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What the Day Owes the Night
by Yasmina Khadra | Literature & Fiction
Registered by VictoriaWagtail of Bagarmossen, Stockholm Sweden on 6/12/2012
Average 8 star rating by BookCrossing Members 

status (set by okyrhoe): to be read


8 journalers for this copy...

Journal Entry 1 by VictoriaWagtail from Bagarmossen, Stockholm Sweden on Tuesday, June 12, 2012

This book has not been rated.

'Darling, this is Younes. Yesterday he was my nephew, today he is our son.'

Younes' life is changed forever when his poverty-stricken parents surrender him to the care of his more affluent uncle. Renamed Jonas, he grows up in a colourful colonial Algerian town, and forges a unique friendship with a group of boys, an enduring bond that nothing - not even the Algerian Revolt - will shake. He meets Emilie - a beautiful, beguiling girl who captures the hearts of all who see her - and an epic love story is set in motion.


In "What The Day Owes The Night", Yasmina Khadra has written a majestic novel of colonial Algeria, a turbulent, passionate, heart-rending country. Set against the war of independence and a harsh yet mystic landscape, Khadra's dazzling prose and consummate compassion illuminate the terrible rift between lovers, family and friends who love the same country.

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Oran, the second city of Algeria, at about 1930

About the authour, from Wikipedia:
Yasmina Khadra is the pen name of the Algerian author Mohammed Moulessehoul.

Moulessehoul, an officer in the Algerian army, adopted a woman's pseudonym to avoid military censorship. Despite the publication of many successful novels in Algeria, Moulessehoul only revealed his true identity in 2001 after leaving the army and going into exile and seclusion in France. He left the army as a major in 2000. Anonymity was the only way for him to survive and avoid censorship during the Algerian Civil War.

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Journal Entry 2 by VictoriaWagtail at Bagarmossen, Stockholm Sweden on Tuesday, June 12, 2012

9 out of 10

A great story, it was very moving and felt genuine.

The story has two themes. First the "little" story, that of individuals, not in anyway crucial to the overall making of politics and history, but all the same allways in its line of fire. And the "big" story, that of countries locked together in an unhappy love affair. I liked both these themes and the author managed to weave them together in a way that felt convincing.

A great introduction to Algeria's 20th century history as well as a moving story about war and what it does to us humans, how much it destroyes of what is good. 


Journal Entry 3 by VictoriaWagtail at Bagarmossen, Stockholm Sweden on Tuesday, June 26, 2012

This book has not been rated.

Released 6 yrs ago (6/26/2012 UTC) at Bagarmossen, Stockholm Sweden

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

It's time to travel. Bon voyage little book!

This is a bookring.
Participants (note that the order might change as more people join):

Hotflash (US)
KiwiinEngland (New Zealand)
LaPitchoune (Finland)
Blue_berry (UK)
Cassiopaeia (UK)
Penelopewanders (Switzerland)
Boekentrol (the Netherlands)
Okyrhoe (Greece) <---- The book is here
Any one else? Join here and/or by sending me a PM
--Back home to me (Sweden)--

The usual ring rules apply:

*Try to keep the book for no longer than 1 month (if stuff gets in the way and reading the book should take longer that's not the end of the world of course, but please PM me so that I know what's happening)
*Journal the book both when you get it and when you send it on
*Make sure the next person in line after you still wants to participate in the ring and that you have the right address before sending the book to avoid problems.
*The cheapest shipping alternative is ok.
*The last person on the list sends the book back to me in Sweden.
*Enjoy the book! :)
 


Journal Entry 4 by hotflash at Tucson, Arizona USA on Friday, July 06, 2012

This book has not been rated.

Just received this book as a bookring participant. The book came with a very interesting note from VictoriaWagtail and a CD of Algerian music. Will start reading the book, pop the CD into the player in my car, and be back with more later.

Photo is the crown of one of our majestic Saguaro Cactus plants (this one is about 14-feet tall), in full bloom. 


Journal Entry 5 by hotflash at Tucson, Arizona USA on Saturday, July 14, 2012

This book has not been rated.

I'm 140 pages into the book,which is stunning. This entry is about the CD that accompanied the book.

Most unusual grouping of lyrics and music I have ever heard. This music encompasses everything from a driving Brazilian Samba beat, to Zydeco/Cajun-sounding pieces, to East Indian Bollywood sounds, to very Arabic, upper-register vocals. I know some of the songs are in French, many in an Arabic tongue, and some I couldn't recognize. This is music you want to move to...be careful, if playing it in the car, you might find yourself driving faster than you planned as the beat carries you with it. It's an exotic blend, and most of it I really liked. I find the Arabic 'howling' a bit hard on the nerves after a while, but that was only about 5% of the selection.
Thanks VictoriaWagtail for including these CDs. Putting them way carefully now to pass along to the next reader. Will check back in after I finish the book. 


Journal Entry 6 by hotflash at Tucson, Arizona USA on Thursday, July 19, 2012

10 out of 10

This book will go down as one of the best books I have ever read. In the first eight pages of this novel, a stark and desolate way of life flies across the pages like a desert dust storm. This is life stripped down to the basics of survival – life lived in black and white. The author’s prose is both vibrant and stark. It’s powerful and seductive. You taste the dust, feel the grit of poverty, and get lost in the abject hopelessness of the lives of the characters.

The story is told through the eyes of Younes/Jonas, a young boy who grows to manhood as his country is growing into its own as a nation, wrenching itself out of the grip of French colonialism. The powerful story of Algeria’s fight for independence is actually underplayed against the Younes’s deeply self-absorbed recanting of his own inner struggles as he grew into manhood with his feet in both worlds: Arab and European.
Younes, in my opinion, was crippled by his early years with his father, who was in turn crippled by his sense of pride. Both paid the penalties we pay in life for allowing ourselves to be misguided by false pride. I eventually lost sympathy for Younes. I have no patience for people who are so wrapped up in their own heads that their fears prevent them from expressing any real emotion. His emotions were so turned inward he became outwardly emotionally paralyzed and unable to enjoy any real intimacy or love in his life. He was as detached from what was happening in his country as he was from understanding how his frozen emotions, inability to express what he was feeling, locked him into a life lived always on the fringes. I wanted to shake him.

Running parallel to the unfolding of Younes’s life was the story of turbulence and change in Algeria. At the same time, we see WWII from another perspective, from a country where the war was something happening far away, in Europe, only rarely encroaching on the way of life enjoyed by the upper level of Algeria’s colonial society.

There is so much more that could be said about this book, but I’ll leave that up to other readers. Will be sending it along on its journey, with the CDs and note from VictoriaWagtail. Next stop, New Zealand.
 


Journal Entry 7 by wingkiwiinenglandwing at Wellington City, Wellington Province New Zealand on Monday, July 30, 2012

This book has not been rated.

This book and the music cd's have safely arrived in New Zealand. Thank you very much for posting them on. 


Journal Entry 8 by wingkiwiinenglandwing at Wellington City, Wellington Province New Zealand on Sunday, September 09, 2012

7 out of 10

The beginning of this story paints an intense world of hopes dashed, and then a claustrophobic life of anger. I thought the middle section was hard to get through, it focused too much on a self centred young man who didn't seem to ever think clearly about others. I would have liked more about the situation in the country and not a group of friends.

The CD's were great.

I have the next person address and will post it when I get to the post office next.

 


Journal Entry 9 by wingkiwiinenglandwing at Wellington City, Wellington Province New Zealand on Monday, September 10, 2012

This book has not been rated.

Released 5 yrs ago (9/10/2012 UTC) at Wellington City, Wellington Province New Zealand

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:




Posting this to Finland to the next person on the bookring. 


Journal Entry 10 by LaPitchoune at Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Tuesday, September 18, 2012

This book has not been rated.

The book is with me! Thank you for posting it from far away! 


Journal Entry 11 by LaPitchoune at Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Saturday, September 22, 2012

8 out of 10

To answer the question: The day owes the night at least an apology, learning, improving, money, love, openness, equality. What the night owes the day is responsibility, sharing and peacefulness. (I'm referring to the detail where the poor are said to have left the water running without any responsible thought).

This was a captivating story. I have studied this part of history at the university 10 years back (gosh, am I really that old...) and I found the topic close to my person, although I've never set foot in Algeria. Marseille, on the other hand, was my first destination when I first travelled to France on my own. My mother was devastated, thinking it was a scary, notorious place for a girl to go.

About my reading experience: the first shock came when I opened the first page and found out Yasmina Khadra wasn't the fragile almond-eyed dark beauty I had pictured her to be, but a man! This revelation made me curious: what was in the book that could endanger a military employee's position?

This story reminded me of Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner, because of a similar subject matter: friendship(s) that suffer. However, this was also an eye-opening glimpse into the social hierarchy of a region closely attached to Europe. The racism, poverty, cruelty and the position of women. It is true that people are often born either under the sun and wealth, or under the eternal darkness of filthy living conditions, and it's hard to change the setting completely. The rich may have corrupt souls, or at least it seems fair to think so.

The ultimate message of this book seemed to be carpe diem, don't let your life pass you by. Climb on board and don't leave things hanging midway. Appreciate your friends and family, because however clichéd it may sound, you may not get a warning beforehand, if someone close is taken from you. One day everything will change, eventually. But more importantly, everything changes constantly. Be the change!

If you don't like the world, make one better.p.268

I have already contacted Blue_bell. So, until further notice... thank you for this lovely bookring / music combo <3 a great idea! 


Journal Entry 12 by Blue_berry at Croydon, Greater London United Kingdom on Thursday, September 27, 2012

This book has not been rated.

Received with thanks! Will start as soon as I've finished the current read. 


Journal Entry 13 by Blue_berry at Croydon, Greater London United Kingdom on Monday, October 15, 2012

9 out of 10

I really enjoyed this story. The history certainly came alive through the narrator. The characters were slightly too romantic to my taste but it suited the ambience of the events. Sending off to next reader, enjoy! 


Journal Entry 14 by wingCassiopaeiawing at Cardiff, Wales United Kingdom on Tuesday, October 16, 2012

This book has not been rated.

Arrived in today's post, thank you Blue_berry. The Swallows of Kabul was very good looking forward to this one. Two books to go before I get to this one, but will get through them soon. 


Journal Entry 15 by wingCassiopaeiawing at Cardiff, Wales United Kingdom on Tuesday, October 30, 2012

This book has not been rated.

I enjoyed this book but I also thought that the middle part was a stretch over done. This part could have done with a little more editing. I enjoyed the flow of language more in The Swallows of Kabul, it did have a different translator, I wonder how much difference that has made? I think his writing is probably stronger when he deals with present day peace and conflict and surrounding issues rather than the personal. I'm very glad to have read it and thank you also for including the CDs. I will be looking for more of his work.

I have the details for the next reader. 


Journal Entry 16 by wingCassiopaeiawing at Cardiff, Wales United Kingdom on Sunday, November 04, 2012

This book has not been rated.

Released 5 yrs ago (11/5/2012 UTC) at Cardiff, Wales United Kingdom

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:


Read and Release at BookCrossing.com...
By Royal Mail to Switzerland 


Journal Entry 17 by wingpenelopewanderswing at Hasliberg, Bern / Berne Switzerland on Thursday, November 15, 2012

This book has not been rated.

This has arrived safely in the Alps. What a brilliant idea, sending along music with the book! I remember discovering the Algerian musician Idir, who was performing in a very small room at the top of a building at Saint Michel, in Paris - years ago, in the mid 1970s. I still have the 45 I bought after that amazing concert. The room was packed with enthusiastic fans - I'd been brought along by an Algerian friend...
I look forward to reading this, although it will have to relax a bit here in the mountains as there are a few other rings and rays ahead of it.
Thanks so very much for making this available and for sending! 


Journal Entry 18 by wingpenelopewanderswing at Hasliberg, Bern / Berne Switzerland on Sunday, December 02, 2012

This book has not been rated.

When this ring arrived I was foolishly surprised to realize it had been translated from French. If I'd known, I would have read it in French, but then again, if I hadn't signed up for the ring, I probably wouldn't have thought of reading this one at all.
Even though it's a translation, I found much of the prose very beautiful, and I savored the text.
This being said, the story is quite relentlessly sad - actually quite hopeless, really. The sudden barely credible shift in the last seven pages doesn't alter the general mood of the book.
The extreme inertia of the main character is disheartening. As the author says, (page 362) "Life is a train that stops at no stations; you either jump aboard or stand on the platform and watch as it passes, and there is nothing sadder than an abandoned station." Younes/Jonas seems to stand at that station as the history of his country thunders past - he gazes limply at the trains going by in both directions and never seems able to decide which platform he wants to board from.
This was a perspective of Algerian history I was less familiar with - I remember absolutely loving "Elise et la Vraie Vie" by Claire Etcherelli, but that all takes place in France.
This is a book worth reading, sad as it is.
I've PMed for the next address.
Thanks so much for making this available, and for sending. Thanks too again for sending the CDs - imagine my delight when the very first song on the CD was one of the ones by Idir I was referring to above! 


Journal Entry 19 by wingpenelopewanderswing at Hasliberg, Bern / Berne Switzerland on Friday, December 07, 2012

This book has not been rated.

Boekentrol has asked to be skipped, so I'm waiting for confirmation of the next address. (Just a little heads-up).  


Journal Entry 20 by wingpenelopewanderswing at Hasliberg, Bern / Berne Switzerland on Wednesday, January 09, 2013

This book has not been rated.

Released 5 yrs ago (1/9/2013 UTC) at Hasliberg, Bern / Berne Switzerland

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Oh dear, this book did spend a long time up here in the Alps- sorry! It's now leaving the snowy slopes for Greece, where I suspect it's not exactly warm at this time of year either, even if it's not as cold as here. Thanks so much for making this available, and all the best to everyone for a wonderful, healthy, happy and peaceful 2013!! 


Journal Entry 21 by okyrhoe at Athens - Αθήνα, Attica Greece on Friday, January 25, 2013

This book has not been rated.

Arrived in chilly Athens.
Thanks VictoriaWagtail for including me in the ring - and for the explanatory letter & music CD's!!
Thanks penelopewanders for posting the book to me - and for the card with your thoughtful words!!

Happy New Year everyone! 


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