist (2007)
Praise from Atom Egoyan: De Niro’s Game chronicles the madness of the Beirut civil war with dark humour and beautifully manicured urgency. [It] creates images that explode in the reader’s imagination like ten thousand bombs.