Rafik Schami: Die dunkle Seite der Liebe (The Dark Side of Love)

The latest addition to my website is Rafik Schami‘s Die dunkle Seite der Liebe (The Dark Side of Love). Coming in at around 900 pages this may be a suitable book for the lockdown. It will keep you entertained for days. It is about the love affair between Farid and Rana, whose families have been having a bitter feud for some time and are of different religions, not Muslim vs Christian, but Catholic vs Orthodox. We follow not only their stories, but the stories of their relatives, families and friends, many of which are violent. Sex abounds but so does mistreatment of women, abuse of human rights and other unpleasantnesses. The story starts with a murder, that of a secret service officer, which is seemingly resolved quite quickly. Culprits are found but though they are punished, they are not guilty. The rest of the book is the background to the murder and, given the length, we soon forget the murder victim, who only pops up late in the book. It is colourful, at times funny, often grim but a wonderful set of stories to keep you entertained during lockdown.

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