Wolf Dreams by Yasmina Khadra

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Synopsis

How does a handsome young man who keeps company with poets and dreams of fame and fortune, turn into a brutal killer who massacres women and children? We follow Nafa Walid as he gradually loses control of his destiny and is drawn into Islamic fundamentalism. Wolf Dreams illustrates what happens when disillusion intersects with the persuasive voice of fundamentalism and the chaos of civil war.

In the Greco-Roman period there arose among the Jews a new form for retelling Bible stories and for composing new religious stories—the novel. Written around the time of the Dead Sea Scrolls and New Testament, these worldly texts reveal the ambiguities and conflicts encountered by Jews of that period. Some of the texts here are well known, while others will be totally new to modern readers. Some are developed novels, while others are rudimentary fragments. Taken together, they constitute a marvelous laboratory for uncovering how popular novels arose in the ancient world, and contribute greatly to our understanding of Jewish culture and classical civilization. In fresh, lively translations by Professor Lawrence M. Wills, included are texts from the Jewish apocrypha such as Judith and Tobit, several historical novels and selections from the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs.

In the Meantime follows the lives of three characters who meet in 1931 at the age of five in their small, Midwestern hometown, become friends and dream of a better life. After World War II, they follow their dreams to New York City, where their experiences prove that not even Manhattan is exempt from the nationalism, racism and mean-spiritedness so prevalent in 1950s America-if not still today. Their triad ismirrored by another three friends in Hiroshima on the day the atomic bomb was dropped, and by a trio of Jews hiding in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam. The brevity of the novel replicates the brevity of every human life. At the book's end, some seventy years after it began, only one of the nine remains to tell the story of their lives, and of what happened in the meantime.

 

About Yasmina Khadra

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Yasmina Khadra is the pseudonym of the Algerian writer Mohammed Moulessehoul. A high ranking officer in the Algerian army, he went into exile in France in 2000, where he now lives in seclusion. In his several writings on the civil war in Algeria, Khadra exposes the current regime and the fundamentalist opposition as the joint guilty parties in the Algerian Tragedy.
 
Published June 1, 2003 by Toby Press. 272 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, War, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Wolf Dreams

Kirkus Reviews

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A taut and harrowing account of a young Algerian actor caught up in the political strife of the 1990s who joins a commando of Islamic guerillas.

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Publishers Weekly

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Nafa Walid is a handsome aspiring actor in 1990s Algiers when he stumbles on a position as a driver for the Rajas, a wealthy and influential family.

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BC Books

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Jan 10 2007 | Read Full Review of Wolf Dreams

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