Rabih Alameddine: The Angel of History


The latest addition to my website is Rabih Alameddine‘s The Angel of History. As with his first novel, Koolaids, the main theme of this book is about how the AIDS epidemic in San Francisco has been relegated to the back pages and racism towards Arabs is to the fore, with the situation in the Middle East – in this case Yemen and the Arab Spring more than the War in Lebanon – also ignored. We follow the story of Ya’qub a gay man living in San Francisco, who was conceived when his father was fourteen and who spent much of his childhood with his mother, a Yemeni prostitute. He has a confrontational relationship with Satan and Satan, along with Death and the Fourteen Holy Helpers, plays a key role in this book. Satire is very much to the fore but this novel is much more bitter than its predecessor and does not have the humour nor, indeed, the passion of the previous one.

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