Customer Reviews


14 Reviews
5 star:
 (12)
4 star:
 (1)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Who dares swear to the appearance of the following day?"
It is profoundly affecting to read a book which is not in its final form because its author was assassinated. Doubly moving for the reader is this book's warning cry against mindless practitioners of fundamentalist oppression, the very people responsible for the author's death in Algeria. Djaout clearly knew he was in danger, knew why he was in danger, and knew why he,...
Published on January 1, 2002 by Mary Whipple

versus
1 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too obviously unfinished
Although the premise of this small novel is intriguing, especially given current events at a national and world level, The Last Summer of Reason is not worth the time. Yes, the manuscript was discovered after the author's death, which leads to a certain romanticism about him and the work. However, it is still an unfinished, unpolished, unfocused book, badly in need of...
Published on July 27, 2002


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Who dares swear to the appearance of the following day?", January 1, 2002
It is profoundly affecting to read a book which is not in its final form because its author was assassinated. Doubly moving for the reader is this book's warning cry against mindless practitioners of fundamentalist oppression, the very people responsible for the author's death in Algeria. Djaout clearly knew he was in danger, knew why he was in danger, and knew why he, along with other writers and artists, represented a threat to single-minded fanatics in his country, yet he continued to create, leaving behind this final book, a legacy not just to compatriots who might feel like lonely soldiers against intolerance but to lovers of books throughout the world who sometimes take for granted the power and glory of a free press.

Almost plotless, the book reveals the thoughts and feelings of Boualem Yekker, a lonely man who finds himself living "a blank life" in a society which has been subsumed by the Regulators of Faith, zealots who worship a god of vengeance and punishment and do not recognize love, forgiveness, or compassion. Several far more compelling, but unwritten, stories parallel this plot, however. First is the powerful story which the reader cannot help but conjure of the author's own travails as a writer trying to find an outlet for his creativity within a similar society, and his eventual assassination. Equally compelling is the interior story the reader cannot help but create, and which I believe the author expected his reader to create, of what his own life would be like under similar circumstances.

Poetic and thoughtful, Djaout makes the world of a fanatical theocracy come alive, a world which many readers, like myself, could read about but not even begin to understand in the days after September 11. By allowing us to share the thoughts of a man whose "opinion of life was too high for him to make do with its shadow, its wrapping, and its peelings," we are granted entrée into such a world. Perhaps this is Djaout's greatest and most heartfelt gift to a public which did not listen in time to save his life. This is a stunning book from which only the most jaded reader will emerge unmoved and unchanged. Mary Whipple
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Viewpoints of the Author Through a Character, December 28, 2001
By 
David Fields (Lincoln, Nebraska United States) - See all my reviews
The Last Summer of Reason
Algeria is a country that was almost besieged by fundamentalism, and the fundamentalist leaders had targeted anything that they personally perceived as being a threat to their own brand of religion. Thar Djaout wrote this small novel as a reflection of his own experiences in that country, which he was assassinated for his writings and viewpoints.
The book outlines the terror that besieged Algeria in the past, and outlines the horror that the leaders of the fundamentalist leaders had done to that country during the civil war. It involves a character named Boualem Yekker who refuses to give up his views for the sake of protecting himself from harm. As you read this book, you will see that soon it becomes clear that one extremist becomes much like the other, until they all become one face and the character of the very people that surround Tahar Djaout become one faceless mass. This book is more about Tahar Djaout and his experiences in this horror, than about Boualem Yekker, the character he uses to convey the story.
For Tahar Djaout , as for the character outlined in this novel we would hope for a happy ending. US troops bomb the extremists and help reestablish a more reasonable regime. Something like what we would read in today's headlines. Possibly Tahar Djaout would go into exile, and write more poetry, and his words ring out as a voice of reason against a growing tide of hatred in his country. Perhaps it would all go back to the way it was. But it was never to be again. The last sentence Tahar Djaout wrote before he was assassinated by extremists in his country was "will there be another spring?"
Read this to find out what the world can lose without its poetry and poets. Tahar Djaout was a great, humanitarian, poet, and author who was snuffed out by those that were bent on destroying anything that was opposite to them. This novel is a reflection of his life, and a reflection of what those who hate freedom would like to see for all of us.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving and thought-provoking, March 30, 2002
By A Customer
At 145 pages, you can read this in a day, but it will stay with you longer than that. You really experience with the character, Boualem Yekker, the gradual removal of liberties, and his own acceptance of his inevitable death, and feel his pain as you would your own. It is also impossible to read about the threats to the character Yekker and wonder how much was fiction and how much was truth as Djaout suffered from repression before his death. A small but very powerful book -- a powerful voice silenced too soon.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars faults not faults, May 12, 2002
how can the editorial review fault this book for a 'threadbare' plot? it was found in his papers after his death. it wasnt a finished product! but besides that, the book is excellent. never have i found a book which takes you into a place so swiftly. i am so glad i decided to read this book and recommend to anyone who hasnt or is wavering on whether or not to try it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Unfinished Masterpiece, December 29, 2002
By 
It is obvious that this book was still in manuscript form when it was discovered. My belief is that the author would have edited out certain passages, tightened up some of the prose, and fleshed out what is now only lightly sketched. Still, as a reader, I felt extraordinarily privileged in being able to read what was here. The novel is chilling and achingly beautiful. There are turns of phrase that are breath-taking, and there are descriptions of totalitarianism that caused my chest to constrict in dread. Reading this book is like reading novels written in the wake of fascism or Stalinism--the idea that all is controlled, no one is to be trusted, the only safety is within one's own head. But it is the meditations on books--on what books mean and how they mean--that is the true gem in this book. And the comparison of how one Book (be it Bible, Koran, or Little Red Book) can be given such power that it must eliminate all competition that comes from other books. And his thoughts on gender and what totalitarianism does to sexual relationships is deeply moving. There are so many things in this book to talk about. I grieve that its author is not around to participate in those discussions.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Profound and Poetic, June 4, 2002
By A Customer
Tahar Djout's words are absolutely beautiful. A lyrical sledgehammer....this book is ironic in its timing. The reader is given an idea of what it is like to live in a world of extremism and religious fanaticism. Wole Soyinka's introduction is worth the price. Invest a day in reading the words of the late author and think about the fanatics among you. Could we all become Djouts?
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Other Side of the Story, April 18, 2008
This review is from: The Last Summer of Reason (Paperback)
Tahar Djaout's story is a "must read" for a number of reasons. First, for the English reader, the author constructs with great vividness and emotion the fear, sadness, and personal questioning that occurs when political groups slowly invade human freedoms. There are many passages that created extrordinary mental pictures and a brief understanding of the overwhelming emotions involved when extreme groups threaten and intimidate basic human freedoms.
Second, this book provides important insight to the other side of the battle against extremism. Few understand or even think about the places in the world where extremism has taken hold and what that means to the people and the culture of that country. Djaout's novel walks the reader through the emotions of uncertainty, questioning, anger, and fear.
The Last Summer of Reason provides a larger scope for the conflict between the world and extremists. The Western culture is not the only culture under attack - other cultures have been smothered under, where extremism has taken hold. If books are carriers of civilizations, then Tahar Djauout's novel carries the Western reader to a civilization struggling survive and to the other side of the conflict.

[...]- Join the discussion! Generating more demand for foreign literature translations into English.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Unforgettable, September 5, 2006
By 
It's been ages since I've read Djaout's "The Last Summer of Reason" but as time marches forward and summer is just behind me, I think of this masterful, poetic story and how it affected me as a reader. The interior life of a man I would never know and with whom I would have gladly shared bread made me revisit the power of the written word and its impact on its readership. I beheld the book, in light, yet others destroyed not only its potential conclusion but its writer. Djaout, with some possible prescience, tells the tale of societal alienation of one man, and brings all of us into the potential spotlight of what is moral and who is immoral.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Unforgettable, May 24, 2002
By 
K. Donow "Ken Donow" (Silver Spring, MD United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
In all of the discussions of this book, never once did I see mentioned The Plague by Albert Camus. The parallels extend way beyond the common Algerian background. If pushed, I would say that The Last Summer of Reason is more powerful because it is more specific. It provides something I don't think I've read or learned about in the last few years -- a fully imagined sense of the life lived in the midst of the creeping, quiet disaster of fundamentalism. Even though it is so short, and, so obviously unfinished, I am left breathless by this unforgettable literary witness.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Good read, July 17, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Last Summer of Reason (Paperback)
This is a great book!! I picked it up for my girlfriend because she is from Algeria. We both read it and loved it! Tahar has wonderful writing and descriptions, its beautiful. The book is very short and easy to read. Highly recommend this. Also look into Albert Camus.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

The Last Summer of Reason
The Last Summer of Reason by Tahar Djaout (Paperback - September 1, 2007)
$16.95 $13.21
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Rate and Discover Movies
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.