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DubaiReader

DubaiReader

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Death Stalks Kettle Street
John Bowen

Tragic.

Men In The Sun - Ghassan Kanafani

This is a difficult book to review because I'm not sure if the confusion I felt while reading this was due to the author's writing, or translator errors. There were several times where I wasn't sure which character was being referred to and even a re-read didn't always clarify the question. Considering the blurb above says "In the unsparing clarity of his writing", I suspect this was caused by the translation.

Ignoring the issues I had, this was an interesting read, very close to the bone at times. Life was cheap, yet each of these characters is close to our hearts and we're not ready to part with them.
The 'Men in the Sun' are unfortunate Palestinians, forced from their country and without means to help their families. They take the ultimate risk and join the floods of immigrants to Kuwait, where they believe that work and riches await them. The journey is treacherous and they must put their lives in the hands of strangers. Three such men travelling on the roof of a tanker give rise to the title.

'Men in the Sun' is the main story, but there are some shorter stories towards the end, along a similar vein.
Books like these are important for raising awareness; no-one should have to suffer such deprivations because another people has taken that which was not theirs.
I wish I could give four stars but sadly, the confusion marred an otherwise fascinating read.