The Last Friend by Tahar Ben Jelloun
A Novel

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The Last Friend, the new novel from internationally acclaimed author Tahar Ben Jelloun, winner of the 2004 International Dublin/IMPAC award, is a Rashamon-like tale of friendship and betrayal set in twentieth century Tangier. Written in Ben Jelloun’s inimitable and powerfully direct style, the novel explores the twists and turns of an intense thirty-year friendship between two young men struggling to find their identities and sexual fulfillment in Morocco in the late 1950s, a complex and contradictory society both modern and archaic.

From their carefree university days through their brutal imprisonment and ultimate release, the two rely on each other for physical and psychological survival, forging bonds not easily broken. Each narrator tells his version of the story, painting a vivid portrait of life lived within and in opposition to the moral strictures of North Africa.

Set against a backdrop of repression and disillusionment, The Last Friend is a tale of loss of innocence and a nation’s coming of age.


About Tahar Ben Jelloun

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Tahar Ben Jelloun was born in Fez, Morocco, and immigrated to France in 1961. A novelist, essayist, critic, and poet, he is a regular contributor to Le Monde, La Républica, El País, and Panorama.
Published February 2, 2006 by New Press, The. 186 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Last Friend

Kirkus Reviews

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One day, without warning and for apparently fanciful reasons, Mamed turns on Ali, brutally accuses him of using the friendship to steal from Mamed’s family, and refuses to ever see or speak to him again.

Feb 02 2006 | Read Full Review of The Last Friend: A Novel

The Guardian

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Mamed himself is stoical until he sees Ali: 'I scarcely recognised him.' Both Mamed's 'betrayal' and his reasons shock the reader (though presaged by the introduction).

Mar 19 2006 | Read Full Review of The Last Friend: A Novel