In 2003, Osama al-Kharrat returns to Beirut after many years in America to stand vigil at his father's deathbed. As the family gathers, stories begin to unfold: Osama's grandfather was a hakawati, or storyteller, and his bewitching tales are interwoven with classic stories of the Middle East. Here are Abraham and Isaac; Ishmael, father of the Arab tribes; the beautiful Fatima; Baybars, the slave prince who vanquished the Crusaders; and a host of mischievous imps. Through Osama, we also enter the world of the contemporary Lebanese men and women whose stories tell a larger, heartbreaking tale of seemingly endless war, conflicted identity, and survival. With The Hakawati, Rabih Alameddine has given us an Arabian Nights for this century.
We've sent an email with your order details. Order ID #:
To access this title, visit your library in the app or on the desktop website.
Great book, poor narration
This is a *wonderful* book, but the narration causes a lot of superficial problems, to the point where I'm switching to the print version. What's consistently most aggravating is the narrator's poor Arabic accent, which is very distracting and just winds up sounding like a bad parody. Also, his English pronunciation can be weirdly off (hearth does not rhyme with earth). And why does he pronounce Baybars without the S? Finally, and most deadly to the narration, there is seldom an adequate pause for section breaks. Only a second or two more would make a huge difference in marking the switch from tale to tale, which is critical in such a carefully woven story.
- Zora O'Neill