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De Niro's Game Paperback – Feb 21 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: House of Anansi Press (Feb. 21 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 088784765X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0887847653
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 13.2 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 322 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #376,928 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Erico on Jan. 13 2007
Format: Hardcover
I got this gem of literature for Christmas this year. At first I thought I wouldn't like it. Hage doesn't follow grammar rules for his conversations, and he has this weird habit of going on poetic ramblings when describing something. It was a bit disconcerting at the begining but I quickly fell in love with his style of writing. His dark subject matter mixed with poetic prose is a powerful combination.

DeNiro's Game is set during the Lebanon Civil War. The protaginist, Bassam, is a young adult on the Christian side of war torn Beirut. While Bassam is fixated on leaving Beiruit, his life long friend, George, is a rising star among the local militia. While bombs fall all around, Bassam, a thug in his own right, sets out on a series of jobs to fund his departure to his dream city: Rome.

As you can guess by the synopsis above this novel does not deal with the bright side of human nature. The bombed out neighbourhood that is the setting for the story is littered with thugs and guns aplenty. Hage captures the gangster allure perfectly, right down to the gun in the belt, and the cigarette in the mouth. He also succeeds equally in cornering the essence of young men, with their sexual daydreams, reckless abandon, and rock hard stoicism. It's gritty subject matter but the author - with his own experiences in Lebanon - is up to the challenge of describing it.

To balance out this dark streak the book throws in a lot of poetry. Bassam will ramble on for about half a page about one thing taking it further and further. A great little sample of this type of writing is found on the back cover. I found this style weird at the start and in fact found it was one of my favourite parts of the book as the story progressed.

This is a great novel. It is a dark tragic page turner that you won't want to put down. I give it ten thousand stars out of ten thousand.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Suzanne Dunne on June 11 2006
Format: Hardcover
A great book. I enjoyed the pace that never lets off, and the literary style. The book was very effective in transporting me to the setting of the story. I also enjoyed the humor and subtle way the author denounced the folly of war.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kelly Rossiter on Jan. 11 2007
Format: Hardcover
DeNiro's Game by Rawi Hage is a compelling story to two young men in war ravaged Beirut. Brutality is a way of life for these men - one works with the militia thugs getter deeper and deeper into degradation while the other tries to remain on the outside and dreams of another life. The protagonist is forced to leave Beirut and it is quickly apparent that he only knows how to get what he wants by force. He is an outsider everywhere. The book is beautifully written and I found it impossible to put it down. Be aware that the violence is pervasive and sometimes quite difficult graphic.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Usman Hamid on Oct. 4 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Hage's debut novel is a no holds barred look at one of the most violent and brutal moments of Lebanese history. Hage does not attempt romanticize war or to demonize it. Instead he captures with poetric beauty the desensitization that occurs when people live under terrible circumstances for a considerable period. The pill was tough and bitter to swallow, and I, lacking any empathy or even sympathy for the protagonist, am not the biggest fan of the book but I can appreciate its importance and the tenacious prose that flows like poetry. The novel grazes your skin and exposes you to the harsh reality of the world. This isn't a book for everyone but it deserves every accolade it has received.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Samuel Myers on Oct. 7 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is a superb book that could not be more timely. It is a wonderful tale of humor, poetry, and the power of the human spirit to adjust to any adversity. It gave me a rich and enjoyable overview of Levantine culture through the eyes of two friends who grew up together, yet were destined to have different paths. The writing is refreshing as it differs from the myriad of books out there that all sound the same. In summary, a fabulous book that I could not put down.
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