De Niro’s Game

“Summer and the heat had arrived; the land was burning under a close sun that cooked our flat and its roof. Down below our white window, Christian cats walked the narrow streets nonchalantly, never crossing themselves or kneeling for black-dressed priests. … Heat descended, bombs landed, and thugs jumped the long lines for bread, stole the food of the weak, bullied the baker and caressed his daughter. Thugs never waited in lines.” An extract from the excellent book De Niro’s Game by Rawi Hage.

Hage has written a vivid account of the Lebanese civil war and captures the essence of the war in thrilling but disturbing detail. Following the story of two young men through the war the book examines how debauched the war became and how ridiculous it all was. A master of description the book however fails in its ending that without giving the game away goes a bit cliche….This book is obviously written by someone is was once Lebanese but feels detached, removed from what happened and what is happening but still feels it is part of thier history and story.

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