Read Die dunkle Seite der Liebe by Rafik Schami Online


From»Ein Meisterwerk. Ein Wunderding der Prosa, dessen Elemente gemischt sind aus Mythen und Mären, Fabeln, Legenden und einer wunderschönen Liebesromanze - fliegender Teppich von Sindbad und sehr reale Verwüstungen dieser Erde. Die Kunstfertigkeit, mit der Rafik Schami seinen Zauberteppich geknüpft hat, die dunkle Wolle von Blutrache, Stammes-fehden und FamilieFrom»Ein Meisterwerk. Ein Wunderding der Prosa, dessen Elemente gemischt sind aus Mythen und Mären, Fabeln, Legenden und einer wunderschönen Liebesromanze - fliegender Teppich von Sindbad und sehr reale Verwüstungen dieser Erde. Die Kunstfertigkeit, mit der Rafik Schami seinen Zauberteppich geknüpft hat, die dunkle Wolle von Blutrache, Stammes-fehden und Familienzwist, durchschossen vom leuchtend schimmernden Silberfaden der Liebe, dabei ständig neue Figuren-Ensembles zusammen-fügend zu Bildern ganz unvergesslicher Eindrücklichkeit: schlechterdings bewundernswert. Sein Atem, seine Kraft gehen nie aus. ... Versichern möchte ich die Leser: Sie werden eine Schehezerade miterleben in blitzender Farbigkeit. Einen großen Liebesroman, der uns die spitzen Messer der Trauer nicht erspart.«Fritz J. Raddatz, Die Zeit...

Title : Die dunkle Seite der Liebe
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9783423212243
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 1040 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Die dunkle Seite der Liebe Reviews

  • Maria Clara
    2019-06-13 21:52

    Una joya de la literatura! Sin duda! Hacía tiempo que no leía una historia taaaaaannnnn condenadamente buena y absorbente. La voz de Schami me ha transportado a Damasco como si fuera una alfombra voladora y me ha envuelto en una Mil y una noches de historias prohíbidas; de secretos y pasiones, de carceles y manicomios, de amores imposibles y venganzas... Sin dudarlo, de momento este es el mejor libro que he leído este año! "No hay peor falta de libertad que la que uno se ve obligado a sopotar tras haber apendido a respirar libremente."

  • Sarah ~
    2019-06-09 01:10

    الجانب المظلم للحب ... في الحقيقة، بدأت بقراءة هذا العمل ذات صباح شتوي في نهاية يناير الماضي وتوقفت بعد أن قرأت ما يزيد على ثلثه بشكل متواصل .منذ يومين بدأت العمل من جديد فسيفساء رفيق شامي المذهلة ..ملحمة تبدأ بقصة عداء تاريخي بين عائلتي (مشتاق وشاهين) المسيحيتين في إحدى القرى السورية وقصة حب مستحيل بين ابن عائلة مشتاق وابنة عائلة شاهين وفي الخلفية الصراع التاريخي والسياسي المستمر ، الإحتلال الفرنسي والانقلابات العسكرية الحروب مع قطاع الطرق واسرائيل وغيرها، مع ما يزيد على سبعين عامًا من التحولات التي حدثت بالمجتمع ..تتداخل القصص والصراعات والعلاقات مكونة منظومة هائلة التعقيد وطوال 1000 صفحة ..هذه ليست مجرد رواية عادية إنها إحدى تلك الروايات المحكمة التي التي تبهرنا .إنها ما احلم أن تكون عليه الرواية العربية يومًا، عمل متقن ومدروس ومدعم ببحوث ومدقق كما يفعل الروائيون ودور النشر في كل انحاء العالم .لتفهموا ما أقصد إقرأوا الفصل الأخير (كتاب الألوان) بقلم رفيق شامي وكيف كتب ملحمته هذه .أخيرًا شكرًا لخالد الجبيلي على هذه الترجمة العظيمة .

  • Fatma
    2019-06-14 04:09

    This is without a doubt one of my favorite books of all time. I'm surprised to see that some of the other reviewers criticized for being yet another book about honor killings in Arabia; one of the things I loved about was that it did NOT deal with honor killings as the all-encompassing story, in fact, it was just one of the many haunting and exquisitely told stories in this mammoth of a book. Definitely the length of the book should not be looked at as a hindrance: once I really got into the book after the first 70 pages or so, I found myself thinking, yay I still have a lot more to go! I actually didn't want to get to the end because I was so thoroughly enjoying myself. Somewhere towards the end I remember the author mentioning the story as a mosaic, and I think that's the perfect way to describe this novel. I also think it's the ideal way to show readers an image of life in an Arab country: each piece is a little fragment of the whole, on its own may not make much sense, but its still beautiful, and will be laid down, and little by little the image will build up in your head, until you see the whole picture. Love is everywhere in this book, but I think the greatest love of all is the author's love of Syria, the country from which he has been exiled for many years. The dark side of love for land is a very strong theme throughout. Whilst personally I can't get over the title - I feel it's too cheesy to do the book justice, I guess it fits in some ways.

  • Hilal
    2019-06-20 01:49

    أميل هذه الأيام إلى قراءة الروايات الضخمة، وبخلاف بعض الاستطرادات السردية -التي هي كثيرة في هذه الرواية- فإن "الإيقاع المظلم للحب" منضبطة الإيقاع والهيكل إلى حد كبير، وتدور دورة كاملة عندما تصل لنهايتها، وهذه المقاربة عادةً ما تجعلني أبتسم مع الانتهاء من القراءة، تحديدًا عندما يكون هذا الإغلاق غير مفتَعل. والابتسامة محفزّها -على الأرجح- أن كل شيء يبدو في لحظة ذَا معنى (هندسيًا على الأقل). لديّ مآخذ على استبدال أسماء الرؤساء بأسماء حركيّة يراد منها السخرية لأَنِّي أحبّذ إن أراد الكاتب إيصال مثل هذه السخرية، أن لا يقوم بها بهذا الشكل المباشر. قد يكون تاريخ صدور الرواية (٢٠٠٤) سببًا لهذا الاستبدال (أقصد سنة واحدة قبل تداعي النظام الأمني السوري في بيروت أقله، و ٧ سنوات قبل قيام الثورة السورية)، معطوفًا على ما ذكره الكاتب في الخاتمة عن رغبته في تغيير بعض التواريخ السياسية للانقلابات وهلم جرا خدمةً للرواية، لكن فنيًّا، كان يمكن تفادي مثل هذه المباشرة مع مثل هذه القماشة الحكائية المتسعة. أنا بشكل عام أميل للتقسيم والهيكلة، وهي أشياء مرذولة في الرواية العربية بشكل عام بسبب الجنوح للسرد التوثيقي أو بسبب سطوة اللغة، وهذا جعلني أرتاح لشكل الرواية. هذه الرواية من المفاجآت السارة لعام ٢٠١٥. النجمة المنقوصة هي بسبب بعض المباشرة في بعض السرد، وبعض الإشارات القيمية على بعض تصرفات الشخصيات في اللغة الوصفية المستخدمة، وإن كان يصعب في رواية من مثل هذا الحجم تفادي مثل هذه الإشارات. تُقْرَأ من قبل أصحاب النفس الطويل ومحبي روايات الأجيال والمهتمين بسوريا.

  • Chrissie
    2019-06-01 20:13

    I am so very frustrated with this book! The violence is repetitive. The sex is disturbingly portrayed, and it is repetitive too. There is no beauty in any love relationship. Beauty....I thought I would glimpse the beauty of the Syrian landscape. No! I thought I would be drawn into learning about Syrian history and culture. I thought I would get a feel for Damascus. All of this is lacking. There is no emotional tie between the reader and the numerous characters. You meet a character and he is married and has six children and then is killed or dies of an illness. All within three pages. Then the next character is delivered to you in the next two pages, and so on and so on. Yes, I am exaggerating a teeny bit, but not much. I need a feeling of attachment to at least one or two characters. I feel nothing for any one of them. Why? There are too many, there is zero dialog and you are told rather than having been shown. The classical failure of poorly written books. Have I learned interesting facts of history? No! I have been told in a few short sentences about the conniving behavior and bribery of those in power, but there is no continuity to the historical facts. There is little substance to show me how the people were affected by life under these leaders. They merely appear and disappear.This book is poorly written. There is not one beautiful or thought provoking line. You learn nothing, neither about human behavior, history, Damascus nor Syria. You couldn't care less about any of the characters. There is no humor. It is inexcusable that more than 200 pages is necessary for a book to become interesting or the slightest engaging, so yes, I am dumping this book. ***************************Through page 175:I hope this improves. There are two Syrian families that have a blood feud. If you can kill someone in the other family, you do it! Guess what happens then? A girl from one family and a guy from the other feuding family fall in love. Surprising? The biggest problem is that I have met about fifty people from these two families. (Thank God there are two complete family trees in the front of the book.) Too many characters to feel a thing for any one of them, let alone keep their names straight! Yes, there is murder and fornication and then another murder and more fornication. Multiply that by three or four. None of the characters mean anything at all to me so I couldn't care less..... I hope this improves. I have heard the book has a slow start.

  • Wael Al-alwani
    2019-06-08 01:03

    ملحمة روائية تستحق القراءة عن عائلتين تنتميان لقرية مجاورة لدمشق بينهما صراع اجتماعي وسياسي.. الرواية تنتمي لفترة ال ١٩٠٦ الى السبعينات بتفاصيلها (ولكنها تصل للألفية الثانية فيما بعد وفي الصفحات الأخيرة). أبدع الروائي رفيق شامي الذي تعرفت عليه شخصيا عبر صديق مشترك (وكان هذا بعد ان وصلت الى نصف الرواية :) ) في دمج الأسطورة بالواقع بالخيال بالرمز بالسياسة بالاجتماع.. انها رواية رفيعة المستوى من ٨٥٠ صفحة.

  • Najati Matrook
    2019-05-29 00:18

    ✏️▪️▪️اسم الكتاب: #الجانب_المظلم_للحبالمؤلف: #رفيق_شاميترجمة: #خالد_الجبيليعدد الصفحات: 1038الدار: منشورات الجمل✏️رحلة طويلة ولأيام قضيتها في دمشق وشوارعها .، أخذتني لزمنٍ كنت أتجول فيه في باب توما والحميدية والصالحية وغيرها في تلك المدينة العظيمة .، هنا في هذه الرواية تحس نفسك تتجول في سوريا .، ولكن في الخمسينيات .، ستذهل من كمية المعلومات عن دمشق ومجتمعها والأحزاب فيها .، والصراعات بين الأحزاب .، الكاثوليك والأرثوذكس .، والحقد والعداء .، من خلال أبطال هذه الرواية العملاقة .، عائلتي مشتاق وشاهين .، حيث يُغرم "فريد" من عائلة مشتاق بـ "رنا" من عائلة شاهين .، والذي يُعتبر حب محرّم على كليهما بسبب العداء بين العائلتين .!▪️▪️أراد الكاتب #رفيق_شامي أن يحكي قصة حب محرّم في ظل الظروف القاسية التي تعيشها دمشق .، وقد يكون السبب في حجم الرواية الكبير هو توسع الكاتب في وصف شوارع دمشق ومدنها وقراها وبيوتها .، في وصف سجونها ووحشيتها وأنماطها وتعاملها مع السجناء السياسيين .، سجن تدمر هذا السجن الذي يستحيل على العقل تصديق وجوده بما فيه من وحوش بشرية طاغية تتبع أقسى وأبشع أنواع التعذيب .، يقول الكاتب #رفيق_شامي: إن الطغاة يثيرون اهتمامي كظاهرة عالمية .، وإني أقدّم هنا النموذج العربي في ظروف روائية خيالية .! كان من المستحيل تجنب أوجه التشابه مع بعض الطغاة الذين يعيشون في زمننا الراهن .، لكنهم يحظون بأهمية ثانوية .! كان كل ما يهمني هو أن أبيّن كيف يتدخل الطغاة في حياة الفرد ويتغلغلون في أبسط تصرفاته .! وبما أنني لا أصف الواقع بل أروى قصة خيالية .، فقد سمحت لنفسي بأن أمدّد أو أقلّص من حياة الطغاة كما تقتضي الرواية .!▪️▪️الرواية تحتوي معلومات كثيرة .، أسميته بالكتاب العملاق لأنه فعلاً عملاق بكل ما فيه .، قد نراه سياسي وتطرق الكاتب فيه عن السياسة بكثير .، عرفت بأن زمن التعذيب كان منذ قديم الزمان وما زالت طرق التعذيب قاسية ووحشية جداً .، إلى جانب كل هذا كانت تنبض قصة حب جميلة اعتبرها المجتمع بأكمله محرّمة .، فقط بسبب العداء بين حزبين معينيين أو ديانتين مختلفتين .، وبسبب ثأر عائلي وحقد دفين بينهما .، ولكن أحببت الإصرار والحب الجميل بين "فريد و رنا" رغم كل الظروف القاسية والصعبة التي مرّ بها الإثنان منهما .، إلا إنهما تحدّا كل ظرف قاسي .، وكل تعذيب نفسي وجسدي وأعلنا للجميع استمرار حبهما .!▪️▪️أحببت "كلير" والدة "فريد" جداً .، لطالما دافعت عنه .، وشجعته على حبه لـ "رنا" .، كانت تتفهم ولدها وتسعى دائماً لإكمال حبهما .، ساعدتهما كثيراً على ذلك وفعلاً نجحت .، شخصيات الرواية كثيرة وكلها مسيحية ولكنها رواية عربية تمثل كل ما يحدث في بلادنا العربية .، أبدع #رفيق_شامي في وصف خليط من المشاعر في هذه الرواية من حقد وكره وانتقام وألم مقابل كل هذا مشاعر حب جميلة حدثت إزاء كل تلك المشاعر .، أيضاً كان للمترجم #خالد_الجبيلي دور كبير جداً ورائع في ترجمة هذه الفسيفساء بهذا الشكل الجميل والملائم لهذه الرواية الكبيرة والعملاقة .!✏️كتاب رقم: 66 لسنة 2017 ❤️📚▪️▪️📝 ملاحظة مهمة قررت أحطها مع كل رڨيو: لكل قارئ ذائقة مختلفة .، فأي كتاب يعجبني ما لازم يعجب غيري .، الأذواق تختلف والقراءات تختلف من شخص لثاني .، ف اقرؤوا وقيموا ولا تعتمدون على تقييمات أحد .، اووكي ؟!▪️▪️#مثقفات #قارئات #محبي_القراءة #أصدقاء_القراءة #أصدقاء_الكتاب #كلنا_نقرأ #القراءة_للجميع #الحياة_بين_الكتب #تحدي_القراءة #تحدي_100_كتاب_الرابع #كتبي #مكتبي #أمة_إقرأ_تقرأ #ماذا_تقرأ #القراءة_عالم_جميل #البحرين_تقرأ_10000_كتاب #الغرق_في_الكتب_نجاة #أحلم_بشغف #تحدي_الألم_بالقراءة#أنا_وكتبي #نجاتي_تقرأ#najati_books

  • Julia
    2019-06-06 00:01

    While at the beginning, I had some trouble getting into the story of the family feud between two Christian families in Syria which began at the end of the 19th century and keeps influencing generation after generation, the book and its characters started to grow on me after having ploughed through the first third of the novel. While I found the repetitiveness of violence and forbidden love a little bit tiring at first, it became one topic of many in the course of the book. I truly enjoy the Oriental way of telling a story - the narrator kind of meanders through urban Damascus and rural Mala, stopping here and there without obvious reason, thus creating a vivid image of the city, the country and its history. I've found this novel in a series dedicated to world's cities, and Damascus is definitely the hidden protagonist of the book. The prose is beautiful and evocative, and makes one smell the odours of the city, hear the chatter of the women and the noise of the children playing in the streets and the sheer vastness of the novel with its dozens of characters and sidelines reminds me of the labyrinth of Oriental medinas - definitely a book which makes one long for a journey to its settings. Besides, I learned quite much about the history of this country and I believe Rafik Schami is a rather unbiased narrator - of course, most of his main characters are cristian Arabs, but there are Muslims and Jews as well and for me he did a good job in giving a voice to all the different parts of this complex society rather favouring a humanistic approach towards life. Especially women's lot is represented in a way that makes me admire his insight into the female point of view. Schami shows the beauty and the colours of Syria while at the same time pointing out the weaknesses of a patriarcal society in which tolerance and freedom of thought are not guaranteed. It's obvious that Schami's own biography has influenced this novel a lot and that parts of Farid's life is based on Schami's own experiences - like his main character, Schami had to leave Syria for political reasons and started a new life in Germany, writing this extraordinarily beautiful novel in a language not his native one which is quite a miracle to me. Parts of this book made me laugh, others made me cry, and I'm sorry to leave Farid, Rana and the rest of the protagonists after the long journey I've shared with them.

  • sara siza
    2019-06-14 20:53

    Since I bought this book in October 2013, is been challenge to get time and start reading it as I have never read those types of a long length book. The first 50 Pages been hard to Understand what the book were about, as it was not matching the title of the book. However this book is now one my masterpiece and favorite book, as the author have create a very individual and a unique type of writing, by connecting and linking more then 200 characters an one novel. This book is explaining of the power of Love and believe how to overcome the difficulties and barriers regarding many characters Father love to a Daughter, Mother to a Son , even an the strong love the Matta found within his auntie where she was holding a huge love to his nephew which he could not find it within his parents. This book is reveals the true dark side of love within Arab's society, which they never accept the love from another nation as well as never quench a hate. As it shown within the two clan the hate has pass down to the third generation and it have affect a huge disaster for Rana and Farid. The novel highlight the power of dictator rule how it have been affect the individual human's life, and how everyone could take his or her revenge by the power of dictators that start from the ministry down to the power of clans and tribes.Furthermore, the love the author had to publish his own book, which took him to overcome all the hard parts during reading, writing, producing and THINKING as well as LONGING to his own country which all those feelings made him to come up with this book.On the other hand, this book it will take you to the heart of Damascus, the heart of the blossoms of Cactus. I really suggest for whom loves to know what love is! what a dictator can do! what hate can do! what is the hope and patient can breed! I recommend the Dark Side Of Love.......The style of each chapter of this book,is literally has been inspired from each Mosaic's square beauty.......

  • مالك الرفاعي
    2019-05-29 02:53

    رواية مُنهكة. كنت قد توقفت عند الصفحة 400 قبل ثلاثة شهور. في اليومين الماضيين عدّت وأنهيتها. هذا عمل عظيم جدًا جدًا جدًا. مراجعة مطوّلة قريبًا إن شاء الله.

  • Mark Staniforth
    2019-06-13 02:50

    Spanning eight hundred and ninety-six pages and three sprawling generations of Syrian families, 'The Dark Side Of Love' is a massive, monumental paean to passion in all its tragic glory.Decades in its creation, Schami's work consists of three hundred and four separate fragments ordered together in the same intricate manner as the mosaics which adorn the Arab world's most splendid mosques. 'Each of these pieces tells a story, and when you have read them they show you their own secret colours,' says the author in his afterword, relaying the vivid dream he says finally presented him with the concept for this narrative form. 'As soon as you have read all the stories, you will see the picture.'Seldom have books this long and exhaustive remained so utterly compelling from the first page to the last. Schami has not left as much as a single tile out of place.'The Dark Side Of Love' starts with a murder and ends with its solution. But this is no detective novel. This is first and foremost a book about Syrian love, unfurled in startling vignettes of tragic, forbidden trysts that sprinkle its pages like the sugar-coated fennel seeds which fall onto the streets of Damascus one night as if by magic.Two strangers gallop into the remote, mountain village of Mala in 1907, fugitives from a brutal arranged marriage, and inadvertently begin a feud between the Mushtak and Shahin clans which will spill the blood of generations to come. Some seventy years later in Damascus, the teenaged Farid Mushtak will meet and fall in love with a girl whom fate cruelly dictates is a Shahin. Their choice is stark: to deny their passion, or face death.Embracing a breathtaking array of characters, but managing to retain a clarity characteristic of so much translated Arabic fiction, Schami proceeds to fill in the gap of those three-score years, revealing why Farid and Rana's nascent love is doomed.Schami's work is in itself a love letter to a Damascus which in the course of his book survives the turmoil of occupation by the French, the terror of a never-ending series of brutal dictators and their Secret Service goons, short-lived union with Egypt and the birth of Israel. Yet so richly painted is Schami's picture of Damascene life that through all its turmoil and tragedies, the city never loses its allure.The novel develops through countless doomed affairs and periods of suppression, both individual and collective. In the 'Book Of Laughter', there are beautiful anecdotes about Damascene childhood; in the 'Book Of Hell', a nightmarish portrayal of life in Syria's secret prisons. It involves an extraordinary amount of sex, but this is not the kind of gratuitous or perfunctory copulation prevalent in so many philosophical modern novels - there are no 'Bad Sex Awards' here: the sex in this book is straight-forward and stallion-esque, which only the most tiresome prude would deny is not entirely in keeping with Schami's exploration of passion's extremes: the price for such ecstasy is often certain death.Schami's prose is simple and his outlook avowedly realist: beyond the occasional dream, he squeezes the whims of fate and fantasy from life itself. This realism makes 'The Dark Side Of Love' deeply affecting: haunting, heart-breaking and undeniably pertinent given the tragedy centred on Schami's beloved city today.Others have been right to question Schami's choice of title for his book, for this is not simply about love's 'dark side', but about love in all its glory - the kind of love that conquers all, even death.An old storyteller tells his rapt audience:"A woman once loved a man with a large wart on his nose. She thought him the most handsome man in the world. Years later, however, she noticed the wart one morning. 'How long have you had that wart on your nose?' she asked. 'Ever since you stopped loving me,' said the man sadly."Some say this is the great Syrian novel. I haven't read enough Syrian novels to venture an opinion beyond declaring it almost unfathomable that many, if any, Syrian novels could possibly be this good. It's the kind of book you truly wish will never end, and mercifully it takes a long time to do just that. Like the mosaics in the mosque, its intricate colours will shine out for generations to come.

  • Fiona
    2019-06-07 19:50

    The Dark Side of love is an 853 page tome, set in Syria and written in German. Rafik Schami grew up in Syria but moved to Germany in 1971.From the description on the back cover you would think this is a murder mystery, but it isn’t in the general sense. It starts at the end and then works it’s way backwards and forwards to create a mosaic of life and love that lead towards the end.It is set between Damascus and the village of Mala, homeland of the warring Mushtak’s and Shahin families, who are both of the Christian minority who live within Syria. The Mushtak’s are Catholic and the Shahin’s are Orthodox – but the original argument between the two is mostly forgotten, replaced by decades of hatred and wrong-doings between the two families.Caught between the two, Farid, a Mushtak and Rana, a Shahin, fall madly in love. Their love is illicit and from the beginning doomed.The first half of the book goes backwards and forwards in time – starting in the present, moving backwards and forwards through time until it settles down half way through and become a more linear story. It is slow but well written – Schami breaks the common rule of writing to show and not tell, but it is so well written that it works.Syria is a country ravaged by political coups for many decades, most which fail and very few lasting more then a few years, if that. Schami slightly changes the names of the various dictators making it somewhat hard to place within historical reality, which I found rather unsatisfying. I would like to have learnt more about Syria but I felt that he brushed over many historical details, whilst including them at the same time.Despite the melting political hotpot that existed in that time and place – the Soviet Union looming over the middle east with the Cold War, war with Israel, Egypt and political forces such as the Muslim Brotherhood mixed in it all felt rather diluted. What was it like to be Christian, and yet also Arab, living in a largely Muslim country? I don’t know. Mostly Schami recounts many tales of (often failed) love, some related to the wider story and some just little side-stories that take up a short chapter of their own.Schami pointed out the hypocrisy of people, society and of men in their attitudes towards love, their families and their religion. It felt like and endless ream of unfairness and unhappiness – how could people act and behave this way? Of course we know it happens all the time…It took me so long to read this, partly because I had to read it for my book group and wasn’t in the mood and partly because it is a slow-cooking novel it didn’t feel like one I wanted to rush through. I became quite absorbed in the writing, the characters and the various stories that complete this book as a whole.However, it also just seemed to go on and on and there were a few parts that I found just a bore to get through. I admire Schami for the book he wrote and the story he created and I would like to read something else of his again. But I feel this book was tainted by the fact I was just not in the mood for it at all. It was not that it was depressing, or dark – it was just that it was a constant low beam of unhappy people, failed love and misery.I’m not entirely sure this is a fair “review” if you can even call it that. I took so long over it (and I am a monogamous reader which makes it worse as I never get a break from it) that I felt so deflated at the end. Although I enjoyed it and wouldn’t like to say I didn’t – I also found many parts of it tedious.

  • Suzanne
    2019-06-19 01:17

    I gave it the old college try, but decided to abandon this novel after 100 pages. The Dark Side of Love is a story of Rana Shahin and Farid Mushtak, whose love story is similar to Romeo and Juliet, only this tale takes place in Syria, and the fighting between the families is much more violent. The novel begins when a body is found – a high ranking Muslim officer, and I presume that the remainder of the story unfolds like crime fiction, which is not really my cup of tea. There are many reviewers who gave this book high marks, but perhaps they were lovers of crime fiction.At over 800 pages, this book just didn’t capture my interest enough to stick with it.

  • Bridget
    2019-06-17 03:14

    The main story was interesting. However, there were too many side stories. I found them distracting. I read half of the book and just couldn't drum up the interest to finish it. I think it would have been an excellent book at half of its length and more focus on the main characters.

  • Marie
    2019-06-20 20:50

    I really think the blurb on Goodreads and on the back of my English paperback does this book a disservice, making it out to be a simple murder mystery when it is in fact an 800-page social history of Damascus and wider Syria that was 30+ years in the writing. The murder plot exists mainly to conveniently bookend an epic story of decades of clan rivalry, peppered with countless loosely-related vignettes that serve to illuminate daily life in an Arab state and the way different cultural and political groups coexist there. I’ve seen some reviewers have complained that this book is full of violence, despair, honour killings, political persecution...that’s true, but there is also joy, humour, friendship, strong women, lots to provide balance. I found it compelling & easy to read. Well worth the time spent on such a doorstop of a novel.

  • Jud Tirawieh
    2019-06-26 01:00إن رواية رفيق شامي , الجانب المظلم للحب المكونة من 1038 صفحة , بشكل أو بآخر تتحدث عن الحب المحرم بين شابين مسيحيين , كان ولا يزال العداء بين عشيرتيهما ضروساً , حيث أن الشاب فريد مسيحي كاثوليك بينما الشابة رنا مسيحية آرثوذكس , وكانت العائلة رنا تمنعها عن الحديث مع فريد , بينما كلير والدة فريد كانت تحب حبه لرنا وترى أنها وابنها لا دخل لهم بقصة من جد الجد , كما أن والد إلياس مؤسس عشيرة مشتاق كان يكره ابنه ومات ولم يكلمه , يظهر الكتاب حياة فريد والصعوبات التي واجهها في ظل التقلبات السياسية في السورية في تلك الأعوام 1940 أو 1950 عندما بدأت سلسلة الانقلابات العسكرية في سوريا وصولاً إلى حكم حافظ الأسد ويجدر التنويه أن الكاتب على طول الكتاب استخدم أسماء أخرى للرؤساء أو القادة العسكريين مما جعلني أنا غير العارفة أو المهتمة بالسياسة السورية السابقة أو الحالية , أجد صعوبة في معرفة عن اي شخص يتحدث وأرجحت أن الرئيس الأخير عمران , هو حافظ الأسد لما ردده طلاب المدارس وقتها من أمة عربية واحدة ذات رسالة خالدة , وحدة , حرية اشتراكية وما إلى ذلك إضافة لحزب البعث , بالمثول إلى أن هذا الاسم هو الأنسب لهذه الشعارات , إضافة إلى أن هذا التضليل جعلني أشعر أنني في متاهة , ولربما هو خوف الكاتب من أن يتم منع الرواية هو ما جعله يتبع هذه الطريقة رغم أنها كُتبت ونشرت عن طريق دار نشر ألمانية وباللغة الألمانية , لكن ذلك ليس موضوع حديثنا. إنني لن أكتب دراسة أو مراجعة مستميتة لأن الرواية في الحقيقة تشبه تفاصيل هذه الصورة التي أرفقتها بها , رغم أن الكأس الكبير كان يتسع لكمية أكثر من الشاي , والصحن قادر على احتواء المزيد من الكعك , لكنني سأكون سعيدة لحصولي على رشفة واحدة أو هذه الكمية الضئيلة من الشاي والاستمتاع بكعكة واحدة , ورغم أن الأشجار تظهر من وراء ال"قضبان" إلا أنني أراها وأرى لونها وهذا المهم ورغم أن الرواية بصفحاتها المتكسدة والتي برأيي لم تعلمني الكثير إلا أنني أحبتها ,ولم أستطع التوقف عن معانقة الكتاب في كل مرة حظي فيها الحبيبان بعناق دام طويلاً , لقد تعلمت أنني إذا رضيت وخنعت في كل مرة لما يريده المجتمع وقلت أنني يوماً ما سأحقق مبادئي عندما أكبر فإن هذه المبادئ ستندثر ولن يكون لها أي قيمة أو معنى , إن استمريت في الهرب فإنني بالنهاية سأفقد نفسي , لابد أن قراراتي ستضعني دائماً في وضع شائك , وقد أذهب إلى السجن أو المصحة العقلية , ولكنني في النهاية سأكون أنا ولن أقبل بإبداء انفصام في الشخصية أو التظاهر بأنني أتأقلم مع الحياة , لقد وضحت لي الرواية أن الأسر غالباً ما تخلق أبناء خانعين , يرثون حتى عداء العائلة وفي حال تمردوا كانوا يلاقون الموت , لكنهم يموتون دون ان يشعروا أنهم مسروقون من أنفسهم ورغم أن رنا التي وضعها أهلها في المصحة العقلية , وعوملت بسوء إلا أنها لم تتخلى عن شخصيتها , مبادئها , وطموحها ولا حتى عن حبها لفريد , لقد علمني الكتاب أيضاً أن الحب هو الحب , لايمكنك أن تفصل الحب إلى روح وجسد وأفكار وقلب وعقل وعين ويد وشعر , إنه كل ذلك , لا يمكنك تجزأ الشخص الذي تحبه ثم تدينه لانه مفكك , ولقد بين ايضاً أن أهلنا فقط , وعلى مر العصور زرعوا فينا هذه الرهبة من الحب , وجعلوه محرماً بكليته , ولذا وأمام هذه الرهبة بدأ الأطفال الصاعدين الذي بلغوا الفتوة يقعون في الأخطاء تحت مسمى الحب , لأن الخوف دائماً يجعل الإنسان يقوم بالأشياء الخاطئة .. لقد تعلمت منه أيضاً أنه يمكن للإنسان أن يجلس ويكتب آلاف الشعارات والخطط لكن الجيد منها هو تلك التي نفذت دون دراسة متعمقة مسبقة , تلك الاندفاعية النابعة من القلب ... ورغم أنني كنت قد قررت أنني لن أسهب فإنني غير قادرة على تحمل أن الأسر منذ القديم منذ أكثر من 50 عاماً هم من جعلوا لأولادهم بنات أكثر منهم شباناً شخصية خارج البيت وشخصية داخله , إن ذلك يصيبني بالجنون .. ولربما لأن الكتاب مليء بالسياسة كان هذا اعتراضي الوحيد خاصة أنني لم أفهم من كان من , وكنت أقف لساعات أمام الأسماء الغريبة للرؤساء , ضرطان , سطلان , شكلان , ومن هذا القبيل , في النهاية , يسرني أنني قرأت هذا الكتاب بكل إيجابياته ومساوئه , لأنه وضح لي , أن ما يحدث في كوكبنا ليس عادة أسرية أو مجتمعية من اليوم او أمسه أو ما قبله إنها منذ 50 عاماً , وإنني إلى الآن أستغرب كيف أنه لم تقم ثورة في البلاد تنادي باسم الحب , والحب الحقيقي الذي يحكيه الآباء لأبنائهم , بل إننا وعلى مدار خمسين عاماً كنا نمضي في طمس أولئك الذي يعترضون على الفصل , الديني , الجنسي (من كلمة جنسية) , الحزبي , العشائري , الطبقي , القبلي , التمييز بكل أنواعه , ولشد ما أحزنني أن الناس الذين يتغنون بقصة قيس ليلى و عنتر وعبلة , يتغنون فقط لكنهم لا يحاولون أن يكونوا مثلهم على الواقع , لقد كرهت في قلبي أم رنا التي كانت غبية تكره ابنتها لأنها لم ترزق بصبي في البداية ولأنها لم تقبلها ولا مرة واحدة , بينما أعجبت بأم فريد , التي لم يكن لها سوى هذا الولد ورغم أن يوسف هو الصبي الوحيد لأمه فإنه لا يحظى بذات المعاملة مما يدل أنها كلير هي السبب , لقد كانت تدعم فريد لكنها أبداً لم تحاول أسر حريته أو اتخاذ قرارات عنه بحجة أنه وحيدها , لقد علمته أن يحب وألا يستمع للناس الذين يريدون له أن يدخل في ذلك الشجار العشائري القديم , لطالما دافعت عنه أمام والده , كانت تتفهمه كما تتفهم والده الذي يستحيل فجأة إلى شخص عصبي ونزق , كانت سعيدة بحياتها راضية بنفسها , محبة لزوجها الذي هربت معه وتزوجته في بيروت , لان أهلها لم يريدوا لها أن تتزوج أحداً من أسرة مشتاق , رغم انها من عائلة سرور لكنه ابن قرية ولا يناسب سكان المدينة , وبذا فقد تعلمت شيئاً وحده الحب , الحب الذي يجمع زوجين قادر على تعليم الأولاد الحب منذ الصغر وإلا فعلى الأولاد المساكين شق طريقهم بحثاً عن ذلك الحب , الذي سيعلمونه لأولادهم و يغذون به أرواحهم الوحيدة ...

  • Laura-Ann
    2019-06-04 03:52

    This took me far too long to read. The blurb on the back gives the impression it will be a murder mystery kind of story that it sent in Syria, so I figured I would see how investigations like that work in that setting. It's nothing like that. Around 95%, possibly more, of the book bears absolutely no relation to the original event at the opening of the book. There was, frankly, no need to tell a story going back over such a long period of time to only get to the original event and summarise the outcome of it in a few pages. And it even felt like there wasn't a proper outcome, like the author just couldn't be bothered by that point.Like some other reviewers I was expecting to read descriptions of Damascus and other parts of Syria that would give a true feeling of the area and that was one of the reasons that I got the book. There didn't appear to be much of this, there was hardly anything to describe or give character to the areas it was set in.The story isn't even consistent in its timeline and jumps all over the place for at least the first third of the entire book before settling on the characters whose story is to be told. As it goes on the spelling and grammar gets worse - I can't tell if that's just a lack of proofreading, a poor translator or because there isn't quite a direct translation of what is being said. That said, it was written in German - a language that is easily translated to English.For all of the hours that I put into this book most of them feel like they were wasted. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone unless you like banal families that go back multiple generations without anything worth sharing.

  • Nisreen
    2019-06-01 20:54

    A literary mosaic about the mystery that is Damascus, where every "little piece tells a story, and when you have read them they show you their own secret colours. And as soon as you have read all the stories you will see the picture." A story of forbidden love, misfortune and grief brought about by the antiquated Arabic notion of honour, and a nation's inability to come to terms with its multiplicity and embracing the richness of it's social, religious, political and ethnic mosaic.Rafik Scahmi is a brilliant and gifted story teller, that's why he can get away with cramming the narrative with numerous details and characters, which I doubt caused the irregularities in the novel timeline, even though they contribute nothing to the plot nor to the characters' development. Yet may seem amusing to the Western reader who would like to get into the details of Easterners' customs and idiosyncrasies. All in all a brilliant portrait of Damascus from the point of view of minorities, and a highly recommended reading for anyone looking for a less conventional history of Syria.

  • Mostafa Mostafa
    2019-05-30 00:55

    This book started in a really amazing and creative manner, which reminded me of bks like "house of the spirits" and "one hundred years of solitude"....aaand that was really promising! That was untill the bk was all cenetered around Farid and the plot goes astray...focusing on stuff that really didnt make any difference regarding the plot and was just used to fill more and more pages!We could have been better off without many secondary characters and details that were simply a waste of time!The backbone of the plot, the love story and the clan's fight, was really well written and interesting to read!A gd back, not a great one, but gd none theless!

  • A.
    2019-06-25 23:06

    I've reached page 172 and I admit I've lost interest!The book is cluttered with too many characters; I can't tell who's who anymore.I believe Rafik Schami is gifted in story telling but needs to acquire some zooming skills.This is the second book I read for him and I like the Calligraphers Secret way better than this onethe other reason that pushed me away from this book is the amount of negative energy packed between its linesThis writer has the talent for romantic settings, so I wish to read for him a love story that is free from religious and political conflicts

  • Noha
    2019-06-19 20:52

    I would give it 2 and half a star really. The book was so long, full of details ( that did not really have a positive impact on me). I thanked god it ended happily. Diversity of stories based on different characters are amusing somethings but are useless other times. The essence of the book is politics, religion and sex. Would I recommend people to read it? No, the book would be a waste of time !

  • Mawaddah Kallas
    2019-06-06 20:13

    بدأت قرءة الكتاب بتفاؤل كبير نظرا لأني أعدت قبله قراءة كتاب "حكواتي الليل" لنفس الكاتب رفيق شاميفي منتصف الكتاب بدأت أشعر أنني قد وقعت في الفخ! ف أسلوب رفيق شامي يغريك بمتابعة القراءة ولكن المحتوى أصبح فارغا من أي معنى! وكنت مصممة على إعطاءه نجمة واحدة أو أقل لو كان ذلك خيارامع اخر 100 صفحة بدأت نهاية القصة تبلور الحكاية بأكملها ف قررت منحه نجمتينولكنني عندما أنهيته و تعرفت على التعب و الجهد وراء هذه الرواية و وجدت أنني قد تعرفت على جزء كبير من وضع سوريا السياسي في فترة الخمسينات و الستينات اعتمدت على تقييمه بثلاث نجومأهم ما أضافه لي هذا الكتاب هو المعرفة بالوضع السياسي لتلك الفترة، فترة الانقلابات المتتالية ، بالإضافة إلى التعرف على جزء من ثقافة المسيحيين السوريين و وجوه تشابههم مع المسلمين السوريينثلاث نجوم رقم كبير بعد هذه القراءة الطويلة، ولكنه قليل بالنسبة إلى كاتب مثل رفيق شاميالاقتباسات التي أعجبتني:"أشجار الزيتون والأجوبة كلها بحاجة إلى زمن""العزلة هي الأخ التوأم للموت""وعندما تظهر المخابرات، لا يتسكع الموت بعيدا جدا""فقط من يقرأ الكتب رغما عن المدرسة يصبح مثقفا""الإيمان قلما يحرك الجبال لكن الاعتقاد بالخرافات يحرك شعوبا باكملها""المصانع الكيميائية و الطغاة يلوثون البيئة المحيطة بهم""الطاغية لا يعيش على الأرض بل يعيش في رأسه""عندما ألقي القبض على نوري الحكيم، قال المثقفون في مقهى الهافانا إن الحكيم رجل محظوظ، فقد تبين أن الرئيس بيضان أكثر إنسانية من سلفه لأنه لم يأمر باعتقال زوجة الشاعر أيضا أو أطفاله الثلاثة أو والده"

  • Qurat
    2019-06-16 22:03

    "The clan saved the Arabs from the desert but it enslaved them. "I loved this book to bits and this could quite possibly be one of the best books of this year. I know it's quite early but this mammoth of a book has possibly everything you could ask for. To describe what the plot is, can be complicated because I am very happy to report that there isn't a linear plot. Instead, Rafik describes it as a mosaic, putting together an assortment of pieces till the big picture emerges and that is exactly what this book does. "Faith is a culture."From taking the reader on a whirlwind journey of Syria and through it, Arabia to incorporating cultural symbolism, from talking about how political turmoil especially dictatorship to strong ideas of feminism in a society that is neck deep in patriarchal oppression, this is a fantastic read.

  • Nose in a book (Kate)
    2019-06-27 02:17

    Rafik Schami writes in his afterword that ever since he was a 16-year-old boy in Syria, back in the 1960s, he had wanted to write a realistic Arab love story, but it took him 40-odd years to get it right. The result is a novel that looks at dozens of permutations of doomed romance against a backdrop of decades of Syrian history, though the bulk of the story is set in the 1950s and 1960s.The novel opens with a murder mystery – a body has been found, and when the assigned detective is suddenly removed from the case by the secret service he is determined to secretly continue investigating. What he unravels is a clan war that goes back generations, and continues to claim victims no matter how hard those involved try to hide or distance themselves.What prevents this from being a slightly distanced, slightly raced through family saga, is the central story that forms the bulk of the novel – that of Rana and Farid, lovers whose struggle to be together is thwarted by feuding families and political instability, jealousy and revenge. Although every character in this novel is wonderfully elucidated, Rana and Farid are truly alive to me. They are young people trying to embrace the modernity and opportunity of Damascus while respecting their families, and finding that it just isn’t possible, and that in Syria tradition and old-fashioned values will always win.Rana is well educated, with an immediate family that is forward-thinking and comfortable with Western influence, but her extended family is not so tolerant and the threat of honour killing hangs over her. Farid is passionate about the need for radical social change, which attracts him to ideas and people who are dangerous in a country ruled by ever-changing despots and tyrants.- See my full review:

  • Montse Gallardo
    2019-06-26 01:55

    Un buen libro respecto al que tengo sentimientos encontrados... La historia en sí me ha gustado mucho, y también la forma de narrarlo -muy al estilo árabe, de contar anécdotas y breves historias e ir entretejiendo todo, como esas teselas de las que habla el autor en su nota final. Pero me sobran teselas, algunas historias se han alargado mucho para mi gusto...Ha habido partes que me gustaron mucho, especialmente al principio, el inicio de las luchas entre los Mushtak y los Sahin; algunos personajes, como el amor incondicional de Matta, la amistad perdurable de Josef; e historias concretas, puntuales, como la llegada al colegio cerca de la frontera con Jordania...Y otras que o no me han gustado o me han aburrido. Se me ha hecho larguísimo el dificultoso amor de Rana y Farid, su estancia en la prisión, sus reuniones de partido... Y algunos personajes se me han atravesado, y no me refiero a los malos oficiales (como la familia de Rana), sino a los que se suponen "positivos" como Claire, que al principio me pareció interesante y luego se fue desdibujando hasta convertirse en una madre sufridora sin más...Vamos, que se me ha hecho un poco largo, aunque creo que es interesante leerlo.

  • Alice
    2019-05-27 21:05

    This was the perfect book to read to get a taste of Syria - outside the main story, the author throws in small chapters that give little stories that seem like they came from his grandmother; stories about life in Syria through the ages, and the characters you find there. Stories about how people think and feel: women, men, all religions. So, why only 3 stars? Because it was too epic (i.e. long and complicated). It spanned several generations and hundreds of pages just to set the background for the real story. Then, I just couldn't connect with the main character. He made too many stupid choices, and the only time he ever took any initiative was in prison. Also, everyone always seemed to sleep with everyone else - except people married to each other. Really, everyone in Syria is constantly having affairs? I doubt it. The moral of the story seemed to be: risking death to elope with a forbidden love is not worthwhile - because you'll end up cheating on your spouse if you marry either the person your family chooses, or a person of your choice.

  • Carey Combe
    2019-06-05 23:49

    This was very disappointing as I was really looking forward to learning more about Syria and its history. Instead I got a couple of Christian families warring against each other and influencing generation after generation. I wanted to slap the main protagonists and tell them to get a life... The repetitive (and to my eyes, mindless) violence, forbidden love, stereotyped characters, poor writing in the end just got too boring, The continual forays back into history explaining yet another character's background (inevitably violent) made it confusing and ultimately life got too short to read another 600 pages...

  • Terry Clague
    2019-06-26 02:00

    A truly wonderful book, very enjoyable despite the length - which many reviewers seemed to refer to, doubtless to brag (perhaps I should have read this in two volumes to get more goodreads credits).I hope potential readers aren't put off by the length of the book - for a start my edition was printed in quite a large font and secondly, the chapters are very short. The story is soap opera-like with a large number of stories and people interweaving over time and space.My only criticism is that one of the main characters - Farid - feels distant - perhaps because he goes through so much in the course of the book.

  • Candace
    2019-06-17 22:53

    So far, the dark side of love seems to be that, in Syria, if you glance at a woman not your wife or a family member, your entire family will be slaughtered and generations of men will devote themselves to revenge bullshit. Muslims and Christians are both involved (Muslims claiming the #1 spot)but Jews may get into the action, too--after all, I've got 750 pages to go.What's wrong with these people? Is it the climate? Religion seems to play little part. I wish I could report that the novel is set in 1200, but it just seems that way. Rafik Schami's novel came highly recommended, but it seems that I am just too sick of stories of middle-eastern "Honor" killings to get into it.

  • Mala Hussain
    2019-06-23 21:19

    I really enjoyed this novel, a beautiful story of forbidden love. I struggled with the first part, but as soon as we entered the world of the Mushtak's and the Shahin's I was completely absorbed by this book. Full of lovely short stories, I felt like I was sitting around a cosy camp fire, listening to each one. Don't let the size put you off, it is a very easy book to put down and pick up after a break. I found it very relaxing to read, even through the very dark and gritty chapters. The author shines a light somehow that guides you through. Enjoy, if your planning on reading it.