corner corner Karnak Cafe


Karnak Cafe
by Naguib Mahfouz | Literature & Fiction
Registered by wingSqueakyChuwing of Rockville, Maryland USA on 7/2/2010
Average 6 star rating by BookCrossing Members 

status (set by SqueakyChu): to be read

2 journalers for this copy...

Journal Entry 1 by wingSqueakyChuwing from Rockville, Maryland USA on Friday, July 02, 2010

This book has not been rated.

The book was selected at The Book Thing of Baltimore, a wonderful place! 

Journal Entry 2 by wingSqueakyChuwing at Tis Corner Cafe in Silver Spring, Maryland USA on Friday, July 16, 2010

This book has not been rated.

Released 7 yrs ago (7/17/2010 UTC) at Tis Corner Cafe in Silver Spring, Maryland USA


This book is being released at Tis Corner Cafe in Silver Spring, Maryland, during a BC in DC (BookCrossing) Meet-Up.

Dear Reader:
Welcome to BookCrossing! Thank you for accepting this travelling book. Now that you have it, please make a journal entry (may be done anonymously) . Later, it would be fun if you would make another journal entry telling what you thought of the book. Should you want to join BookCrossing (free) at any time, I'd appreciate if you would name me, SqueakyChu, as your referring person. Feel free to keep this book or pass it along for others to read. 

Journal Entry 3 by wingauthorauthorwing at Alexandria, Virginia USA on Sunday, July 18, 2010

This book has not been rated.

I found this one at today's BC meetup in Silver Spring, MD. 

Journal Entry 4 by wingauthorauthorwing at Silver Spring, Maryland USA on Wednesday, July 18, 2012

6 out of 10

Interesting little book, in a lot of ways, but I just finished reading it and haven't decided yet how much I actually liked it. The entire plot consists of people in a cafe discussing politics and relating their experiences. We witness none of the dramatic events; we only hear about them through the conversations of the regulars who gather at the Karnak Cafe. This gives the book an interesting feel; as readers we are, in effect, eavesdroppers listening in on the cafe patrons' discussions. But it also distances us from the action, which feels quite remote, since we learn of it only through hearsay.

This book made me wish I knew more about Egyptian history. I had only vague knowledge of Egyptian politics in the 1960s and 1970s, so I wasn't always sure of the larger context for the events described in the book.

The end is far-fetched. A man who walks into the cafe one day turns out to be the notorious jailer who tortured or ordered the torture of several of the cafe regulars when they were his prisoners. He even had one of them tortured to death. Now, friends of the murdered man accept the torturer into their midst and he becomes just another cafe patron, discussing with them the politics of the day and the future of Egypt. It's hard to believe that they would accept him that way -- especially those he also tortured, including the woman he ordered his minions to rape while he watched. I could not for a moment believe that they would so easily accept his presence there in their own sanctuary, and would continue to come back to shoot the breeze with the guy.

This odd little book is more about Egyptian politics and ideas than about the particular characters who inhabit it -- though some of those characters, especially the two women (the one who was imprisoned, and the former belly dancer who owns the cafe) are fascinating. I wish the author had structured the novel in a way that would have allowed him to reveal more of their characters.


Journal Entry 5 by wingauthorauthorwing at Birdie's Cafe - 233 E. Main St. in Westminster, Maryland USA on Wednesday, July 18, 2012

This book has not been rated.

Released 5 yrs ago (7/21/2012 UTC) at Birdie's Cafe - 233 E. Main St. in Westminster, Maryland USA


This one will be on the BC_DC book buffet table at Birdie's, or possibly left at the OBCZ shelf there afterward.


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I hope you enjoy the book. Happy reading! 

Journal Entry 6 by wingSqueakyChuwing at Rockville, Maryland USA on Saturday, July 21, 2012

This book has not been rated.

I might use this book for this theme read on LibraryThing:

I guess it depends on how fast I get to this book!



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