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The Rock Of Tanios Paperback – 7 Sep 1995

4.6 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Abacus; New Ed edition (7 Sept. 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0349106622
  • ISBN-13: 978-0349106625
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 151,678 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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)

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.


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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
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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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
This book was chosen by our Round the World Book Group. It is excellent, and I thoroughly recommend that you read it. The action starts in the 1830s in a small feudal domain in the area once known as The Levant. The Sheikh seems at first to be a fairly honest lord of the manor, taking his due from the villagers, leading them in wartime, but giving them his protection in return. However, we find that he is not above exercising his feudal privileges, and in particular his droit de seigneur, in the same way as any mediaeval lord would have done. The village of Kfaryabda is Druze, rather than Roman Catholic, but the same rule applies. The Sheikh's exercising of these "rights" may (or perhaps may not - that is the mystery) have led to the birth of the eponymous Tanios. The "Great Game" begins to be played out in and around Kfaryabda, with the Egyptians taking over the area, supported by the local overlord, the Emir, with his co-operation being assured by taking members of his family hostage. Thus Britain's route to India is blocked. We see the first hint of tragedy to come when the English Consol (cunningly, a Catholic) presents the gift of a beautiful hunting rifle to the Sheikh's proud son, Raad (page 103). Shortly after this we see the Patriarch's pride beginning to lead him to take actions which, inevitably, have consequences far beyond anything which might be imagined. The assassination of the Patriarch concludes the first part of the disaster hinted at on page 103. Things progress. Tanios and his father, Gerios, escape to Cyprus, they are tricked by an agent of the Emir into boarding a ship to return to The Levant, Tanios is prevented from boarding by a Turkish official because of superstition. Gerios is executed by hanging. The war goes on and rebellion spreads.Read more ›
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