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Ports Of Call Paperback – 3 May 2001


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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; New e. edition (3 May 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 186046890X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1860468902
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.4 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 135,596 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

A graceful story of love across an insuperable gulf and a powerful allegory for the conflict that has beset the Middle East for the last half century. To call your son Ossyane is like calling him Rebellion. For Ossyane's father it is a gesture of protest by an excited Ottoman prince, for Ossyane himself it is a burdensome responsibility. At eighteen he leaves Beirut to study in Montpellier, far away from his father's revolutionary aspirations for him. But it is 1938, and when war breaks out in Europe, Ossyane is drawn into the Resistance. His return to Beirut is a rebel hero's welcome after all, and a joyful reunion with Clara, whom he first met in France. But if one war has brought the Jewish-Muslim couple together, another, much closer to home, is destined to separate Ossyane from the people and the world that he loves.

Book Description

A love story set against the backdrop of war that deals with conflicts between father and son, past and present, as well as the political tensions of twentieth century Europe.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 17 Oct 2000
Format: Hardcover
"If I wanted to draw a faithful caricature" says Ossyane, the hero of this novel, of his beloved father, "I'd say that he dreamed of a world inhabited by generous and courteous men, impeccably dressed, bowing low to the ladies, brushing aside all differences of race, tongue and faith, and as passionate as children about photography, aviation, wireless telegraphy and the cinema." Ossyane is pacing his hotel room in Paris, telling the story of his life and family. It begins with the century in Istanbul, then moves with his father to Beirut and on to Ossyane's student days in France, where he falls in with the resistance and in love with Clara, a German Jew in hiding. After the war the young couple return to the holy land, where the Arab-Israeli conflict explodes their newfound tranquility. Maalouf is a highly learned journalist, historian and novelist, author of the celebrated "The Crusade through Arab Eyes" and "Rock of Tanios," which won the 1993 Prix Goncourt. Like Ossyane's father he is a passionate liberal who despairs at man's brutality and intolerance. He is also a wonderful, graceful storyteller, who keeps the politics backstage and the people in the limelight. This excellent novel is full of elegant meditations on Europe and the Orient, fathers and sons, ideologies and independence. But it is above all a love story and a plea of tolerance. It appeared in French in 1996, and is translated, with his usual delicacy, by that other great cosmopolitan, Alberto Manguel.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Noor Palijo on 27 Jan 2010
Format: Paperback
This is the third novel of Amin Maalouf which I have completed, first was Samarkand and second Leo the African , I cannot really rank them may be because there is no comparison and all of them are written in different historical perspectives.
Ports of call is a love story of Ossyane, an ottoman muslim by blood, born in Beirut and Clara a jew both of them meet in France in second world war days at a comrades home and this single meeting becomes a cornerstone for their marriage which takes place much later, they live together for a very brief period and then live for decades with new drawn boundaries between them, to meet again only. I read this novel continuously to complete it but then at last ten pages I left it for one more day because I did not want to finish this beautiful story so quickly.
It is one more very well written novel by Amin Maalouf.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By EssJay on 24 May 2000
Format: Paperback
A timely novel taking the reader into the pre state mosaic of peoples in the middle east.
A sort of Ottoman Levant War and Peace bringing in the end of the Turkish Empire, Lebanon and mandatory Palestine.
A fascinating and wonderful book.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By pooky35@yahoo.com on 19 Sep 2000
Format: Paperback
by writing this book maalouf cried out his heart maybe the part of his own life,dreams and hopes... this book is about a love story,about a man who wants to follow his dreams but with a twist of fate his life suddenly change and become more exciting...this book is written with the soul and the heart,you can feel all the emotions when you read the book,once you'll start it,you can't wait to finish it,maybe you'll read again and again,thanks maalouf for writing a book like that...
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