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Crossbones Hardcover – 5 Jul 2012

4.2 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Granta Books (5 July 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847086098
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847086099
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 3.1 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,202,919 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"This timely book...is politically courageous and often gripping...Crossbones provides a sophisticated introduction to present-day Somalia, and to the circle of poverty and violence that continues to blight the country."

"Mesmerizing...A searing look at individuals caught in the chaos of anarchy."

"Often reads like a taut, tense thriller... a thought-provoking read as well as an absorbing look into a culture and a people in extreme circumstances."

"Often reads like a taut, tense thriller . . . a thought-provoking read as well as an absorbing look into a culture and a people in extreme circumstances."--The Philadelphia Inquirer

"Harrowing without resorting to sensationalism, this highly topical final volume in Farahs's Past Imperfect trilogy should burnish his well- deserved reputation. It is dense, complex stuff, but his brave and imperfect characters are a pleasure to follow. [A] gripping but utterly humane thriller set in one of the least understood regions on earth."--Kirkus Reviews

"This timely book . . . is politically courageous and often gripping . . . "Crossbones" provides a sophisticated introduction to present-day Somalia, and to the circle of poverty and violence that continues to blight the country."--The New York Times Book Review

"Farah writes enthrallingly about his native Somalia. . . . Expect sharp insight into both human nature and secretarian strife, told in illuminating language free of cant."--Library Journal

"[Farah] writes beautifully and prolifically about his native Somalia."--TheMillions.com

" Politically courageous and often gripping . . . "Crossbones" provides a sophisticated introduction to present-day Somalia, and to the circle of poverty and violence that continues to blight the country." -- "The New York Times Book Review"


"Combines an intimate dissection of power within the family with a strong dose of skepticism about the machinations of national and global power." -- "The Economist "


"Mesmerizing . . . A searing look at individuals caught in the chaos of anarchy."""-- "The Daily Beast"


"Often reads like a taut, tense thriller . . . a thought-provoking read as well as an absorbing look into a culture and a people in extreme circumstances." -- "The Philadelphia Inquirer"


"Farah's accomplishment is, through art, showing us both the value and the devaluing of life through the machinations of historical, political and social power." -- "The Minneapolis Star-Tribune"


"Adopts an almost thriller-like realism to give an account of modern-day Somalia . . . "Crossbones" is well worth the read." -- "The Boston Globe"


"Vivid and detailed. . . [Farah's] understanding of human relationships is spot on, as are the twists and turns in this suspenseful drama." -- "Ebony"


"A fiercely critical, ruefully funny, profoundly compassionate portrait . . . [that] humanizes the dire complexities inherent to a place fractured by perpetual violence, corruption, outside exploitation, bone-deep poverty, and fanaticism. A writer of charm, wit, conscience, and penetrating vision, Farah is a commanding and essential global writer." -- "Booklist"


"Farah has become the voice of the Somalian diaspora, telling stories of political, religious, and family conflict without sentimentality. . . . Like Conrad, Farah proves a master of his adopted language, enhancing his narratives with proverbs and instances of institutionalized irrationality." -"Publishers Weekly" (Star

"Politically courageous and often gripping... "Crossbones "provides a sophisticated introduction to present-day Somalia, and to the circle of poverty and violence that continues to blight the country." "The New York Times Book Review
""Mesmerizing... A searing look at individuals caught in the chaos of anarchy." "The Daily Beast"

A fiercely critical, ruefully funny, profoundly compassionate portrait... [that] humanizes the dire complexities inherent to a place fractured by perpetual violence, corruption, outside exploitation, bone-deep poverty, and fanaticism. A writer of charm, wit, conscience, and penetrating vision, Farah is a commanding and essential global writer. "Booklist"

"Often reads like a taut, tense thriller... a thought-provoking read as well as an absorbing look into a culture and a people in extreme circumstances." "The Philadelphia Inquirer"

Farah has become the voice of the Somalian diaspora, telling stories of political, religious, and family conflict without sentimentality... Like Conrad, Farah proves a master of his adopted language, enhancing his narratives with proverbs and instances of institutionalized irrationality. "Publishers Weekly "(starred review)

"Harrowing without resorting to sensationalism... It is dense, complex stuff, but [Farah's] brave and imperfect characters are a pleasure to follow. [A] gripping but utterly humane thriller set in one of the least understood regions on earth." "Kirkus Reviews"

Combines an intimate dissection of power within the family with a strong dose of skepticism about the machinations of national and global power. "The Economist "

Farah's accomplishment is, through art, showing us both the value and the devaluing of life through the machinations of historical, political and social power. "The Minneapolis Star-Tribune"

Adopts an almost thriller-like realism to give an account of modern-day Somalia... "Crossbones "is well worth the read. "The Boston Globe"

Vivid and detailed... [Farah s] understanding of human relationships is spot on, as are the twists and turns in this suspenseful drama. "Ebony"

"Farah writes enthrallingly about his native Somalia... Expect sharp insight into both human nature and secretarian strife, told in illuminating language free of cant." "Library Journal"

"[Farah] writes beautifully and prolifically about his native Somalia." TheMillions.com" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Nuruddin Farah's works include three trilogies, including Variations on the Theme of An African Dictatorship and Blood in the Sun; plays; and a non-fiction book, Yesterday, Tomorrow. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Cape Town, South Africa.


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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
High-octane, high-seas shanties; eye-patches and cutlasses; bounties and buccaneers: all are conspicuous by their absence in Crossbones, Nuruddin Farah's gruelling yet gripping account of life in modern-day Somalia - it's piracy, but not as we know it.
Farah is ideally placed to examine the extraordinary strife afflicting his homeland, which he talks about in an excellent recent Guardian interview. 'Crossbones' - its piratical reference deployed with a delicious hint of irony - is the third and final book of his latest trilogy, though it stands alone. Where 'Links' (2006) explored the post-US invasion rise of Mogadishu's clan warlords, and 'Knots' (2007) concentrated on its virtual takeover by the hardline Islamist group Shaabab, 'Crossbones' is set in the vacuum of power that followed: Ethiopia is preparing to invade, Shaabab are scurrying for cover, and a murderous lawlessness reigns. 'Let's face it,' explains one of a seemingly limitless number of shady go-betweens, 'I, too, like so many others, profited from the turmoil. Turbulence upsets things, sends the dregs to the top. We are enjoying the turmoil and are unfettered by tax laws, a parliament issuing decrees, a dictator passing edicts, a government declaring draconian measures: the ideal situation for growth of capital.'
'Crossbones' charts the respective journeys of Jeebleh, his son-in-law Malik, and Malik's brother, Ahl, all American citizens, who return to their homeland ostensibly in order to search for Ahl's adopted son Taxliil, who has disappeared along with a group of other young Somali-American men from their homes in Minnesota, said to have been recruited by Shaabab with the lure of martyrdom.
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Format: Paperback
This is a ravaging and yet beautiful book. Nuruddin Farah begins with a deep rich descriptive prose which is worth taking the time needed to fully appreciate. He then moves into faster narrative which sets out the human cry, the struggle to exist in social conflict where imams, warlords, invaders and the omnipotent USA vie for control, with indifference to any human ethic.

Farah also sets the pressing issue of Somalian sea piracy in context, arguing its root cause in the global exploitation of Somalia's fish stock, and claiming that the beneficiaries are not the pirates themselves, but financiers in the developed world.

For the ordinary person negotiating such social disruption, compromise is often unavoidable and outcomes terrible. But the human spirit, however thwarted, however distorted, dimmed and weakened, prevails. People can still care, can remain committed to each other, can show hospitality and generosity. Humanity can and does transcend its own social artefact.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Those who are intrigued as to how society functions in a state that has been without a central government and in a state of warfare for more than 20 years will no doubt find this book informative. Farah ably conveys the paranoia and desperation of the long-suffering people of Mogadishu preparing for another bout of blood-letting, as the 2010 conflict with Ethiopia draws closer. Farah also sheds much-needed light on the issue of Somali piracy, showing how it started out as a defensive measure against foreign fleets seeking to take advantage of Somalia's lack of governance and fishing in its waters, depriving local fishermen of their livelihood. That said however, one wonders why Farah did not opt to write a work of non-fiction, for the plot and characters seem to be little more than a sideline to this overview. The prose is often lumpen, largely because Farah chooses to narrate much of the history and politics of Somalia through the conversations of his characters, making the dialogue unnatural and clumsy. The characters seem to be little more than vehicles for explaining the social and political context. There is little to distinguish the main protagonists from one another and all are drawn from a particular strand of Somali society - literate, secular and Westernized. The few characters that fall outside of this category are presented as one-dimensional villains. All in all, an immensely disappointing work of fiction but probably worth a look if East African current affairs interest you.
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Format: Kindle Edition
this was by far the best book i have ever read before. indeed it was exceedingly engaging which made think of this rather positive verdict of the book. i would like to personally thank mr farah as he made me change my whole opinion on reading.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Love it every bit of it. It's one of those stories that you don't get bord. Nurdin Farah is a world-class write, and this book is further dominatration why he's so.
The book is based on the current stories of Somalia and would strongly recommend to anyone who wants to read a good story.
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