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What the Day Owes the Night [Hardcover]

Yasmina Khadra
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.99
Price: 11.32 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

27 May 2010

'If a woman loves you, Younes, if she truly loves you, and if you have the wisdom to appreciate this great privilege, then there is no god to touch you.'

As a young man Younes' life is irrevocably changed when he leaves his broken home for the vibrant, colourful and affluent European district of Río Salado. Renamed Jonas, he begins a new life and forges a unique friendship with a group of boys, an enduring bond that nothing - not even the Algerian Revolt - will shake.

Yet with the return to Río Salado of Emilie - a beautiful, beguiling young girl who captures the hearts of all who see her - an epic love story is set in motion that will challenge the complicity of these four boys and force Jonas to confront the burden of having to choose between two worlds: Algerian or European; loyalty or selfishness; past or present; surrendering to fate or grasping control of his own destiny.

In What The Day Owes The Night, Yasmina Khadra has written a majestic novel of colonial Algeria, a turbulent, passionate, heart-rending country. Set against the war of independence and a harsh yet mystic landscape, Khadra's dazzling prose and consummate compassion illuminate the terrible rift between lovers, family and friends who love the same country.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: William Heinemann (27 May 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0434019933
  • ISBN-13: 978-0434019939
  • Product Dimensions: 14.9 x 22.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 887,776 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"This tale of family, love and war unfolds in Algeria before and during the armed revolt that led to independence. Caught between two worlds, its hero, Younes, is a sympathetic witness to the doctrines that divide people, and to the passions that may reunite them." (Independent)

"A book in which you may lose yourself in reading and find yourself when you put it aside; an enriching work. [What the Day Owes the Night] is first the story of a narrator's youth and education in the ways of the world. Then it is a love story and a war story, which leads to the conclusion that a reader who has surrendered to the novel will hope for. It is very well done indeed, sympathetic and humane. The narrative is compelling and there is a rich cast of well observed, or remembered, characters, all of who are treated fairly and generously...[Khadra] brings landscape, a society, individual characters to compelling life. He explores difficult moral questions with sensibility and intelligence. He presents life as it is, and hints at what it might be. He writes with understanding and affection." (Allan Massie The Scotsman)

"the novel...includes brilliant descriptions of the city's slums and the beauties of the countryside." (Christopher Butler TLS)

Book Description

The dazzling and vibrant new novel from Yasmina Khadra, author of Sirens of Baghdad and the international bestsellers The Swallows of Kabul and The Attack.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading 9 Feb 2012
By ShonUK
I have debated whether to give this four or five stars, as I have debated whether I enjoyed this story or not. I'm giving it five, not only because it is beautifully written (and commendably translated into English), albeit at the risk of being metaphorically over-descriptive, but because the story is lingering with me days later. I certainly know more about the history and tumult of Algeria than before, but it is the human-interest story that keeps me thinking about it.
Jonas is a young boy when we first meet him, and is obliged to leave the farmlands of his forefathers and follow his family to the big city of Oran. Life is predicatably hard and many tragedies ensue, but Jonas is sent to live with a wealthy uncle, and his Christian wife.
What I then struggled with is how it appears that Jonas just allows life to just happen to him, and for seemingly bizarre reasons allows beautiful opportunities to slip through his fingers, refusing to reach out and take what life and love is offering him.
It is only digesting the story later than I can appreciate that he is a Muslim boy growing up with a circle of Christian friends, the disparities between their religions and class, the prejudices, and the guilt he associates with his comfortable life.
For much of the story I was frustrated by his inaction, but every now and again he would explain this with his probable and profound view of the world they live in and the wars taking place within their country and beyond.
I now realise that just because I didn't like Jonas's character, doesn't mean I can't learn from him, his attitudes, decisions, remorse, and forgiveness.
This is what I would call a 'serious story', that explores serious issues most of us will never be exposed to, and decisions most of us will never have to make, and is worth reading.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing book 3 Nov 2013
By lecteur
This book was the most entertaining book I have read in recent years. it is so captivating and it paints in details through different characters the evolutuon of the Algerian war. For all who enjoyed this book, i would recommend the movie about this book directed by Alexandre Arcardy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Intense 12 Sep 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As I have previously said Yasmina Khadra is an exceptional writer. He covers diverse topics with such in-depth intensity that it is hard to believe that they are fictional. Once again I raise my hat to him and I intend to read every novel he has written and will ever write.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good book club discussion book 18 Aug 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
interesting in the light of the Arab spring and whats happening in Egypt. Good insight on Algerian - my book club enjoyed it it
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