Cairo at the very end of Ottoman rule. Behind the doors of the Automobile Club of Egypt, Egyptian staff attend to the every need of Cairo's European elite - the way they always have done, it seems.
But soon the social upheaval out on the street will break its way through the club's gilded doors, and its inhabitants above and below stairs must all confront their choices: to live safely without dignity, or to fight for their rights and risk everything.
Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd
Number of pages: 480
Weight: 318 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 29 mm
One of Egypt's most valuable writers * * Guardian * *
A scathing, brilliantly executed novel * * New York Times * *
A wonderful storyteller * * Spectator * *
Among the best writers in the Middle East today . . . Al Aswany has his own magic * * Guardian * *
A master observer of the human condition . . . unputdownable * * Literary Review * *
Gripping . . . a page-turner * * Toronto Star * *
Seductive . . . boasts rich and rewarding material * * Boston Globe * *
Wonderful . . . almost impossible to put down . . . combines terrific storytelling with historical empathy * * Star Tribune * *
[A] raucous, technicolor novel . . . its blazing heart is the seething discontent that led to the 1952 Revolution * * Booklist * *
A sharp, humorous novel -- CAROLINE MOORHEAD * * Spectator * *
The Yacoubian author is back with another swarming depiction of a changing world * * Sunday Times * *
There are many stories here. The book is elaborate to bursting point, but always controlled, always whole. It is as juicy and satisfying as a shiny apple, its taste both strange and familiar, compassionate and bitter * * The Times * *
Fabulous, acutely observed story of human foibles, full of vivid scenes and extraordinary characters * * Mail on Sunday * *
Addictively readable * * Independent * *
Absorbing * * Observer * *
Bewitching * * Scotsman * *
Myriad colourful details, intertwining narratives, and dramatic cliffhangers form an earthy, entertaining contrast to the novel's sober preoccupations - namely, the human spirit's capacity to both transcend and be crushed by oppressive systems * * Publishers Weekly * *
Praise for Chicago:
Brilliant . . . Al Aswany is like an Egyptian Anne Tyler
A powerful, political page-turner * * Daily Mail * *
A masterpiece, the warmest and finest and most involving Egyptian novel in the last thirty years * * Open Letters Monthly * *
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