Moving the Palace

By Charif Majdalani
Translated by Edward Gauvin
Read by Jonathan Davis

5.87 Hours 04/11/2017 unabridged
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At the dawn of the twentieth century, a young Lebanese adventurer leaves the Levant to explore the wilds of Africa, encountering an eccentric English colonel in Sudan and enlisting in his service. In this lush chronicle of far-flung adventure, the military recruit crosses paths with a compatriot who has dismantled a sumptuous palace in Tripoli and is transporting it across the continent on a camel caravan. The protagonist soon takes charge of this hoard of architectural fragments, ferrying the dismantled landmark through Sudan, Egypt and the Arabian Peninsula, attempting to return to his native Beirut with this moveable real estate. Along the way, he encounters skeptic sheikhs, suspicious tribal leaders, bountiful feasts, pilgrims bound for Mecca and T. E. Lawrence in a tent. This is a captivating modern-day Odyssey in the tradition of Bruce Chatwin and Paul Theroux.

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Summary

Summary

At the dawn of the twentieth century, a young Lebanese adventurer leaves the Levant to explore the wilds of Africa, encountering an eccentric English colonel in Sudan and enlisting in his service. In this lush chronicle of far-flung adventure, the military recruit crosses paths with a compatriot who has dismantled a sumptuous palace in Tripoli and is transporting it across the continent on a camel caravan.

The protagonist soon takes charge of this hoard of architectural fragments, ferrying the dismantled landmark through Sudan, Egypt and the Arabian Peninsula, attempting to return to his native Beirut with this moveable real estate. Along the way, he encounters skeptic sheikhs, suspicious tribal leaders, bountiful feasts, pilgrims bound for Mecca and T. E. Lawrence in a tent.

This is a captivating modern-day Odyssey in the tradition of Bruce Chatwin and Paul Theroux.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Renders the complex social landscape of the Middle East and North Africa with subtlety and finesse…Yet one doesn’t need to care about the region’s history, or its present-day contexts, to enjoy Moving the Palace…brio and Majdalani’s richly textured prose are reason enough.” Wall Street Journal
“A Middle Eastern heart-of-darkness tale that flows like a dream, occasionally turning nightmarish, but is always rendered with a hypnotic quality beautifully captured in Edward Gauvin’s elegant translation…Majdalani’s novels are much praised in the Francophone world and with good reason. His seductive prose twists and turns, deftly matching hallucinatory content with form.” New York Times Sunday Book Review
“The reader remains captivated long after having completed this epic and comic novel.” Le Monde (Paris)
“Charming and gently humorous…Majdalani’s writing sparkles…Those looking for an enjoyable and brisk literary adventure will be very satisfied.” Publishers Weekly
“This utterly charming and, yes, moving novel takes us on a journey…and the result is a victory of human ingenuity and a joyous picaresque…Beautiful fun that also gives a deeper sense of Middle East history.” Library Journal
“Through this fascinating adventure, Charif Majdalani constructs one of the most beautiful epics I’ve ever read.” Antoine Volodine, author of Minor Angels
“Charif Majdalani has a ripping yarn to tell and tells it with a raconteur’s bravura. Transporting, wholly engaging, deeply moving. This book is why I travel and why I read.” Andrew McCarthy, author of Just Fly Away
“An eloquent, captivating excursion through a Middle East history that is more relevant today than ever.” Rawi Hage, author of De Niro’s Game

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Charif Majdalani

Charif Majdalani, born in Lebanon in 1960, is often compared to a Lebanese Proust. Majdalani lived in France from 1980 to 1993 and now teaches French literature at the Université Saint-Joseph in Beirut. The original French version of his novel Moving the Palace won the 2008 François Mauriac Prize from the Académie Francaise as well as the Prix Tropiques.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction/Literary
Runtime: 5.87
Audience: Adult
Language: English