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Publisher's Summary

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 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.

©2001 Rabih Alameddine (P)2014 Audible Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

As good a book as An Unnecssary Woman

If you could sum up I, The Divine in three words, what would they be?

I can't believe I waited more than a year to listen to I, the Divine, after listening to An Unnecessary Woman which was, in my opinion, informative and poignant and is now one of my favorite books, ever. Kudos to Alameddine and Marno.

What other book might you compare I, The Divine to and why?

Strangely enough, this books reminds me of Miriam Toews' All My Puny Sorrows. Both have very appealing protagonists whose every word seems honest.

Which scene was your favorite?

I liked them all.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No.

Any additional comments?

Don't miss this book. Don't miss An Unnecessary Woman. Don't miss Miriam Toews' All My Puny Sorrow.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent if you forgive pronunciation

I loved the book, and it works well in audio except for one aggravating thing: the voice actor mispronounced numerous Arabic names and words. I don’t know why, since she pronounced the French chapters well — as far as I can judge, anyway. Was she told to Anglicize the names? Was she unable or unwilling to pronounce them correctly? I don’t know, but it’s a huge disservice to this book and author. Imagine if she did the same to the French chapters, for example, and pronounced “croissant” by accenting the first syllable and saying “crescent,” and you get the picture.
Otherwise, her reading was very good, so it’s a shame that the producer or the voice actor couldn’t appreciate or even respect the Arabic language.