The Yacoubian Building by Alaa al Aswany

About the book

Welcome to the Yacoubian Building, Cairo: once grand, now dilapidated, and full of stories and passion. Some live in squalor on its rooftop while others inhabit the faded glory of its apartments and offices. Within these walls religious fervour jostles with promiscuity; bribery with bliss; modern life with ancient culture. At ground level, Taha, the doorman’s son, harbours career aspirations and romantic dreams – but when these are dashed by unyielding corruption, hope turns to bitterness, with devastating consequences.

Reviewed by Kings Somborne Reading Group:

An excellent book. Insightful and interesting about Egyptian society. Quite disturbing in the oppression of women, the corruption of society where everyone is greasing palms to get their own way, and the fundamental religion and terror camps.

Star rating: ***
 

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6 thoughts on “The Yacoubian Building by Alaa al Aswany”

  1. Review by Shipton Belligner WI reading group:
    A sometimes horrifying tale of life in Egypt before the Arab Spring. Al Aswany is a natural storyteller but some may be put off by the sexual content. Often amusing this is not a comfortable read but well worth the effort.
    Star rating: **

  2. Review by Bookends reading group:
    We found this book difficult to get into. This was partly due to different culture and names. Intricate plot but generally enjoyed.
    Star rating: ***

  3. Review by Bookends reading group:
    We found this book difficult to get into. This was partly due to different culture and names. Intricate plot but generally enjoyed.
    Star rating: ***

  4. Review by Bookends:
    We found this book difficult to get in to. This was partly due to different culture and names. Intricate plot but generally enjoyed.
    Rating: ***

  5. Review by Cambridge Reading Group
    Mixed reactions to this book which made for plenty of discussion. A search on the internet to read about the author is recommended. Most found the book interesting but none would recommend it as a “must read”. Thank goodness for the list of characters at the front.
    Star rating: **

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