As evidence mounts that his wife, Sihem, was responsible for the catastrophic bombing, Dr. Jaafari must face the inescapable realization that the beautiful, intelligent, thoroughly modern woman he loved had a secret life that was far removed from the comfortable, assimilated existence they shared.
©2006 Yasmina Khadra; (P)2006 Blackstone Audiobooks
"Powerful and engrossing." (Booklist)
"The Attack, Yasmina Khadra's best book, is an urgent, must-read." (Paris Match)
"Moving....[Khadra] nicely captures his hero's turmoil in trying to come to terms with the endless violence." (Publishers Weekly)
"The Attack is a mournful detonation at the end of this summer. To read it is to undermine your tranquility, and you can't tell whether the shiver that goes through you at the end is a sign of anguish or relief." (Le Figaro)
"Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them." --Lemony Snicket
I'm not sure what made me pick up The Attack, but I'm so glad I listened to it. The story - of a man who finds out the hard way that his wife was leading a double life - is moving and thought-provoking. Rudnicki has always been an Audible favorite, and here he gives the character of Dr. Amin Jaafari the weight he deserves, without being overbearing. This performance is complex, emotional, and highly recommended.
Knowledge is knowing the way. Wisdom is looking for an alternative, more interesting road to get there. Audiobooks are that road.
I knew this book would not be a walk in the park. It deals with very serious and emotional issues, that will probably not go away in our lifetime. It really addresses the top layer of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. The top layer being the end result of all the history of the region and political desicions made through out time. The book does not get into how and why the region ended up in the termoil it is experiencing, but what the end result is and how it affects real people trying to live real lives. It shows the snowball effects of how an action causes a reaction and the never ending cycle. It was nice to read a book on this topic that was fiction. Most books that deal with this topic are non-fiction and biased. Khadra managed to touch on the human tragedy on both sides. I agree with all the previous reviewers. Very thought provoking. I felt helpless and tired when it was all over.
It was a really good story. A number of islamic novelists have come out with some very good novels and emotionally provoking stories recently. This novel isn't as long as the Kite Runner for instance, and with the exception of the main character, the novel's brevity prohibits the listener from becoming as emotionally attached to the characters in the story as one would like to be; the supporting characters are sort of brushed against in this book but not experienced, this was the one drawback to the novel, whereas in the Kite Runner I sort of came to endear or hate all of the supporting characters as intrinsically as the narrator/main character. However, this novel does a good job with the underlying philosophical aspects of islamists' jihads and the effects that the wars have on the outliers in a divided community. The story also comprehensively delves into the emotions behind the Palestinian struggle in Isreal and the convuluted rationale of Palestinian Mujahadeen, which is both ridiculous and understandable at the same time. As a philosophical uptake on civil war and a conflict most people are only familiar with through news footage, this story is a good experience.
Yasmina Khadra unfolds a completely believable story here, because the circumstances are so firmly rooted in the daily realities of life in a divided land. It's easy in the West to see Palestinians only through the stereotypes of Hezbollah and Fatah, but Khadra's Dr. Jaafari is just a man trying to live a decent life and do some good in the world. He transcends his heritage, but ultimately cannot escape it.
The supremely nuanced story suffers a bit from Stefan Rudnicki's narration, which is somewhat heavy-handed.
I was intrigued by this title because I hoped that by listening I might begin to understand what would motivate someone to strap on a web of explosives, walk into a crowed restaurant, and press the button. That seems to be the basic question the main character, Dr. Jaafari, pursues, and hence the driving force of the novel. The author does a great job balancing the emotional torture inside Dr. Jaafari with the action of finding the truth. By the end, though, I'm not sure I've arrived at a place that's real or just where the author wanted to leave me. Worth the listen to make up your own mind.
Overall I really enjoyed this book. It does a good job of getting you into the heads of both sides of the Palestinian conflict, without coming across as advocating for either side. But be warned, it can be a little depressing in parts.
Relatively short listen and well worth the time. Really gave me better insight on the emotional turmoil in the Middle East from a personal perspective. Conflicted protagonist showed both sides of the issue.
Khadra has chosen an interesting subject: the reaction of an Israeli-Palestinian doctor to learning that his wife was a suicide bomber. Unfortunately, the novel is fairly predictable, the characters stereotypical and not particularly believable, and the writing (or perhaps it's the translation)--well, it's rather overwritten. I wanted to like this book and wanted to feel that I was coming to some important point or understanding from the experience of reading it, but (like Amin) I guess I never really got it, aside from some rather florid and generic statements about nationalism and humiliation.
I loved this book and listened to it in just a few days since I have a very long commute. The story is very interesting, thought provoking, and heartbreaking. For the most part, the translation was very good but there were a few times that I worried that I had missed a chapter (this was in the beginning) because of the choppy narrative.
I will say, however, that I wish I had read the book. I had a tough time getting over the narrator's incredibly flat and monotone reading. To me, he sounded like a male version of Siri - devoid of any emotion and affect. It was dreadful and had the book not have been so interesting I don't think I would have finished it.
Ironically, the male characters were more understandable,sympathetic than the females...since the author is a woman. She had the opportunity to get inside the motivations behind apparent insanity, but failed to fully explain. I want more information about all the characters than was available here.
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