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Anatomia Di Una Scomparsa (2011)

by Hisham Matar(Favorite Author)
3.38 of 5 Votes: 3
880618329X (ISBN13: 9788806183295)
review 1: So we meet again, Mr. Matar. It's been a number of years since I read In The Country of Men, and this book evokes a nostalgia for it, the first Libyan-authored book I've read. The young narrator is there, as is the dissident father and the strained familial relationships, but this time the political opponent is now an expat, although dealing with the same level of risk. While the first book took place in Libya, this book doesn't even mention it by name. I was hoping for more tales of battling the Gadhafi regime, but here this was kept in the background, instead focusing on the young boy's coming of age and slowly growing into his father's role. There was also the complex relationship with his step-mom, which I felt didn't fulfill it's role as a plot device. However, the wr... moreiting is very poetic and Matar beautifully illustrates the emotions and development of his characters, which helped carry the story through it's weaker parts.
review 2: In this heartbreaking and haunting coming-of-age tale, an adolescent boy suffers the loss of both parents. Through a series of reflections and encounters that are seamlessly woven into a plot filled with the intrigue of a John Le Carre novel, family secrets are revealed that bit by bit clarify childhood misperceptions and longings for familial intimacy. Anatomy is aptly used in the title, since this is his dissection and examination of events surrounding the mysterious disappearance of his diplomat father, all of which does nothing to lessen or assuage the sense of loss.Nuri’s childhood takes place in modern Cairo, in a world of material comfort, with family servants who are emotionally close to the young boy and yet held at a distance because of social class and customs, plus the guarded emotions of parents, close relatives, and family friends, which contribute to mysteries and unanswered questions for this young boy. His mother dies from an unknown illness. Two years later father and son take a vacation at the Magda Marina in Alexandria where Nuri claims to be the first one to spot the quietly alluring Mona who is fourteen years his senior and fifteen years younger than his father. There is very much the implication of a Phaedra theme because Mona obliquely flirts with the boy. His father marries her and Nuri is sent to boarding school outside of London. It is when they all take a vacation to Geneva that the father disappears and their familiar life falls apart. Eventually, over the next few years, life begins to partially reassemble for Nuri.Without giving away the ending, this is a story of the most haunting type of loss--disappearance, because there is no resolution, only hopeful vigilance. Matar beautifully touches on the full range of emotions from overwhelming grief, anger and resentment with the resulting guilt, to resignation. Because of the circumstances of an only child of diplomats, this story is very much reminiscent of Graham Greene’s short story, “The Basement Room” in Collected Stories and the film based on the story, Fallen Idol, and A. J. Cronin’s The Spanish Gardener. However this story offers a different perspective and rich insights into the consequences of modern political machinations.This is Libyan writer Hisham Matar’s second novel and although not set in Libya as is his first novel, In the Country of Men, both stories certainly draw upon the author’s own life. In particular this book, since Matar’s father was a diplomat and dissident voice against the Gadhafi regime. He was kidnapped in 1990, tortured, imprisoned and was never heard from again.Reviewed by Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Literature & Fiction Dept. less
Reviews (see all)
Don't bother reading this book - Although its an interesting story - there is not much depth to it.
A quiet love triangle. A missing father.
Amazing from beginning to end!
Beautifully written.
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