The Caliph's House: A Year in Casablanca

by Tahir Shah | Biographies & Memoirs |
ISBN: 0553383108 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wing6of8wing of Silver Spring, Maryland USA on 3/5/2017
Buy from one of these Booksellers: | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT |
This book is in the wild! This Book is Currently in the Wild!
4 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wing6of8wing from Silver Spring, Maryland USA on Sunday, March 05, 2017
A book that I recently acquired for the purposes of giving it away at an upcoming book festival with my friends in BCinDC.

Journal Entry 2 by wing6of8wing at Silver Spring, Maryland USA on Tuesday, March 07, 2017
I liked this book, although I don't think I liked the life the author chose to live. While I admire his determination to give his children a different life and to give life to an old home in Casablanca, I don't know that I would have put up with a lot of the things that happened. I was more than a little annoyed by the lack of discussion of the author's wife, because he spent a lot of time exploring the locations around Morocco and she was at home in a wreck of a house without running hot water, with squabbling servants who didn't do much work and didn't speak her language, and two small children. But the author sure did mention the ways his life was inconvenienced a lot. How she didn't strangle him I do NOT understand. I was glad when she finally spoke up for herself.
The wheeling and dealing on the black market and the necessity of appeasing the Jinns would have driven me crazy. I could possibly handle one or the other, but not both. And I would have liked to see photos, before and afters, or even just afters, to appreciate the end result that he went to such lengths to achieve. The story was interesting and well-written, but there were other stories left untold (like the wife's) which I would have probably enjoyed more.
I have read another book by this author that involved fixing up a house and at the end of this book he talks about fixing up another one (presumably the basis of the book I read next), but I don't have a strong sense of what happened to the main players from this book, like Kamal and the Countess and even the family members. I do remember again the importance of delayed meetings in out-of-the-way coffee shops in achieving the end result, and the lack of photos in that book as well.

Journal Entry 3 by wing6of8wing at -- Bookbox, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- USA on Sunday, April 09, 2017

Released 3 yrs ago (4/9/2017 UTC) at -- Bookbox, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- USA


Adding this to the Travel Narrative book box.

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Journal Entry 4 by wingeponine38wing at Winchester, Massachusetts USA on Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Claiming from thegoaliegirl's Travel Narrative Bookbox. Thanks for sharing!

Edit 4/28/18: Just realized I never posted my review which I wrote offline but neglected to paste here.

This was an enjoyable read. It was fascinating to read about how much the belief in jinns can completely control people’s lives. They are a large presence in this narrative.
I’m always amazed at people who: 1) can afford to buy a house, no matter how run down, in a foreign country and 2) live with the long-term inconveniences during renovation and 3) despite some moments of discouragement, manage to stay primarily optimistic that it will all have been worth it. The author seems to have managed all the variables with good humor. I think that is the real key: an ability to see the humor in otherwise distressing situations.
It’s interesting to learn about other cultures and this book gave me a real sense of place. I did subsequently look up some of Shah’s videos online; nice to see the house and his children. But we see little of his wife, Rachana. And here I absolutely agree with 6of8: Rachana must be an extraordinary person to stay in the shadows and suffer (probably) in silence while her husband and kids are out and about. One can at least hope that perhaps she *chose* to not be a big presence in the book or videos, but I do have my doubts.

Journal Entry 5 by wingeponine38wing at Winchester, Massachusetts USA on Sunday, April 01, 2018

Released 2 yrs ago (3/29/2018 UTC) at Winchester, Massachusetts USA


Sent to the Bordeaux convention to fulfill a wish for a wonderful bookcrosser. I hope you enjoy it ! No worries if you have received another copy in the meantime or changed your mind. :-)

I do hope we meet again at a convention. Maybe Mainz next year?

Released for Keep Them Moving Challenge hosted by booklady331.

Journal Entry 6 by wingmeganhwing at Preston, Victoria Australia on Saturday, April 28, 2018
How lovely to receive this book from you Janice. I missed seeing you at this convention and hope we can meet in Mainz next year.

Journal Entry 7 by wingmeganhwing at Preston, Victoria Australia on Friday, June 15, 2018
I really enjoyed this book. The descriptive writing took me to Casablanca and I could visualise the scenes and smells. The author emphasised the unique character of Morocco with so much colour and superstition, and so unlike drab London from where he had enticed his wife to emigrate.
I could not imagine settling there in the huge rundown property and having to deal with three guardians of the property, the constant curse of the resident Jinns and their eventual exorcism as well as the unique way of doing business to get his house renovated.
I found it hard to believe only a year passed in the telling of the settling into The Caliph’s House and the house renovations. So many things happened and it seemed that so much money changed hands to create an amazing oasis right next to a shanty town and a gangster’s house.
A very entertaining and sometimes unbelievable account.
Thanks so much eponine38 (and 6of8) for sharing this book with me.

Journal Entry 8 by KKslibrary at Melbourne CBD, Victoria Australia on Sunday, July 22, 2018
Caught at meetup
Read this whilst in Kuala Lumper, Maylaysia at a Library conference.
Although the writing is very descriptive, and sensory, I did feel very frustrated with the author as he really only focused on his feelings and experiences. I was interested in hearing about his wife’s experience, and for him to share more about what experiences his children were exposed to. If I was his wife I would be so angry with him, having to live in a construction site for so long.

On table outside Registration area

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