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SUMMARY Links By Nuruddin Farah

From the internationally acclaimed author of North of Dawn Links is a novel that will stand as a classic of modern world literatureJeebleh is returning to Mogadiscio Somalia for the first time in twenty years But this is not a nostalgia trip his last residence t. Jeebleh sat unmoving like a candle just blown out smoking its last moments darklyYes that would be a smart way to react when your traveling partner of sorts and his armed bodyguards begin to get nervousJeebleh has returned to Somalia after 20 years But why Really to visit his mother s grave Or will he be doing some activity that will endanger his life than simply being in the country has doneWell I have to admit I never cared what would happen to friend Jeebleh Maybe now is simply not the right time for me to be reading such a darkly violent book after five chapters I had to put it down and walk awayI borrowed this from the library after reading Hiding In Plain Sight by the same author But this earlier book could not capture my attention even as much as Hiding did Not sure I will ever be tempted to come back to it or to try another by Farah DNF after 5 chapters

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Links By Nuruddin Farah

Mage to visit his mother's grave Jeebleh is asked to investigate the abduction of the young daughter of one of his closest friend's family But he learns uickly that any act in this city particularly an act of justice is much complicated than he might have imagin. I ll start off by saying that even though this is a two star book for me I appreciate this new perspective I have on Somalia and the effort that went into the allusions or Links if you will to Dante s Inferno throughout this book These aspects are the most positive ones I take with me from this bookSince this was a book I had to read for class it was expected it wouldn t be something I really wanted to read I think what was so disappointing to me was just how much this book dragged on despite the fact that it was about revenge war torn Somalia rescuing kidnapped children and self identity The plot sounds like there s going to be action at every turn but there was a lot of conversation and wandering And drinking coffeeThe main character Jeebleh goes through a journey of self discovery as he returns to Somalia the country he was born in and imprisoned in by his close friend s half brother Caloosha After having a near death experience in New York he recalls the loose ends he wants to tie in Somalia He wants to pay respects to his dead mother he wants to help recover the kidnapped girls Raasta and Makka and lastly wants to enact his revenge on CalooshaOne of the most confusing things about this book is how the characters seemed to operate They always knew what the other one was thinking and allowed themselves to be taken to places without knowing where they were going I m not sure how realistic this is because if I was in a dangerous country I m not so sure I would just get in the first car that someone potentially Caloosha had arranged for me There was just a lot of weird tension and behavior that came across as unnatural rather than situationalI was also unsatisfied with how Jeebleh carried out each of his tasks It was confusing to me that everything played out for him in the end The perspectives shifted around at points where I really wanted to be in Jeebleh s head to know what was going on This was likely intentionally done to add a bit of mystery at the end but it just made the ending vague and empty to me Jeebleh s whole character was very unpredictable and odd so I didn t find myself glad that he d achieved his goalsLastly I felt as if the female characters in this book were one of two things strangely described or nonexistent I found myself confused when reading descriptors about Bile s sister Shanta and the girls Raasta and Makka And the first moment a female character actually speaks in the book other than a brief line from a phone call with Jeebleh s wife and daughters is almost halfway in the book While I m not expecting Jeebleh s story to be heavily focused on the female experience in Somalia I was a little concerned that he didn t once think of the fate of some of the women and feel something He didn t even seem to think about this in relation to the fact that his wife and daughters had they been Somalian and in Somalia could be subjected to some of the cruelties experienced there I wouldn t say to write this book off completely due to my taste it s still worth reading to learn about another culture if nothing else Just don t go into it expecting a lot of action

Nuruddin Farah ë 1 READ

Here was a jail cell And who could feel nostalgic for a city like this US troops have come and gone and the decimated city is ruled by clan warlords and patrolled by aat chewing gangs who shoot civilians to relieve their adolescent boredom Diverted in his pilgri. From the opening pages when Jeebleh a long time exile leaves his airplane upon arrival in Mogadiscio Somalia and witnesses the random shooting of another passenger and comprehends the danger inherent in all choices he makes he is assailed by unbearable stress Mogadiscio is a land in which almost no one can be trusted where kidnappings and murders are simply part of the day The opening chapter describes Jeebleh s journey from the airport to a hotel and its intensity makes other novels purporting to describe similar border crossings into dangerous global hotspots such as those found in books by John Le Carre seem dull Jeebleh uickly learns how to navigate Mogadiscio s complex and lawless society where someone who bullied him as a child has amassed power as a warlord where his movements are constantly monitored and where people hide their names and their past identities making his encounters constantly puzzling and fraught with fear Jeebleh determines two projects for himself one is to find two kidnapped children and to reunite them with their parents long time friends of his One child has Down s Syndrome the other is attributed other worldly powers simply being in her presence is considered protective The second goal is to find his mother s grave and to honor her memory He is changed by the city and by the company he keeps a small security force whose heavily armed presence begins to feel empowering and seductive Still Jeebleh notes small signs of normalcy within the chaos such as men lining up at the barber s for shaves and haircuts The value of friendship as well as its limits is well depicted here This novel is a visit to a place most of us would not care to visit to go there and survive is an accomplishment We don t know the long term impact of living through this hell on Jeebleh or his compatriots but the character of Raasta the divinely touched girl is one form of hope


10 thoughts on “Links By Nuruddin Farah

  1. says:

    Jeebleh sat unmoving like a candle just blown out smoking its last moments darklyYes that would be a smart way to react when your traveling partner of sorts and his armed bodyguards begin to get nervousJeebleh has returned to Somalia after 20 years But why? Really to visit his mother's grave? Or will he be doing some activity that will endanger his life than simply being in the country has done?Well I have to admit I never cared what would

  2. says:

    The book was very hard to finish It was overfilled with bad metaphors The story itself was terrible Even though everything w

  3. says:

    Although most Americans couldn't find Somalia on a map they all share one clear mental image of the African country the mutilated body of an

  4. says:

    From the opening pages when Jeebleh a long time exile leaves his airplane upon arrival in Mogadiscio Somalia and witnesses the random shooting of another passenger and comprehends the danger inherent in all choices he makes he is assailed by unbearable stress Mogadiscio is a land in which almost no one can be trusted where kidnappings and murders are simply part of the day The opening chapter describes Jeebleh's journey from the

  5. says:

    I'd say this is a 25 star book There were occasional moments where I connected with Jeelbeh or one of the other characters could overlook the absurdly stilted dialogue and clumsy metaphorssimiles and felt immersed in the atmosphere of mid 90s Mogadishu Most of the time though I felt untethered from the narrative and its characters The book spurred me to learn a little about the history of modern Somalia though which was

  6. says:

    Seeking exposure to life outside my middle aged middle ish class American bubble I asked a fellow truckdriver about books to help me learn about real life in his home country of Somalia He told me about Somali writer Narrudin Farah who became internationally famous for challenging his country's prevailing views on women especially in his book From a Crooked Rib   Rib was not available to me on audio s

  7. says:

    I see complaints from some reviewers about Farah's idiosyncratic sometimes rather formal even artificial style But I find his style with his

  8. says:

    I'll start off by saying that even though this is a two star book for me I appreciate this new perspective I have on Somalia and the effort that

  9. says:

    Set during the mid 1990s Links sheds light on the lurid status of famished Mogadiscio Somalia a city where government itself is obsolete allowing Dagaalka sokeeye or civil war to rage madly on The novel's protag

  10. says:

    Nuruddin Farah’s “Links” has an odd rhythm building slowly and then dashing madly even haphazardly to the finish Although Farah’s touchstone is the Inferno from which he uotes in epigraphs this novel set

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