Qty:1
  • List Price: $13.95
  • Save: $2.21 (16%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 2 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Eligible for Amazon's FREE Super Saver/Prime Shipping, 24/7 Customer Service, and package tracking. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Adrift on the Nile Paperback – January 1, 1994


See all 6 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
$11.74
$6.83 $0.01


Frequently Bought Together

Adrift on the Nile + The Hungry Tide: A Novel
Price for both: $22.12

Buy the selected items together
  • The Hungry Tide: A Novel $10.38

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor; Reprint edition (January 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385423330
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099428862
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 0.4 x 5.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #245,726 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A keen sense of life's futility and meaninglessness gnaws at Anis Zani, a pot-smoking civil servant in Cairo and the cultured but dazed protagonist of Mahfouz's probing novel of spiritual emptiness, first published in 1966. Anis, an addict who can scarcely keep his job, shares a houseboat on the Nile--and a water pipe full of hemp--with other bored, disaffected Cairenes, among them an opportunistic art critic, a womanizing actor, a woman who has deserted her husband, a laid-back writer and a cynical lawyer. A spirited female journalist joins them and critiques their nihilism in her notebook, which Anis steals--an absurd act without a clear motive. In drug-induced hallucinations he encounters pharaohs, Napoleon, Nero, and his wife, who died 20 years earlier, as did their small daughter. The houseboat revelers take a midnight automotive joyride, which turns to tragedy with a hit-and-run accident; guilt over their collective vow of silence tears the group apart. Nobel laureate Mahfouz ( The Cairo Trilogy ) writes hypnotic prose, by turns romantically lyrical and tartly astringent, spiced with ironical allusions to ancient Egypt and classical history, whose grandeur highlights by contrast the rootlessness of modern Egypt's secularized, cosmopolitan middle class.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

In Nobel Prize winner Mahfouz's newly translated work, a houseboat on the Nile is a nightly diversion for a small circle of friends. Careers in the arts, business, law, and civil service are forgotten as the waterpipe makes its rounds, the intoxicating kif erasing all sense of responsibility. Anis, the "master of ceremonies," tends the pipe and drifts in his narcotic dreams while the others extol the absurdity of addiction. Their tranquility ends, however, when Samara, a young journalist, comes to study the group. She is the grain of seriousness that irritates them in their escapist shell, and around her swirls a nightly dispute over purpose, duty, love, and morality. A car accident crystallizes the argument, shattering the group as each confronts inescapable responsibility. The houseboat is a consistent metaphor in Mahfouz's writing, the vessel of escape in a complex and changing society. Adrift on the Nile skillfully dissects this metaphor but sacrifices the rich narrative and vibrant life that mark his other works.
- Paul E. Hutchison, Bellefonte, Pa.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Naguib Mahfouz was born in Cairo in 1911 and began writing when he was seventeen. A student of philosophy and an avid reader, he has been influenced by many Western writers, including Flaubert, Balzac, Zola, Camus, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, and, above all, Proust. He has more than thirty novels to his credit, ranging from his earliest historical romances to his most recent experimental novels. In 1988, Mr Mahfouz was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. He lives in the Cairo suburb of Agouza with his wife and two daughters.

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Billy J. Hobbs VINE VOICE on August 11, 2002
Format: Paperback
Winning the Nobel Prize for literature (in 1988) certainly didn't hurt him any, and
now Naguib Mahfouz has become a house-hold name (for the literati, at least). When
one reads a Prize-winner, one expects substance and style, and Mahfouz, if his
translators are honest, certainly seems worthy of the Swedish honor. In "Adrift on the
Nile," nihilism is the word, as a group of like minded intellectuals gather nightly on a
houseboat moored on the famous river where they question anything that can be
questioned--"but no answers," they claim. "There are never any answers," as they call
into account any topic brought up. It is a "din in iniquity," for sure, as good Egyptian
kif (and a well-stoked pipe) help to bring out their curiousity cum intellect. That is,
until, toward the end of this short novel, the group takes a ride out into the desert
where a disaster happens. It's Jay Gatsby, final chapter, of course.
Mahfouz is compared to Proust, Camus, Salinger, and an introspective Hemingway,
and justifiably so. Hailed as the "widest-read Arab writer currently published in the
U.S.," Mahfouz has certainly wielded his own influence among international readers
since the '88 Prize; alas, it seems it took the impact of this award for his books to
achieve their circulation, but that doesn't diminish his themes, his philosophies, his
impact on both socially significant issues and modern literature.
"Adrift on the Nile" reads fast and it is short; yet it packs a punch that seems to score
to the very soul. The houseboat literally becomes a ship of fools, adrift on the
Sargasso Sea, headed into the Bermuda triangle. Existentialists will love this one.
(Billyjhobbs@tyler.net)
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Luc REYNAERT on September 6, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Intellectuals gather every evening on a boat for drug and sex parties. One of them writes a play with the members of the group as main characters. Their common attitude: flight for reality, nihilism and defeatism. The fervour after the Nasser revolution is gone: "Revolutions are planned by cunning foxes, fought by the brave and won by the cowards."
But ultimately they are confronted with reality when one of them kills a person in a car accident and flees. Will the name of the culprit be revealed to the police? The group falls apart.

Mahfouz punches Samuel Beckett and his 'theatre of the absurd' K.O. when he cleverly remarks that Beckett filed a complaint against an editor who failed to fulfil his contract. His plays may be absurd, but not the royalties. It was all just a pose.

Indeed, more a book for Egyptian readers, but also with a universal theme: don't shun your responsibilities.

Highly recommended.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 5, 2001
Format: Paperback
A sort of Eqyptian Bartelby the Scrivener meets Brian de Palma. The book portrays a group of overeducated and generally understimulated, underemployed professionals who meet nightly in a hookah ritual that seems to roll on like the everpresent Nile until the one night when an outing changes things forever. The book marvelously conveys modern aimlessness, ennui, and the haunting presence of the past. Short, but depressing.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 18, 1997
Format: Paperback
I truly enjoyed this book. I'd actually rate it 8.5 on the 1-10 scale. The passion and readability of Adrift on the Nile led me to other works of Mafouz, all of which provide the unique entertainment experience that comes only from a mesmerizing novel . Being such a short book, Adrift on the Nile is impossible to put down once started
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?