Sunday, April 04, 2004

Review of Tony Hanania's Unreal City

Reading Hanania's Unreal City is like trying to swim across a lake of molasses. It was a very slow read, and when I was done I had no idea why I even tried. I am not really sure what the book was about. There was a guy, who grew up in some underground world during the civil war in Lebanon, in Beirut and London. He spent much time hanging around strange people looking for some sort of redemption.

The novel is mostly told as a series of reminisces. There is no plot, and the writing is fairly mediocre. It is a lot of how it was back in the day sort of stuff. Nothing that give you a feeling for what it was like, or a sense of time, or what happened. Just a lot of fragments of past memories. We almost get to look at snippets of the narrator's memory, but not a story. The book kind of picks up at the end. By the time the story becomes coherent, it is over. One does not get a feel for the war, the life, or the people. I am not sure what I was supposed to get out of the book. It was so far the worst piece of fiction I have read about the civil war in Lebanon.

No comments: