In the Country of Men

Matar, Hisham

Book - 2008
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
In the Country of Men
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In the Country of Men captures life in Libya in the wake of Muammar al-Qaddafi's revolution. Through the eyes of a nine-year-old boy named Suleiman, we watch a family struggle for survival in a climate of deadly political suspicion. Against a backdrop of innocent childhood rituals--playing games with his best friends, learning his country's history on visits to the ruins surrounding Tripoli--Suleiman is also awakened to dangers he cannot comprehend. When his father is brutally interrogated and his best friend's father disappears, Suleiman arrives at a crossroads that will shatter his understanding of home and homeland.--From publisher description.

Publisher: New York : Dial Press Trade Paperbacks, 2008, c2006
Edition: Dial Press Trade pbk. ed
ISBN: 0385340435
9780385340434
Branch Call Number: FICTION MATAR 2008
Characteristics: 264 p. ;,21 cm

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From Library Staff

In the Country of Men captures life in Libya in the wake of Muammar al-Qaddafi's revolution. Through the eyes of a nine-year-old boy named Suleiman, we watch a family struggle for survival in a climate of deadly political suspicion. Against a backdrop of innocent childhood rituals--playing games ... Read More »

In 1979 Libya, nine-year-old Suleiman endures his mother's increasingly disturbing bedside stories full of old family bitterness. With his father away on business, Suleiman is soon caught up in a world he cannot hope to understand in this novel that offers a stunning depiction of a child confront... Read More »


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Jan 22, 2015
  • WVMLStaffPicks rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

1979, in Tipoli, nine year old Suleiman witnesses increasing unrest amongst his family and friends. Slowly he slides into the banality of evil that is possessing them; he betrays his best friend, he lies to his mother, he lashes out at his father. But in the blinding glare of Libya's Revolutionary Committee he feels that he is just doing his duty as a 'man'.

Feb 13, 2014
  • Libannia rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

I read that this was "the Libyan Kite Runner", in the sense of being told through the eyes of a young boy with the back drop that of a country in turmoil. Lyrical language and sense of foreboding throughout.

Jun 14, 2012
  • uncommonreader rated this: 1.5 stars out of 5.

The novel foreshadows Matar's later book, "Anatomy of a Disappearance". Set in Lybia, the father disappears in this novel as well.

Apr 13, 2011
  • CorinneSaad rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

An excellent novel to help you understand what's happening in Libya today - although not for the faint of heart. Matar exposes the weaknesses in all his characters. His language is also quite beautiful.

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