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The Rock of Tanios Hardcover – 1 Oct 1994

4.6 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: George Braziller (Oct. 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807613657
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807613658
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 14.6 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,139,961 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

He is a master storyteller...and his observations of human nature in all its facets is wonderfully accurate throughout. (SUNDAY TELEGRAPH)

This is as colourful as a fairy tale, and brilliantly translated from the French. (THE TIMES)

Told with the simplicity of fable but set on the cusp of the modern world, this is a wonderful tale. (INDEPENDENT)

This is a beautifully crafted story detailing the intricacies of the folklores and superstitions which dominated nineteenth-century Oriental village life. (OBSERVER) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Amin Maalouf is a Lebanese journalist and writer. He was formerly director of the weekly international edition of the leading Beirut daily an-Nahar, and editor in chief of Jeune Afrique. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.


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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is one of those magical books in which, on almost every page, there is a sentence or turn of phrase that literally makes you catch your breath. The superb craftmanship of the writing of this book is admirable, but it is the unforced eloquence of the story that enchanted me. I was actually disappointed when it ended...despite the grace and strength of his other works, I feel strongly that this is--so far!-his masterpiece.
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Format: Paperback
As an avid reader of Amin Maalouf's work anyway, I was really looking forward to reading The Rock of Tanios when it came out. I was pleasantly surprised to find myself far more impressed by this book than any of his others.
The book tells the story of a small Lebanese village where the Sheikh is the master who must be obeyed. His son (or is he? read it to find out) Tanios rebels against the system and suddenly disappears. But what has happened to him? No one knows, but his name is made famous by his disappearance.
Years later scholars try to find out what happened.
Don't take my word for it. Read it. It's great. If you're interested in the Middle East you'll love this book.
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Format: Paperback
For the first time, Amin Maalouf talks about his home country, Lebanon. He does it without even mentioning its name but with great sensitivity. Less history oriented than his former books but very touching. I couldn't put it down before getting to the end.
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Format: Paperback
I just finished reading this book and, as expected with Maalouf, I was enchanted. It reads like a fairy tale only much closer to reality (at least for myself). All vices from hate to lust are represented with such vivid imagery, The kind of book that makes you reflect after every page.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was an entertaining read, especially for those interested in Lebanon and folk legends. Although the story and titular character are fictional, the historical context is based upon real events (the shifting powers of the middle-eastern rulers and European empires). The tumultuous state of Asia and the Arabian Peninsula are the stage upon which a more personal story is told, of Tanios and his village. There are many unusual and intriguing characters, with traditions just as eccentric.

As I am pretty ignorant about the history of the areas mentioned, I was at times a little lost when reading the book, specifically during the latter portion when all the talk of the Emir and the empires began. I also felt that some of the characterisation may have been lost in translation, or perhaps could have benefited from more adventurous imagery and dialogue.

On the whole, though, it's a good read. Not amongst the greatest Lebanese / French literature, but not one to be dismissed either. It gives you a taste of the Lebanon of old, and I find myself hungry for more.
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Format: Paperback
I decided to try the Rock of Tanios after reading Amin Maalouf's excellent non fiction work "The Crusades Through Arab Eyes" although having read some mixed reviews about Maalouf's fiction I wasn't sure what to expect. The Rock of Tanios did not disappoint. Far from it. Its a superb novel which will appeal to readers interested in the Middle East and fans of historical fiction alike.
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Format: Paperback
The Rock of Tanios, which won the Prix Goncourt, is set in Christian and Druze communities in the Lebanese mountains at the time of Mehmet Ali's campaigns against the Ottomans (late 1830s). It is an interesting story in which events often occur as the result of issues specific to the community in which they take place rather than deriving from an outsider's assumption of a cross-cultural commonality of motivation and emotion. As with other books by Maalouf, this is an excellent read and often fascinating. The reconstruction of a community, its values and everyday life is highly skilled. Perhaps his best.
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