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The Yacoubian Building: A Novel [Paperback]

Alaa Al Aswany
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 16.99
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Book Description

July 20 2006

This controversial bestselling novel in the Arab world reveals the political corruption, sexual repression, religious extremism, and modern hopes of Egypt today.

All manner of flawed and fragile humanity reside in the Yacoubian Building, a once-elegant temple of Art Deco splendor now slowly decaying in the smog and bustle of downtown Cairo: a fading aristocrat and self-proclaimed "scientist of women"; a sultry, voluptuous siren; a devout young student, feeling the irresistible pull toward fundamentalism; a newspaper editor helplessly in love with a policeman; a corrupt and corpulent politician, twisting the Koran to justify his desires.

These disparate lives careen toward an explosive conclusion in Alaa Al Aswany's remarkable international bestseller. Teeming with frank sexuality and heartfelt compassion, this book is an important window on to the experience of loss and love in the Arab world.


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Review

“[A] hilarious, sensual, bawdy and beautiful novel.” (Nerve)

“Captivating and controversial .. . .an amazing glimpse of modern Egyptian society and culture.” (New York Review of Books)

“...tremendously likable.... This vision of life connects high with low, rich with poor, through shared vices and needs.” (San Francisco Chronicle)

About the Author

Alaa Al Aswany is the internationally bestselling author of The Yacoubian Building and Chicago. A journalist who writes a controversial opposition column, Al Aswany makes his living as a dentist in Cairo.


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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Yacoubian Building Jan. 27 2012
Format:Paperback
This is an amazing book. I did have to refer to the glossary and character pages a few times but it was well worth it. It is the best book I have read in years and a very good introduction into modern Egypt. I was engrossed with all the characters and wished that it was the first of a series.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Yacoubian Building Sept. 4 2006
Format:Paperback
An eye opener regarding the hypocrisy that Egyptians deal with and partake on a daily basis. The characters and the parallel story lines made it difficult to put the book down.

I congratulate the author for writing a book that may in turn put his life in danger-- but is so necessary for Egyptinas and non-Egyptians alike to read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read April 27 2014
Format:Paperback
Fun read, helps better understand the realities of modern-day Cairo. Didn't quite want the book to end. Strongly recommend it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Yacoubian Building April 7 2013
By Reader
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The truth is often controversal especially in cultures that do not face truths!

Aswany does not hesitate to pen truths about political corruption, sexuality and fundamentalism rampant in his country. This is not to say that such controversies are non-existent in many other parts of the world, but it is harder for such truths to come out of countries and cultures that would prefer not to be exposed. A glimpse into Aswany's country and society is painful to read, but the need to know the conclusion compels the reader to continue.
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