The Hakawati

Rabih Alameddine

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The Hakawati

The Hakawati In Osama al Kharrat returns to Beirut after many years in America to stand vigil at his father s deathbed As the family gathers stories begin to unfold Osama s grandfather was a hakawati or st

  • Title: The Hakawati
  • Author: Rabih Alameddine
  • ISBN: 9781283995528
  • Page: 355
  • Format: ebook
  • In 2003, Osama al Kharrat returns to Beirut after many years in America to stand vigil at his father s deathbed As the family gathers, stories begin to unfold Osama s grandfather was a hakawati, or storyteller, and his bewitching tales are interwoven with classic stories of the Middle East Here are Abraham and Isaac Ishmael, father of the Arab tribes the beautiful FIn 2003, Osama al Kharrat returns to Beirut after many years in America to stand vigil at his father s deathbed As the family gathers, stories begin to unfold Osama s grandfather was a hakawati, or storyteller, and his bewitching tales are interwoven with classic stories of the Middle East Here are Abraham and Isaac Ishmael, father of the Arab tribes the beautiful Fatima Baybars, the slave prince who vanquished the Crusaders and a host of mischievous imps Through Osama, we also enter the world of the contemporary Lebanese men and women whose stories tell a larger, heartbreaking tale of seemingly endless war, conflicted identity, and survival With The Hakawati, Rabih Alameddine has given us an Arabian Nights for this century From the Trade Paperback edition.

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      Published :2019-01-13T20:44:16+00:00

    One thought on “The Hakawati

    1. Peggy on said:

      Did you ever read a book so good that you had an actual physical reaction to something you read? Perhaps you were startled into a gasp of surprise when the killer was revealed. Maybe you shed a tear of joy when the good guys finally won, or your heart pounded when things weren't going so well. Or maybe, just maybe, if the story was good enough you dropped all of your barriers and immersed yourself in the world on the page, and suddenly this was no longer a book that you were reading but a story [...]

    2. Saleh MoonWalker on said:

      Onvan : The Hakawati - Nevisande : Rabih Alameddine - ISBN : 385664761 - ISBN13 : 9780385664769 - Dar 528 Safhe - Saal e Chap : 2008

    3. Jonfaith on said:

      You can say that Lebanese has hundreds of lexemes for family relations. Family to the Lebanese is as snow to the Inuit.Most of us are familiar with the fabled conversion stories, on the night Mario Vargas Llosa earned his law degree he picked up Brothers Karamazov and was bewitched, 24 hours later, having read all night and the next day he completed the tome and discovered that he was destined to be a novelist. What about Marx reading Hegel for days on end? Samuel Delany relates how he left his [...]

    4. Ghi on said:

      I've said it before and I will say it again:"One thing I will admit however, is that this book suffers greatly from ADD. It is hard to get into it if you aren't a book lover. If the first sentence of "Listen. Allow me to be your God. Let me take you on a journey beyond imagining. Let me tell you a story" does not capture you, then you truly are a lost cause. In this book, you will feel joy, sorrow, fear, guilt, dread and regret in every page. You will laugh and cry at the same time. You will be [...]

    5. Sofia on said:

      Listen,let me tell you a story……….Imagine little wizened Rumpelstiltskin choosing pieces of straw which he then nimbly spins into gold. Threads within threads. This is what this story is like. Alameddine might not be wizened, I do not know, I have never met him. I have only met him through his stories and let me assure you he is a magical word weaver. Laying before me pieces of precious gold.Writing this and missing the book. I’ve spent more than a fortnight with it and I’m going to mi [...]

    6. jordan on said:

      Once in a very long while comes along a book so magical that one wishes it would never end. How perfect that Alameddine's The Hakawaiti is such a book? The title refers to the practice of a school of Middle Eastern story tellers who would entertain, often appearing nightly but drawing a story out over years, people coming back again and again to hear the next part of the tale. From the first line Alamaddine demonstrates himself to an heir to this great tradition, giving the reader a comfort that [...]

    7. Meagan on said:

      This is going to be a very difficult review to write, because I don't want to influence anyone unfairly through my review, or scare anyone off from reading it. Because here's the thing: I gave up. I didn't finish. But I think it's a very good and worthy book! Don't judge it based on me!Here's what happened:A few years ago I read several really glowing reviews of this book, and when I checked out plot summaries it seemed like a strong contender for something I would like. It has a magical, almost [...]

    8. Tony on said:

      It's not you, Rabih, it's me. Or, rather, I just tried this at the wrong season. There's as always the wonderful storytelling and the interweaving storylines suggest a larger purpose. I might have cancelled the golf match, turned off the baseball game, let the weeds grow in the garden, and ordered take-out, if this had been limited to the modern-day narrator. But when Fatima goes exploring, gets her hand ripped off and, whoosh, re-attaches it, I was weary that there'd soon be dragons. You're sti [...]

    9. Chrissie on said:

      I listened to 4 hours of 20 hours and 53 minutes.d then I gave up. Why?I was confused much of the time. I didn't always know who was speaking. I didn't know if I was listening to a "story"* or the present time thread about Osama al-Kharrat who was back in Lebanon because his father was dying. Or was this now a shift to Osama's youth? Also, I didn't know who was who. Aunts and uncles and cousins - I just couldn't keep them straight. The characters are not properly introduced. I was upset when ano [...]

    10. Hermien on said:

      The delightful story of Osama al-Kharrat colourful Lebanese family interspersed with Arabian tales. The family story flicks back and forth in time and there are stories within stories, but I didn't find it difficult to follow and it gave the book a beautiful richness.

    11. Melanie on said:

      One of the main themes of the book is identity and the search for a hybrid identity without a conflicted identity. The Hakawati alternates between a first-person account of his contemporary Lebanese family life and imaginative stories. Of these stories, one ongoing narrative is that of Baybars. It’s one of several Arabic oral epics, and his scenes from the epic of Baybars are great. They show the liveliness of the epic: fight scenes, love scenes, adventurous travels, double-crossing and disgui [...]

    12. Sanchia on said:

      I loved this book and could not put it down, which made for a very tricky week as I have a six-month-old who also didn’t want to be put down. It’s amazing how much reading you can get done jiggling on the spot with baby in a papoose. I believe The Hakawati will top my list for the year’s most inventive, witty, adventurous and sexiest reads. It’s pure genius.Hakawati is Arabic for storyteller, and the narrator of this tale is Osama al-Kharrat, a young Lebanese man who has returned to pres [...]

    13. Mary on said:

      A rare and enriching feastHave you ever read a book or heard a musical composition and had your faith in the superiority of mankind's intellect restored? Rabih Alameddine, a true hakawati, has delivered a work so splendidly rich and powerful, no other writing will match its caliber. Written with true Lebanese voice and smooth, precise imagery, The Hakawiti stands as my favorite book ever written.

    14. Nick on said:

      "The Hakawati" is an elegy for the Lebanon, multicultural and urbane, that was shattered by the civil war from 1975 through 1990, depicted largely through the story of one of the narrators' extended family. The title refers to a professional storyteller, which the family's grandfather was but is also a wink (of which there are many in this book), referring to the author, who twines three stories together in alternating fashion. There is the family, gathered at the hospital deathbed of the father [...]

    15. Lila on said:

      The Hakawati is a rich tapestry, both compelling and moving of family's history woven together with various tales and tales within tales. Alameddine lists his influences as A Thousand and One Nights,Ovid's Metamorphoses, The Old Testament, the Koran, Italo Calvino's Italian Folktales and many more.The main story is of a large extended Lebanese family descended from a "Hakawati", or storyteller. Osama, the main protagonist, returns to Lebanon from L.A. to be with his dying father. His grandfather [...]

    16. Emi Bevacqua on said:

      Wow this book was exhausting to follow, even after having just finished another Rabih Alameddine book immediately prior to picking up this one, and even though some of the story line seemed to overlap: a Lebanese family separated by feuds, geography, war, and stubbornness. In The Hakawati, the present-day-ish story of reunification at the hospital for a dying loved one is interwoven with fantastical Arabian Nights type stories (Hakawati translates as storyteller) throughout the ages and spanning [...]

    17. Natacha Pavlov on said:

      This reading surprised me in two ways; on one level by its beautiful writing and then by my eventual waning interest. The author is undeniably skilled, what with interweaving present-day narrative with Arabian Nights-like stories emanating the Hakawati style. There’s a plethora of references ranging from folk tales, the three monotheist faiths, and Greek mythology—complete with elements like mutilation, homosexuality, and incest—that reflect the author’s creativity. (Bonus points for the [...]

    18. Zillah on said:

      It wasn't one of those books that l couldn't put down and read in one sitting. I suppose u wonder how come l rated it 5* and shelved it as one of my favorites? Because it is one of the most amazing books l've ever held in my hands. Every time l picked it up again l was instantly dragged into this magical Alameddine's world composed of a million stories; about heros, demons, ordinary people, jealousy, love, forgiveness, dreams, disappointment, lust, bravery, fear, loss- each of those concerning a [...]

    19. Conor on said:

      I read this for a book club, and it started out pretty well. This book is comprised of three interlinking stories--one a seeming roman-a-clef whose main character is a thinly veiled cipher of the author, a wealthy and failed homosexual straddling the Middle East and America; a fantastical story of jinni and mystical oases; and a semi-historical account of some guy named Baybars.I got all English 101 on this book at first, thinking that there must have been a reason for the imbrication. Why have [...]

    20. Raquel on said:

      Yendo a la obra social de lectura he visto este libro que me leí hace ya un par de años, y que no me acordaba porque me lo prestó una amiga en su momento y luego se lo devolví. Al verlo me he llevado una alegría enorme porque en su momento lo disfruté mucho y por ello lo recomiendo.Es un libro lleno de historia, historia de amor, de aventura, de política, de héroes, de villanos una historia que te atrapa y te evade a un mundo en donde todo puede suceder.

    21. Katie on said:

      This book is unique and imaginative and for the first 25% or so I loved it. The way the author zips back and forth in and out of storylines - the narrator's and the tales - keeps you on your toes. And the way the tales feel like old tales in their cadence and subject matter but then have some decidedly non-biblical perspectives it's delightful. And you get to learn about Lebanon! But.The reimagined old tales sprawl out of all proportion to the main narrative, and and out of proportion to their a [...]

    22. Nino Frewat on said:

      I did not like this book; I hated it. Had this book not been selected by the boo club's members, I probably wouldn't have finished it; I probably wouldn't have crossed the 200th page; the following 300 pages add nothing new to the story. It sapped the joy of reading out of me. I could not find anything original or smart in this book; I am Lebanese, and I can understand that readers of other nationalities, who never checked a Lebanese blog before, might find what is written informative. But to me [...]

    23. Leota on said:

      When I was in high school, every summer I’d go to Indiana for a week and let me tell you: they have some schizophrenic weather! Rain. Then sun. Then clouds. Then sun. Then rain. (Make up your mind, sky!) So consequently, I hated the weather in Indiana, then loved it, then was indifferent to it, then hated and loved again. That pretty much sums up my experience reading The Hakawati as well.This novel (?) is made up of stories upon stories upon stories, and everyone is a storyteller – even cha [...]

    24. Lena♥Ribka on said:

      AudibleDNFI got an ebook's sample from and I enjoyed it. Now I know -the way this book is structured it is much better to read to it than to listen to it. Even if I liked the narrator at the beginning, I found very difficult to follow the plot. There is no pause or voice changing between the present and the "fables". I didn't know who was speaking at the moment and what it was about and how all these stories are connected. And with so many names - that are difficult for me to distinguish (I'm n [...]

    25. Clare on said:

      One of my top five favorite books. The perfect balance of all the things I like: self-discovery/reflection for a somewhat petty main character, mix of mythology and current events, magical realism, a satisfying quest (many satisfying quests), a distinctly playful style of prose. Excellent tension between history and identity. I love this book. I've reread it at least twice and it holds up every time.

    26. Kaj Peters on said:

      Ergens in een aftands ziekenhuis in Beiroet ligt een man te sterven, naast zijn sterfbed staat zijn zoon, een migrant die een nieuw leven heeft opgebouwd in de Verenigde Staten. Dit gegeven vormt de aanzet voor een ongebruikelijke familiegeschiedenis rond voorvaderen en nazaten van de Libanese familie al-Kharrat. Realistische herinneringen aan de Libanese Burgeroorlog, of aan andere emotionele momenten waarop de familieleden bij elkaar komen voor geboorte, huwelijk, feestceremonies en sterfte. D [...]

    27. Kelly Neal on said:

      I liked the stories inside of stories and the never-ending quality of the stories. I assumed that the stories were going to be interrelated by the end, so I just trusted that assumption and plowed along even when i could not make a direct connection. I liked that the connections were not obvious, if there at all. I am not sure there were direct connections. It took me most of the novel to realize (i am slow) that the Hakawati was the son. Duh, he was telling the story, the only first person narr [...]

    28. Yogi Travelling on said:

      In Lebanese "hakawati" is derived from the word "haki" which means "talk" or "conversation", suggesting that in Lebanese the mere act of talking is storytelling.We are all living our own story - I recently returned from some time in Lebanon only to enhance my own experience, my own storyIn this book the author Rabih Alameddine, does a wonderful job at moving between many different stories intertwining them as he sees fit. There is a main story that takes place during the Civil War in Lebanon wit [...]

    29. Irena on said:

      Vrlo lako najbolja knjiga koju sam čitala u zadnjih par mjeseci.Radnja teče kroz više isprepletenih priča; priča koje se rađaju jedna iz druge i čine neprekidan niz sve do kraja knjige, pa i dalje.Priče o (važnosti i kompleksnosti) obiteljskim vezama, te srednjoistočnim klasičnim ljubavima i avanturama.Ono što je meni najbitnije: jako lijepo, dobro pisanje. Pisac ne smara nijednom u svih 660 stranica knjige. Željela sam da mogu brže čitati, toliko sam htjela saznati what happens n [...]

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