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In the Country of Men
by Hisham Matar | Literature & Fiction
Registered by wingAnnimanniwing of Espoo, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on 5/15/2008
Average 8 star rating by BookCrossing Members 

status (set by -tui-): travelling


This book is in the wild! This Book is Currently in the Wild!

6 journalers for this copy...

Journal Entry 1 by wingAnnimanniwing from Espoo, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Thursday, May 15, 2008

This book has not been rated.

"Nine-year-old Suleiman is just awakening to the wider world beyond the games on the hot pavement outside his home and beyond the loving embrace of his parents. He becomes the man of the house when his father goes away on business - but then he sees his father, standing in the market square in a pair of dark glasses. Suddenly the wider world becomes a frightening place where parents lie and questions go unanswered. In his father's worrying absence, Suleiman turns to his mother, who, under the cover of night, entrusts him with the secret story of her childhood. And, as lies and fears intensify, it feels as if the walls of Suleiman's home will break with the secrets held within it."

Set in Libya. 


Journal Entry 2 by wingAnnimanniwing at Espoo, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Thursday, December 02, 2010

This book has not been rated.

Beautiful, melancholic, sad.

This review from Publishers Weekly sums up my thoughts quite nicely:

"Shortlisted for the 2006 Man Booker Prize, Matar's debut novel tracks the effects of Libyan strongman Khadafy's 1969 September revolution on the el-Dawani family, as seen by nine-year-old Suleiman, who narrates as an adult.

Living in Tripoli 10 years after the revolution with his parents and spending lazy summer days with his best friend, Kareem, Suleiman has his world turned upside down when the secret police–like Revolutionary Committee puts the family in its sights—though Suleiman does not know it, his father has spoken against the regime and is a clandestine agitator—along with families in the neighborhood.

When Kareem's father is arrested as a traitor, Suleiman's own father appears to be next. The ensuing brutality resonates beyond the bloody events themselves to a brutalizing of heart and mind for all concerned. Matar renders it brilliantly, as well as zeroing in on the regime's reign of terror itself: mock trials, televised executions, neighbors informing on friends, persecution mania in those remaining.

By the end, Suleiman's father must either renounce the cause or die for it, and Suleiman faces the aftermath of conflicts (including one with Kareem) that have left no one untouched. Suleiman's bewilderment speaks volumes. Matar wrests beauty from searing dread and loss." 


Journal Entry 3 by wingAnnimanniwing at Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Tuesday, January 18, 2011

This book has not been rated.

Released 6 yrs ago (1/19/2011 UTC) at Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

On the way to klaradyn, who picked it from my All About Africa VBB. Happy travels - and happy reading! 


Journal Entry 4 by klaradyn at Cape Town, Western Cape South Africa on Thursday, February 03, 2011

This book has not been rated.

Arrived yesterday. Thanks for sending, Annimanni! I look forward to reading both books. 


Journal Entry 5 by klaradyn at Cape Town, Western Cape South Africa on Tuesday, August 16, 2011

This book has not been rated.

Interesting look at a society and an time in history about I know relatively little.  


Journal Entry 6 by klaradyn at Cape Town, Western Cape South Africa on Tuesday, August 16, 2011

This book has not been rated.

Released 6 yrs ago (8/16/2011 UTC) at Cape Town, Western Cape South Africa

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

On the way to Totje2, who won the book in my International RABCK a few months ago. Sorry for taking so long to read and send it! Hope you enjoy it! 


Journal Entry 7 by wingBoekentrolwing at Leeuwarden, Fryslân (Friesland) Netherlands on Monday, August 29, 2011

This book has not been rated.

Collected this book safely from my mailbox today. Royal Mail was supposed to store all mail for us during our holiday, but... for some reason they just delivered it while we were away.

Nevertheless: I look forward to read this book. It may take a while before I get to it, because I have some ringbooks to read first.

Thank you very much, klaradyn, for sending this book. No problem at all that it was a bit delayed! 


Journal Entry 8 by wingBoekentrolwing at Leeuwarden, Fryslân (Friesland) Netherlands on Thursday, April 25, 2013

This book has not been rated.

Started reading this book, for I've got the idea of sending it to New Zealand, to be released by KiwiinEngland at Niue in the South Pacific Ocean somewhere during this summer :-) 


Journal Entry 9 by wingBoekentrolwing at Leeuwarden, Fryslân (Friesland) Netherlands on Saturday, April 27, 2013

8 out of 10

A very impressive read.
This book has been sitting on my shelf for a while already and now I've read it, I'm not quite sure why. It may have been the combination of 'Africa' and view from child, I don't know.

What I do know is, that it was a great read. Emotional, oppressive, impressive, a very clear book about the way people live(d) in Libya at the end of the 70's, early 80's. Suspicion, fear, totalitarian regime. Reading as an adult, I got that from the beginning of the book. Having heared stories about East-Germany, the Soviet Union, visiting these countries just after the fall of the wall, reading this book made me feel like I was back in Eastern Europe / Russia again.

From the point of view of a child it is all very blurry. Parents should be trusted, but what if they keep secrets? (They need to, because if the child tells, their lives are at stake.) The child sees only that his mother's taking medicine when his father is on business trips. He has no clue why the telephone line is echoing, why there's suddenly a big portrait of Khadaffi on their wall.

The child is eventually sent abroad, to have a better life. But even that is in vain: when a few years later all comes together, things didn't turn out as bad as they had feared.

Does the book have a good ending or a bad ending? I'm not sure. I think it is somewhere in the middle. Some things turned out well (Suleiman studies well and has a job), other things not so well (his father dies, he's still alone, abroad).
Despite it is fiction, I still have the feeling that I read a book that could have been true. It was very impressive. 


Journal Entry 10 by wingBoekentrolwing at Leeuwarden, Fryslân (Friesland) Netherlands on Monday, April 29, 2013

This book has not been rated.

Released 4 yrs ago (4/29/2013 UTC) at Leeuwarden, Fryslân (Friesland) Netherlands

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

On its way to KiwiinEngland, for a release in the Pacific Ocean (!) some time this summer.
Thanks for the opportunity! Have a great holiday! 


Journal Entry 11 by kiwiinengland at Wellington City, Wellington Province New Zealand on Sunday, May 05, 2013

This book has not been rated.

Thanks for passing this book on to be so I can release it in July. I read this book beofre I went on holiday in Libya (about 8 weeks before the civil war broke out) and enjoyed it (the book and the holiday, not the war).

I may see if a fellow bookcrosser here wants to read it before I take it overseas.
 


Journal Entry 12 by kiwiinengland at Wellington City, Wellington Province New Zealand on Wednesday, May 08, 2013

This book has not been rated.

Released 4 yrs ago (5/9/2013 UTC) at Wellington City, Wellington Province New Zealand

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I am lending this book to Edwardstreet to read as part of their 666 challenge (to read 6 books, from 6 different countries, in 6 different continents). Then I shall get it back and put it in the suitcase for Niue. 


Journal Entry 13 by wingEdwardstreetwing at Wellington City, Wellington Province New Zealand on Thursday, May 09, 2013

This book has not been rated.

To be read for the 666 challenge and then given to KIE to release Niue in July 


Journal Entry 14 by wingEdwardstreetwing at Wellington City, Wellington Province New Zealand on Friday, May 17, 2013

This book has not been rated.

Released 4 yrs ago (5/18/2013 UTC) at Wellington City, Wellington Province New Zealand

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Back to KIE to release in Nuie- Helped me complete Africa in the 666 challenge 


Journal Entry 15 by kiwiinengland at Matavai Resort in Tamakautoga, Niue Niue on Friday, July 10, 2015

This book has not been rated.

Released 2 yrs ago (7/11/2015 UTC) at Matavai Resort in Tamakautoga, Niue Niue

WILD RELEASE NOTES:




If you aren't familiar with Bookcrossing, take a few minutes to check out this very cool site. Bookcrossers LOVE books, and more than anything, they love to read books and then set them free for other people to find and enjoy. I would love it if you would leave a journal entry -- you can say where you found the book or how you liked it when you read it. 


Journal Entry 16 by -tui- at Tamakautoga, Niue Niue on Wednesday, August 19, 2015

This book has not been rated.

This is a story of a young man growing up inL ibia, with an alcoholic mother and an absentee father,who brings family stability on his return, but ultimately allows his son to leave the country for a safe adolescence and adulthood. the problems are not uncommon, the solutions available only to the financially able. An interesting outline of life under pressure, power and control 


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