The Men Who Swallowed the Sun: A Novel
Hamdi Abu Golayyel
This gritty tale of two¬†men‚Äôs¬†ill-conceived quest for a better life via the deserts of the Middle East¬†and¬†the cities of Europe is pure storytelling
Two Bedouin men from Egypt‚Äôs Western Desert seek to escape poverty through different routes. One‚Äîthe intellectual, terminally self-doubting, and avowedly autobiographical Hamdi‚Äîgets no further than southern Libya‚Äôs fly-blown oasis of Sabha, while his cousin‚Äîthe dashing, irrepressible Phantom Raider‚Äîmakes it to the fleshpots of Milan.
The backdrop of this darkly comic and unsentimental story of illegal immigration is a brutal Europe and Muammar Gaddafi‚Äôs rickety, rhetoric-propped Great State of the Masses, where ‚Äúthe Leader‚Äù fantasizes of welding Libyan and Egyptian Bedouin into a new self-serving political force, the Saad-Shin.
Compelling and visceral, with a seductive, muscular irony,¬†The Men Who Swallowed the Sun¬†is an unforgettable novel of two men and their fellow migrants and the extreme marginalization that drives them.