The author of the highly acclaimed The Yacoubian Building returns with a story of love, sex, friendship, hatred, and ambition set in Chicago, with a cast of. The novelist Alaa Al Aswany places his emigré characters in post-9/11 Chicago. Review: Chicago by Alaa Al Aswany. Sukhdev Sandhu. AM BST 07 Sep Sukhdev Sandhu sinks into a gripping, steamy and occasionally soapy novel.

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Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1. The Automobile Club of Egypt. The House of the Spirits: What other items do customers buy after viewing this item? The American University in Cai Language: A Novel on your Kindle in under a minute. Don’t have a Kindle? Try the Kindle edition and experience these great reading features: Is this feature helpful? Thank you for your feedback. Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review.

Showing of 51 reviews. Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. A wonderful, very, very readable and extremely well written and well organized history of America and capitalism. It is divided into many sections, each one a fascinating read. The writing is interesting and fast moving. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. You have to be Egyotain to really understand the nuances of every word, move, thought, gesture.

Aswany really excels in his novels. He is both a great patriot and a great author.


As the end gets nearer it takes a dive; becomes very predictable, gets almost boring. One person found this helpful.

Having read the Yacoubian Building, I was interest in this new book and I think that it is good to read “Chicago”. I very liked how the crash and mix of the American and Egyptian cultures are depicted in the few stories making the net of the novel, with enlightening and emotional happenings showing the true nature of the human characters of the Histology Department.

Although some figures have funny and ilarious features and some anectodes are very sarcastic, above all there is compassion for the people and for their lifes on the bridge between America and Egypt.

This was a very nice read. The characters were vividly portrayed and I appreciate very much the focus on life abroad for this engaging group of Egyptians.

A literary triumph and tour de force. Chicago is a novel about Egyptian expatriates living in Chicago, mostly either attending medical school or working aswanu the medical professions. The writer is an Egyptian, and the novel is translated from Arabic. Obviously, you cannot expect the English dialogue to be idiomatically correct.

Moreover, the writer doesn’t understand America at all, and gets it and his American characters completely wrong. This novel is intensely political and is constantly rehearsing the political oppression in Egypt. One of the characters works for Egyptian intelligence, essentially spying on Aswanyy Ex-pats in the Chicago area. The theme of political repression is interesting in light of last year’s Arab Spring and the ouster of Hosni Mubarak.

If Mubarak allowed this intensely critical novel to be published in Egypt, it doesn’t surprise me that he lost his grip on power. The picture of Islamic culture that this book paints is perhaps, from an American perspective, the most interesting aspect of the book. It isn’t a pretty picture; were this book written by an American, charges of racism and bigotry would be flying at the author. The men are usually sex-obsessed, dishonest and brutal, and the women are often engaged in unrealistic fantasy.


In one telling scene a man has returned a suit he wore to his wedding, figuring he’ll never wear it again, so why pay for it. There is also a well known principle in jurisprudence that says ‘necessity makes the forbidden permissible.

I can provide proof of that from jurisprudence. Again, the novel is interesting chhicago its frank and guileless insights into Muslim culture, but it is not a very good novel.

Between two worlds

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