Carnival by Rawi Hage
A Novel

75%

6 Critic Reviews

The diary-like form imposes little by way of structure and it's easy to sit back and enjoy the ride in Fly's excellent company.
-Guardian

Synopsis

A stirring new masterpiece from the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award–winning author of Cockroach and De Niro’s Game.


In Carnival, internationally acclaimed author Rawi Hage takes us into the world of Fly, a taxi driver in a crime-ridden apocalyptic metropolis.

Raised in the circus, the son of a golden-haired trapeze artist and a flying-carpet man, Fly sees everything, taking in all of the city’s carnivalesque beauty and ugliness as he roves through its dizzying streets in his taxi. Fly is a reader, too, and when he’s not in his taxi he is at home in the equally dizzying labyrinth of books that fills his tiny apartment. His best friend is Otto, a political activist who’s in and out of jails and asylums, mourning his dead wife and lost foster son. On one otherwise tawdry night Fly meets Mary, a book-loving passenger with a domineering husband. So begins a romance that is, for Fly, a brief glimmer of light amid the shadows and grit of the Carnival city.


Along with Otto and Mary, Fly introduces us to madmen and revolutionaries, magicians and prostitutes as he picks them up and drops them off, traveling through a nightmarish town that is—we can’t help but notice—a parable for our own debauched, unjust world.


Wildly imaginative and darkly ironic, Carnival is a magnificent achievement.

 

About Rawi Hage

See more books from this Author
Rawi Hage is a writer and visual artist. His two critically acclaimed novels, De Niro’s Game and Cockroach, have been translated into twenty-nine languages. De Niro’s Game was the winner of the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and Cockroach was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and for the Governor General’s Literary Award. Born in Beirut, Hage lives in Montreal.
 
Published June 17, 2013 by W. W. Norton & Company. 305 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy, History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for Carnival
All: 6 | Positive: 6 | Negative: 0

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Anthony Cummins on Aug 31 2013

The diary-like form imposes little by way of structure and it's easy to sit back and enjoy the ride in Fly's excellent company.

Read Full Review of Carnival: A Novel | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Edward Docx on Aug 02 2013

...Carnival is not a masterpiece – it is a rich and often beautiful, brave, engrossing, intelligent, literate, funny and very human novel, yet it is not quite as fine as it hopes to be.

Read Full Review of Carnival: A Novel | See more reviews from Guardian

Kirkus

Above average
on Mar 17 2013

Hage’s characters, while not necessarily larger than life, are certainly weirder than life, and Hage writes about them with humor and affection.

Read Full Review of Carnival: A Novel | See more reviews from Kirkus

NY Journal of Books

Good
Reviewed by Karen Winters Schwartz on Jun 14 2013

Read this novel not to be entertained by the story, but to be awed by the beauty of the words.

Read Full Review of Carnival: A Novel | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

National Post arts

Good
Reviewed by Devon Code on Sep 28 2012

...Carnival is a rich and compelling read, a testament to a daring and talented novelist.

Read Full Review of Carnival: A Novel | See more reviews from National Post arts

National Post arts

Above average
Reviewed by Devon Code on Sep 28 2012

These are relatively minor flaws in an otherwise accomplished and complex novel. At its best, Carnival reconceives the existential darkness of Scorsese’s Taxi Driver, projects it against a carnivalesque backdrop and infuses it with a startlingly worldly and erudite perspective.

Read Full Review of Carnival: A Novel | See more reviews from National Post arts

Rate this book!

Add Review
×