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The Forgiven

The Forgiven [Kindle Edition]

Lawrence Osborne
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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Product Description


"Compelling.Engrossing.Gripping" (Sunday Times)

"Surprising and dark and excellent" (New York Times)

"A sinister story about guilt, atonement and restitution, fashioned from lean, prowling prose" (Herald)

"More than a stylish thriller. The central plot has parallels with The Bonfire of the Vanities, while the socialites could be straight out of The Great Gatsby" (Stylist)

"A gripping read" (Kirkus)

Book Description

East meets West with shattering conclusions in this stylish, taut and brilliant piece of cinematic storytelling from Lawrence Osborne

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 398 KB
  • Print Length: 290 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0307889033
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital (23 Aug 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #29,732 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Morocco through fiction. Perfectly captured! 5 April 2013
Where to start with this sumptuously descriptive novel dripping with lusciousness and foreboding? The background setting of Morocco is an intrinsic character that fluently comes to life through Lawrence Osborne's writing. Whether it is the landscape, the characters, the ambient temperature, the fossils or the people - both local Moroccans and Westerners whose lifestyles and values pit themselves against each other - everything is bathed in a terracotta hot red, set against the desert and mountains of the country. The food is richly described from the McVitie's crackers slathered with majoun (a mix of kif, dried fruits, nuts and sometimes fig jam) to the couscous "sweetened with sugar and lines of melted cinammon" to "almond breewats" all washed down with Santenay and Tempier Rose.

Jo and David Henniger are motoring down to the ksour, owned by Dally Rogers Margolin and his partner Richard Galloway at Azna, with the prospect of a weekend of hedonism with the rich and powerful from around Europe and America, billed as "the best party East of Marrakech". It is a dark night, the road gives off its accumulated daytime heat, the stark shadows rise up against the mountains. Suddenly, David, with a high level of alcohol in his blood, hits one of two locals, Driss, and kills him on the spot. His companion Ismael heads for the hills as the Hennigers step out of the car to assess the damage.The story expands from there as the cultures of the party people from Europe and America, and the indingenous peoples, the Berbers, weave an unforgiving path. The impact of the tragic incident reverberates into the hedonistic thrum of the party weekend, and forgiveness and revenge vie with each other, as the individuals all respond in their own unique way to events.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This will make you think twice about spending a fortune to holiday in an area where poverty is endemic - or at least raise your awareness. An uncomfortable exploration of the impact of selfishness and how situations can spiral out of control all too quickly. Some beautiful descriptions and a solid read.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By Steve
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If you have planned that journey of a lifetime to Morocco, this book will make you choose Clacton instead. It is a clever, if consciously so, book which builds its atmosphere of fear and tension in a compelling way. But the book contains not a single attractive character (apart from two English pensioners who have walk-on parts before one of them is murdered)and its portrayal of an unbridgeable gulf between Moroccans and Euroopeans/Americans is powerful (and essential to the plot) but caricatural. The book reminded me of Forster's 'A Passage to India' in its ability to convey sinister tension. But it has none of Forster's subtlety or the capacity to unwrap layers of human emotion. Worth reading, though, if a copy happens your way.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Desert Death 7 Jan 2013
This story is about a hard-to-believe group of people meeting in a hard-to-believe location to spend a hard-to-believe weekend doing all too believable things. What was not to be believed by the participants is that a death would be on the agenda. But, it became evident, if not believable (though I suppose it should be), that the activities would not be much affected by the body in one of the buildings.

The cause of the death of the native fossil seller was the car being driven by David Henniger. A significant part of the story follows him as he interacts with the family of the deceased. Perhaps interacts is too intimate a word for their interplay. David senses he may not survive the play. I sensed that I didn't much care.

Meanwhile, his wife Jo and other guests must endure the absence of David (most didn't know he was gone). Jo did know he was gone. Jo had to bear up under the strain of the death caused by David's driving. Part of the story is about whether she manages, or how she manages, or something.

I found the book to be shallow but interesting in some way that kept me turning the pages when I would think about grabbing another book. I did want to learn what happened to people I really disliked. Perhaps I was wishing for something less than pleasant to befall them. If that is the case, I may have been pleased.

Maybe that's why I elevated the book from three to four stars.

(Disclosure: I received an Advance Readers Copy from the Amazon US Vine program.)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Never the twain 15 Jun 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
There is an immense gulf between the seriously wealthy gay couple who have created a luxurious hideaway in a remote desert area of Morocco and the impoverished Muslims fossil hunters who inhabit the region and who provide the servants to dance attendance on the couple and the guests at their extravagant annual parties where the well paid employees observe the drugs and sexual behaviour of the infidels. They are worlds apart and the austere locals with the survivor’s austerity of driftwood cannot but see the hedonistic westerners as infidels.

Two guests to the annual Bacchanal are a British doctor, a deeply establishment figure with the expected prejudices of his age and class and his children’s author wife. The doctor, as usual, drinks too much, too quickly en route to the desert paradise and, on the way, kills a young man who steps in front of his car. Perhaps attempting to sell fossils. The couple bundle the dead man onto the back seat of their car and continue on to the festivities.

This is the extraordinary situation that sets up a dramatic narrative in Paul Bowles territory. The international hedonism is entirely convincing as is the contrast between the westerners world of drugs and champagne and the grief of the dead boy’s father arriving at the gates of the compound and falling to his knees in front of the security gates demanding the corpse of his son.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Fair good tear
Bonfire of the vanities in a different setting. Having said that I enjoyed the feel of the desert and the cast of characters,
Published 20 days ago by Nicholas Carter
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great read. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Would recommend
Published 21 days ago by jackie schneider
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by 8th Floor Ben.
4.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable literary novel giving several points of view on ...
Very enjoyable literary novel giving several points of view on an unfortunate incident in Morocco. Insightful exploration of local culture and its collision with rich Westerners. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Emma T
2.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed description of moroccan desert and its inhabitants but the ...
Started well but became too repetitive. Enjoyed description of moroccan desert and its inhabitants but the book's ending was far too predictable.
Published 2 months ago by EILEEN MCKEEVER
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
A good idea let down by poor writing style and a plot that does not quite deliver. The prose style I found irritating, with its endless Moroccan words in italics, most of which... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Wriggle
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Swift and no-nonsense
Published 2 months ago by Prof R Moreton
3.0 out of 5 stars Full of gaps!
Why would and English couple going to a party in the Moroccan desert take a ferry from Spain? Surely they would fly straight to Marrakesh and rent a car. Read more
Published 3 months ago by James
5.0 out of 5 stars A haunting tale
I have not come across this author before, but having read a review of The Forgiven, thought I'd try it. Read more
Published 4 months ago by lolabubble
4.0 out of 5 stars Suspenseful tale of modern manners
Cracking good story in exotic Moroccan setting. Humorous and gripping with lots of local detail. Keeps you guessing to final page.
Published 4 months ago by Jennifer Cornish
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