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Cockroach

Ed to attend sessions with a well intentioned but naive therapist This sets the story in motion leading us back to the narrator's violent childhood in a war torn country forward into his current life in the smoky emigre cafes where everyone has a tale and out into the frozen night time streets of Montreal where the thief survives on the edge imaginin. Cockroach is an engaging character thief suicidal obsessed with the underbelly of life hating his new homeland and the people who live in it why did he come I wanted to ask supposedly illiterate but wonderfully articulate and poetic especially when he runs off into stream of consciousness ramblings on the state of his mind and of the nationThere is also a trend in writing which I recently tried to address in a blog article and I call it let it all hang out writing which Hage seems to capture extremely well I don t necessarily agree that this level of detail on the human condition is reuired in literature But when a narrator talks about not washing his hands after pissing extracting sweet nectar from between women s legs examining used condoms and eating shit I think we are in the zone of extreme shock value It s as if the writer has no confidence in using less graphic prose to draw his reader inThen there is another form of writing that frankly irritates me the lack of punctuation and uotation marks I know that we are in an age of experimenting with various new writing forms and older practices are being dropped all part of continuous improvement but when there is a story within a story and both narrators are I for instance the lack of uotation marks can be uite misleading and it happens uite freuently in this novel I think punctuation and uotes were invented to overcome the shortcomings in straight prose and to discard them arbitrarily shows a lack of respect for those who have gone before As for the plot in this novel it seems to develop midway What was initially a character story about the aimless ramblings of our Cockroach becomes a crimeespionage story in the end as if an editor said this is not good enough brother kick up the action and our unwilling author not wanting to screw up his sopho novel complied half heartedly For all the graphic descriptions in the first two thirds of the novel the ending was minimalist and disappointingDespite all these shortcomings Hage opened me to the inner lives of Iranian and Middle Eastern immigrant groups operating on the fringes of Montreal society One wonders whether these immigrants were better off in their homelands despite the threat of physical torture and incarceration they faced there In their new homeland in Canada they are eternally condemned to marginalized lives poverty identity crisis the bitter cold of winter a form of torture to those improperly clad and from warmer countries Cockroach is jubilant when he steals a pair of boots that finally warms his feet from the cold and hope that can only to be found in the underground into which our resilient Cockroach finally descends They are also not absolved from the proverbial bullet that they dodged for so long in order to get to our perceived safe shores

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Cockroach is as urgent unsettling and brilliant as Rawi Hage's bestselling and critically acclaimed first book De Niro's GameThe novel takes place during one month of a bitterly cold winter in Montreal's restless immigrant community where a self described thief has just tried but failed to commit suicide Rescued against his will the narrator is oblig. An Arab immigrant as a Scheherazade to his Canadian therapist his wild Third world past as 1001 nights to a steril life of taxpaying TV watching and self fooling A compulsively stealing uite lazy sexually starving resentful loner with a suicidal tendency a special talent for metaphors and ability to turn himself willingly unlike Kafka s Samsa into a cockroach Witty passionate prose great little kamikadze story Oh how I enjoyed this oneA spoilerish PS Still I d take away half a star from my rating because of part of the ending Only police needs all the facts and all the motivations not literature it was enough for me to guess some of the past and future mishaps around the main character and his main lover seeing them explained and justifying all the rest kinda offends my intelligence Also I ve read and seen on stage and in cinema Ariel Dorfman s Death and the Maiden so I ve already been long ago where Hage is trying to take my emotions by surprise for the catharsis As a human being I still react with compassion but as a fiction lover I have a d j vu Yet I forgive you Rawi Hage for you re an addictive story teller Will be waiting for your next book

FREE READ ✓ HIDEAWAYSTUDIO.CO.UK î Rawi Hage

G himself to be a cockroach invading the lives of the privileged but wilfully blind citizens who surround himIn 2008 Cockroach was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize the Governor General's Literary Award and the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize It won the Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction presented by the uebec Writers' Federatio. Awesome and haunting and a spot on sense of Montreal portraits the eccentric landlady with fading aristocratic colors the exploitative bosses the hyper educated cab drivers The blur of fantasy reality across undergroundoverground story layers really worked for me Highly recommended Also funny as hell


About the Author: Rawi Hage

Rawi Hage is a Lebanese Canadian writer and photographerBorn in Beirut Hage grew up in Lebanon and Cyprus He moved to New York City in 1982 and after studying at the New York Institute of Photography relocated to Montreal in 1991 where he studied arts at Dawson College and Concordia University He subseuently began exhibiting as a photographer and has had works acuired by the Canadian Mus



10 thoughts on “Cockroach

  1. says:

    An Arab immigrant as a Scheherazade to his Canadian therapist his wild Third world past as 1001 nights to a steril life of taxpaying TV watching and self fooling A compulsively stealing uite lazy sexually starving resentful loner with a suicidal tendency a special talent for metaphors and ability to turn himself willingly unlike Kafka's Samsa into a cockroach Witty passionate prose great little kamikadze story Oh how I enjoyed t

  2. says:

    Seeing as immigration is an integral element of the Canadian landscape it should come as no surprise that authors might se

  3. says:

    Disturbing Less of what I liked so much about his first in the way of sweeping poetic language to describe a world of hallucinogenic brutality and focused on an internal world of delusion trauma and sadness The central character here is a soul in great pain but the first two thirds of the novel don't plumb those depths except by inference The superficiality of the court assigned psychotherapist's intervention compared to the gradual revel

  4. says:

    Oh was I disappointed with this book?I hate it It's about all of the clichés that frame immigrants messed up psychotic sex addicts egocentric psychopaths thiefs hallucinating drunkies drug addicts filthy leechesI happen to know many Lebanese who are immigrants in Canada they have worked hard they're serious people they fled the war but they weren't psychotics who got turned on by their own sisters And they're not a th

  5. says:

    Rawi Hage’s second novel Cockroach takes place during a frigid Montreal winter and details the picaresue adventures of an

  6. says:

    Cockroach is an engaging character thief suicidal obsessed with the underbelly of life hating his new homeland and the people who live in it why did he come I wanted to ask supposedly illiterate but wonderfully articulate and poetic especially when he runs off into stream of consciousness ramblings on the state of his mind and of

  7. says:

    Awesome and haunting and a spot on sense of Montreal portraits the eccentric landlady with fading aristocratic colors the

  8. says:

    Yes I completed the book yesterday afternoon and attended the discussion at the library last nightWe had a good turnout there than expected the weather being cold and wetFeelings on the book were mixed not so much around the table but within ourselves as individual members We all agreed on it being a good book in that the author's characters including the protag were exasperating peopleProtag and nobody can figure out

  9. says:

    What a fresh approach to dealing with issues of exile I had begun to despair that Arab writers could do it could write novels that could be taken seriously aesthetically and also pay homage to the issues political and social that must dominate the psyche of all Arabs What was impressive was how effortlessly the

  10. says:

    There is a lot packed into this book It is hard to separate my feelings for the main character and my feelings fo

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