An interesting look at how other cultures function (or fail to) within our American cultural system. Sometimes funny, often ironic, and worth a read.
This book is a fantastic character study, as well as a study of how communities form and operate, and a window into the lives of Algerian refugees. Both enjoyable and thought-provoking, therefore a perfect book.
A good read. A bit disturbing.
A powerful novel and intimate portrayal of a group of young Arab Muslims living in the United States and the story one man's journey into and out of, violence.
Aziz Arkoun is a twenty-four year old stowaway. Frozen, hungry, his perceptions jammed by a language he can't understand or speak, after 52 days in the hold of a tanker from Algeria, he jumps into the icy water of Boston harbor and swims to shore. Seemingly rescued by Algerians, he instead finds himself in a world of disillusionment, duplicity, and stolen identities, living a raw comedy of daily survival not unlike what he fled back home.
The story moves from East Boston and Brooklyn to the North African army camp. The characters recite their memories of: burying a murdered girl in the Sahara, reading medieval Persian poetry on a bus, passing for Mexican, shoplifteing Persace for clubbing, succumbing to sex in a public library, impersonating a double agent. As Aziz begins to suspect that he and his friends are under surveillance, the story dissolves into an urgent and mesmerizing complexity. This is the novel that raises questions that we are just now beginning to ask --> Who are the terrorists? Can we recognize them? How do they live?
A very interesting story that demonstrates how hard it is to make it as a new American immigrant. I still felt like i wanted to know more about the characters' backgrounds, but maybe that is how the author wanted it - to leave us guessing. Looking forward to reading more books by the author.