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De Niro's Game

by Rawi Hage

East meets West in this action packed story of two teenage friends getting by in war-torn Beirut. Short sharp sentences combine with longer poetic flourishes to create an energetic debut which I couldn't put down.

Extract

George was still asleep. His gun was on the table, and the cash was crushed under its weight. No wind will ever move it, I thought. When I walked out, the city was calm. The streets were laden with morning dust and parked cars, and everything was closed except the early baker, Saffy. I bought a man'oushe from the baker and ate it. Taxis were not hustling yet, stores had not rolled up their metal doors, women were not boiling their coffee, vegetables were not loaded onto pushing carts, the horses were not running and the gamblers were not betting, fighters were not cleaning their guns. Everyone was asleep. Beirut, the city, was safe for now.

Parallels

Paradise Now - the film
The Last Friend by Tahar Ben Jalloun
 

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