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Yalo: A Novel #2020

Yalo A Novel Award winning author Elias Khoury s latest novel is a searing look at truth and memory love and trancendence told through the contradictory confessions of a young Lebanese prisonerDuring the Lebanes

  • Title: Yalo: A Novel
  • Author: Elias Khoury
  • ISBN: 9780312428686
  • Page: 405
  • Format: Paperback
  • Yalo: A Novel By Elias Khoury, Award winning author Elias Khoury s latest novel is a searing look at truth and memory, love and trancendence, told through the contradictory confessions of a young Lebanese prisonerDuring the Lebanese civil war in the 1980s, a young man is arrested and charged with rape Repeatedly interrogated and tortured, Yalo is forced like Scheherazade to tell a different story eAward winning author Elias Khoury s latest novel is a searing look at truth and memory, love and trancendence, told through the contradictory confessions of a young Lebanese prisonerDuring the Lebanese civil war in the 1980s, a young man is arrested and charged with rape Repeatedly interrogated and tortured, Yalo is forced like Scheherazade to tell a different story each day to stay alive As he battles to understand his past and the forces that have shaped him, he comes to discover his own voice and the true Yalo begins to emerge This is a searing look at truth and memory, love and transcendence, from one of our most important Arab novelists.

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      Posted by:Elias Khoury
      Published :2019-05-26T08:53:31+00:00

    1 thought on “Yalo: A Novel

    1. Finishing this book, in which torture plays a prominent role, at the same time as the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on the use of torture by the CIA seemed serendipitous at least to the extent of compelling me to write a review It goes without saying that if you are at all squeamish, if depictions of a cat clawing apart a man s genitals or a broken bottle being shoved up said man s rectum make your stomach churn, then you might prefer to read something else Still, those sho [...]

    2. I cannot believe I am still reading this book Nearly a month later.It churns and churns, repeating itself endlessly, maybe adding a little detail with each telling.And the torture, I hate reading about torture maybe I have my head in the sand but it distresses me that people can be so cruel to each other.Mind you, the main character isn t much better, he may be a product of the Lebanese Civil War, but he s a nasty piece of work too a rapist who doesn t even realise that what he s doing is rape. [...]

    3. This is beautifully written poetic and nuanced, I can t help but be impressed by the style and the obvious skill of the translator I am often wooed by a book on the strength of the language alone Not here though I found the story to be tedious and it left me with very little sense of the protagonist or other characters I m sure this is intentional, as it plays to the overt theme of versions of truth and to the deep chaos that defines Yalo But it didn t work for me.I was also hoping to get a full [...]

    4. An edited version of this article was first published as Book Review Yalo by Elias Khoury on Blogcritics.A serial rapist meets a torturing interrogator in wartime Lebanon Yet he soon realizes that the ultimate source of pain is his own head, which can cause a much greater suffering than the devices that his prisoners used to inflict pain on him This is a novel that is heavy on passion, blood, and violence Definitely not for the squeamish reader.At the outset, we are introduced to Daniel, but fo [...]

    5. This book is written in shadows pierced by a flashlight beam, dancing with illuminated colors The text clogs your nostrils with the stench of pine sap, and incense, and blood and excrement The words coat your tongue with the tastes of cuttlefish ink and sanctified wine clotted with blood and fills your throat until you choke.This book is written in shadows pierced by a flashlight beam, but the flashlight is taken away and the hood is draped over your head and tightened around your neck It stradd [...]

    6. The first part of this book was a bit annoying Here is our main character Yalo being interrogated, and he tells the interrogator what he is thinking Then he tells us that he doesn t in fact tell the interrogator what he was thinking Then he tells us I said those things, and then says I didn t actually say those things This on again off again was starting to get on my nerves.Moreover, a big chunk of the book is sexual in all kinds of ways Yalo is aroused by the lovers who park their cars next to [...]

    7. Translated from the Arabic by Peter TherouxSometimes following an author s path from one book to another pays off I liked it better than Gate of the Sun and I will seek out of his work after this.The word discursive is the perfect way to summarize this book in one word With a supernatural ability Khoury wends you through a several dramatic almost tragic event that leaves the narrator in captivity with guards who want him to tell one story Yalo is accused of stalking a woman and hurting her At f [...]

    8. Daniel, nicknamed Yalo, is accused of rape, robbery and just about anything else you can think of He is tortured until confession and is then ordered to write down his life story He revisits several moments of his life, dealing with subjects such love, adultery, pedophilia, rape, treason, abandonment, heritage and just about anything else you can think of It is dark, depressing, sad, and a total waste of time The characters in the book are simplistic, excpet for Yalo himself, who is so complex t [...]

    9. Yalo tells the story of a young man who has been arrested for a series of criminal activities, including rape, robbery and illegal smuggling While under guard and the threat of torture , Yalo is ordered to write a confession detailing his criminal activity and instead makes several attempts to write the story of his life.This stands as an absolutely extraordinary book and Yalo is an incredible character His inability to adequately recall and write the story of his life serves as an excellent met [...]

    10. Reading this book is like trying to get out of a maze, you get a bit further each time, but keep ending up back at the beginning The story mostly takes place from Yalo Daniel s prison cell and the telling of his life story while being interrogated or writing it down We got different version of the story with details, although sometimes contradictory statements I was hoping reading this would give some feeling for the history and culture of Lebanon Beirut, but the story was too focused and did n [...]

    11. This was a very difficult book to read It was difficult on a few levels The text is translated to Engish, for one The topic is difficult as it involves a prisoner who is tortured because he may have raped someone.Overall, though it was difficult to put down and I read it in one sitting I should say, that I read it straight through because the language is so intelligent and thoughtful While the subject isn t easy to read, I enjoyed the complexity of the writing, and by the style.

    12. What a painful and extremely emotional read And in a good way It s about war, PTSD and confusion Yalo does not know who he is any He s in pain He does not understand what wrong he had done The story leaves the reader in kind of disdain for the protagonist, however with a kind of compassion also A great and very demanding book.

    13. Reading this book almost felt like some mild variant of the torture endured by the protagonist throughout its pages It took me several months to finish it because I would lose interest in the story, which is so disjointed and neurotic that trying to follow it is a pain Eventually I decided to make a concerted effort and bring Yalo across the finish line which I did, but am still unable to express what it is about in any coherent description The bad translation certainly did not help matters, as [...]

    14. Ich hatte einen Roman als Lekt re f r einen Kurs gelesen Da das Buch f r mich keinen eigenen Sog entwickelt hatte, war das Lesen von Pflicht gepr gt Ohne den Kurs h tte ich das Buch vielleicht sogar nach der H lfte abgebrochen, so hatte ich es sogar noch ein zweites Mal, mit Stift und Papier in der Hand und analytischem Fokus, gelesen Kleine inhaltliche Ungereimtheiten waren dem Lesefluss nicht besonders zutr glich, lie en mich zur ckbl ttern, nachlesen und Textstellen vergleichen Aber nicht sch [...]

    15. This volume made me wish I could read Arabic, so that I could have read it in its original form rather than in translation Alas, I am nowhere near being able to decipher Arabic, so I read this in English.The entire book is a torturous interrogation in a Lebanese prison, during which Yalo Daniel recalls the circumstances of his life that lead to his detention The third person narration eventually devolving into a combination of first and third person, through Yalo s repeated written confessions i [...]

    16. In mid 2012 I read and reviewed the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award shortlisted Limassol by Yishai Sarid translated from the Hebrew , the story of an Israeli secret service agent who is a hard nosed violent interrogator who lacks emotion and wants to see the streets cleared of suicide bombers Although not lingering in my mind for too long, it was one of my first exposures to the literature of that region, upon reflection I should have looked at Elias Khoury instead not because I want to specifically [...]

    17. A story from Beirut s civil war, or less on going since the 1980 s The book focuses on one young man who represents the diversity of the country he s of Arab ancestry but a Maronite Christian whose grandfather was a Kurd He fights in one of the wars, migrates to Paris and then returns and gets a job as a night watchman over a large estate The estate includes a lover s lane where he robs men and rapes women who visit the isolated area Eventually arrested and tortured, he is forced to repeatedly [...]

    18. A heartbreaking book and sometimes hypnotic in beauty With both gentle and cruel images, Khoury wrote a lamentation for the generation that was corrupted and lost its children, and for the children themselves HaaretzI wanted to read this because I ve never read a book translated from Arabic I ve never read a writing style quite like Khoury this might have to do with the translation but the sentences, and the thoughts bounce back and forth, repeating in odd structures that I didn t dislike, but t [...]

    19. This is another book that is about torture what is my problem lately It is told through the fractured narrative of Daniel Yalo , and the story changes constantly as he goes to and from his torture sessions I am not convinced of what the truth is which I m sure is the point Perhaps by the end the truth will emerge, but I am so far left with the impression of a life shattered by violence.And it ends heartbreakingly with his torture having all been for naught for fun , as it were The written pages [...]

    20. The other members of my book club found this a difficult book to get through, but I don t really agree with that Whilst the subject matter may not be comfortable for many people, rape and torture amongst other things, these are not described in any graphic detail, but rather are mentioned in the story and the rest is left to your imagination The story is non linear and hops back and forth in time, this can be somewhat confusing, but I think it works well to reinforce the sense that Yalo s mind s [...]

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