Being Abbas el Abd: A Modern Arabic Novel

Being Abbas el Abd: A Modern Arabic Novel

AUC Press

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Ahmed Alaidy

ÒThe millennial generationÕs most celebrated literary achievement.ÓÑAl-Ahram Weekly

ÒThe first glimmer of hope for a true fictional renaissanceÑan instantly rewarding read embraced by an unprecedented range of literary figuresÓÑThe Daily Star

What is madness?Ó asks the narrator of Ahmed AlaidyÕs jittery, funny, and angry novel. Assuring readers that they are about to find out, the narrator takes us on a journey through the insanity of present-day CairoÑin and out of minibuses, malls, and crash pads, navigating the cityÕs pinball machine of social life with tolerable efficiency.
But lurking under the rocks in his grouchy, chain-smoking, pharmaceutically-oriented, twenty-something life are characters like his elusive psychiatrist uncle with a disturbing interest in phobias. And then thereÕs Abbas, the narratorÕs best friend who surfaces at critical moments to drive our hero into uncontrollably multiplying difficulties. For instance, thereÕs the ticklish situation with the simultaneous blind-dates Abbas has set up for him on different levels of a coffee-shop in a Cairo mall with two girls both called Hind. With friends like Abbas, what paranoiac needs enemies?

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