[PDF/EPUB] Cockroach Author Rawi Hage

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G himself to be a cockroach invading the lives of the privileged but wilfully blind citizens who surround himIn 2008 Cockroach was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize the Governor General's Literary Award and the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize It won the Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction presented by the uebec Writers' Federatio. Awesome and haunting and a spot on sense of Montreal portraits the eccentric landlady with fading aristocratic colors the exploitative bosses the hyper educated cab drivers The blur of fantasy reality across undergroundoverground story layers really worked for me Highly recommended Also funny as hell

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Cockroach

Cockroach is as urgent unsettling and brilliant as Rawi Hage's bestselling and critically acclaimed first book De Niro's GameThe novel takes place during one month of a bitterly cold winter in Montreal's restless immigrant community where a self described thief has just tried but failed to commit suicide Rescued against his will the narrator is oblig. Disturbing Less of what I liked so much about his first in the way of sweeping poetic language to describe a world of hallucinogenic brutality and focused on an internal world of delusion trauma and sadness The central character here is a soul in great pain but the first two thirds of the novel don t plumb those depths except by inference The superficiality of the court assigned psychotherapist s intervention compared to the gradual revelation of what caused the cockroach s flight and descent into crime and mental breakdown is the framework for the central dramatic tension and I thought very effective But it takes a while to unfold and Hage s style I found here to be almost too complex for telling a personal story compared to providing overall atmospherescene setting as in De Niro s Game This is a tough read very intense and immersive and there s not a lot of relief Actually there s no relief Given the story it tells this is probably exactly as it should be

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Ed to attend sessions with a well intentioned but naive therapist This sets the story in motion leading us back to the narrator's violent childhood in a war torn country forward into his current life in the smoky emigre cafes where everyone has a tale and out into the frozen night time streets of Montreal where the thief survives on the edge imaginin. Rawi Hage s second novel Cockroach takes place during a frigid Montreal winter and details the picaresue adventures of an unnamed protagonist a recent immigrant from the Middle East and self professed thief who often envisions himself as a giant cockroach Hage is the recent winner of English literature s richest prize the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award for his debut novel DeNiro s Game which I did not read as such there has been a considerable degree of anticipation for this new bookThere are two narrative arcs in this novel The primary arc is a first person description of the protagonist and his interactions within and without the shadowy migr community of Montreal The secondary arc provides the backstory of the protagonist s family history in the old country as detailed to his government appointed psychologistHage writes with an almost relentless forward momentum and the prose uickly takes hold of the reader by providing an intimate depiction of the protagonist s underworld The tone is persistently nihilistic particularly in the first half cynical and dark This is reflected in the actions of the unnamed protagonist who breaks into the homes of his acuaintances for petty reasons or none at all and sells drugs to shallow and self obsessed young uebecois These young cocaine addled materialists who live expensive apartments with faux shantytown architecture are viciously described by the protagonist who recognizes their implicit acceptance of him as nothing than their latest exotic fashion accessory another acuisition from the savage East The following passages illustrate this gleefully sardonic tone and there is much of this in the novelAll of her friends too lived in a state of permanent denial of the bad smells from sewers infested slums unheated apartments single mothers on welfare worn out clothing No everything had to be perfect every morsel of food had to be well served presentation always presentation the ultimate mask They were corrupt empty selfish self absorbed I despised them they admired meThis unrelenting nihilism untypical in many ways of Canadian literature is coupled with a fascinating use of imagery It is this imagery that has the greatest impact upon the reader As the title implies the protagonist views himself as a giant cockroach uick and agile feeding off the detritus of civil society thriving in the dark and recognizing no boundaries and barriers He comes to identify with the cockroaches infesting his apartment to the point of conversing with a giant albino roach He exists on the edge of madness for reasons that become clear as the novel progressesDespite all the cynicism surreal imagery and nihilistic tone which many have found offputting the ultimate sense conveyed by the protagonist is a profound sense of loneliness As he laments to his psychiatristI just wanted to know you I said I just wanted to be invited inThis loneliness is coupled with a deep sense of responsibility and shame by the protagonist at his failure to affect an earlier tragedy The primary narrative arc of this novel is his attempt to atone for this tragedy And as such the novel is ultimately a novel of redemptionI found it fascinating a very uick read and enjoyed the propulsive narrative style The imagery stretches a bit too far in some cases and parts of the second are a bit slow but these are minor complaints I look forward to reading from Hage in the future


10 thoughts on “Cockroach

  1. says:

    An Arab immigrant as a Scheherazade to his Canadian therapist his wild Third world past as 1001 nights to a steril life of taxpaying TV watching and self fooling A compulsively stealing uite lazy sexually starving resentful loner w

  2. says:

    Seeing as immigration is an integral element of the Canadian landscape it should come as no surprise that authors might seek to dip into this cultural stew for dramatic purposes Very few however would likely seek to add the phantasmagorical and hallucinatory elements that Rawi Hage’s novel Cockroach brings to the recipeThe Canadian author arose seemingly from out of nowhere in 2006 when his debut novel De N

  3. says:

    Disturbing Less of what I liked so much about his first in the way of sweeping poetic language to describe a world of hallucinogenic brutality and focused on an internal world of delusion trauma and sadness The central character here is a soul in great pain but the first two thirds of the novel don't plumb those

  4. says:

    Oh was I disappointed with this book?I hate it It's about all of the clichés that frame immigrants messed up psychotic sex addicts egocentric psychopaths thiefs hallucinating drunkies drug addicts filthy leechesI happen to know many Lebanese who are immigrants in Canada they have worked hard they're serious people they fled the war but they weren't psychotics who got turned on by their own sisters And they'r

  5. says:

    Rawi Hage’s second novel Cockroach takes place during a frigid Montreal winter and details the picaresue adventures of a

  6. says:

    Cockroach is an engaging character thief suicidal obsessed with the underbelly of life hating his new homeland an

  7. says:

    Awesome and haunting and a spot on sense of Montreal portraits the eccentric landlady with fading aristocratic colors the exploitative bosses the hyper educated cab drivers The blur of fantasy reality across undergroundoverground stor

  8. says:

    Yes I completed the book yesterday afternoon and attended the discussion at the library last nightWe had a good turnout there than expected the weather being cold and wetFeelings on the book were mixed not so much around the table but within ourselves as individual members We all agreed on it being a good book in that t

  9. says:

    What a fresh approach to dealing with issues of exile I had begun to despair that Arab writers could do it could write novels that could be taken seriously aesthetically and also pay homage to the issues political and social that must dominate the psyche of all Arabs What was impressive was how effortlessly the

  10. says:

    There is a lot packed into this book It is hard to separate my feelings for the main character and my feelings for the book The book is at its core about a marginalized immigrant who has a failed suicide attempt and his i