Réda Dalil: Le Job [The Job]


The latest addition to my website is Réda Dalil‘s Le Job [The Job]. Having decided, unlike the past two years, not to read all the Man Booker shortlist entries, as I frankly was not very inspired by them, I decided to have a look at some other prize lists. This novel won the Moroccan Mamounia Prize though, I must say, while I enjoyed it, it certainly is not a great work and makes me wonder what the other novels were like. This novel tells the story of Ghali Habchi, a thirty-year old, unmarried Moroccan banker who has been made redundant from his Moroccan-based bank – one of 30,000 – as a result of the sub-prime crisis in the USA. The novel tells of his vain attempts to find another job. He applies for some twenty jobs a day but only manages three interviews during the course of the book. The first turns out to be for a receptionist’s job. When he does not hear from the second, he waits in front of the building, looking out for the woman who had interviewed him. When he finally spots her, he dashes across the road, only to be knocked down by a car. The third is also disastrous. Meanwhile, his friend, Ali, married with a daughter, is also redundant and taking it even worse than Ghali. Eventually, unable to pay the rent, he and his family come and live with Ghali. Ali finds Allah, while Ghali and Sofia, Ali’s wife, find each other. It is well told and fascinating, not least because I did not expect the first novel I read about the sub-prime crisis to be Moroccan, but there must be better Moroccan novels out there.

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