The Magnificent Conman of Cairo: A Novel
Khaled, the spoiled idle son of a pasha, meets Malim, carpenters apprentice and son of a scoundrel, when he comes to fix a broken window. In the course of his work, Malim stumbles across a stash of money and dutifully hands it in. Khaled cooks up an overly elaborate plot to see that his dastardly father pays Malim his due, but the plot backfires and Malim is thrown in jail. Khaleds guilt over Malims misfortune, made worse by his ridiculous attempts to defend him, result in a decisive moment: he breaks ties with his cruel and tyrannical father, seeking to leave behind the upper-class lifestyle he finds so suffocating. They meet again years later, when Malim has been released from prison and given up on earning an honest living. Khaled gets caught up in Malims latest scam and is drawn into joining his commune of eccentrics and failed artists living in a derelict Mamluk citadel. With a sharp satirical voice Adel Kamals masterful novel is filled with compelling drama, vivid characters, and subtle humor.
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