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The Dreams Hardcover – March 1, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-9774248665 ISBN-10: 977424866X Edition: 0th

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: American University in Cairo Press (March 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 977424866X
  • ISBN-13: 978-9774248665
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,889,985 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From The New Yorker

In his first book since an assassin nearly killed him, a decade ago, the Nobel laureate and author of "The Cairo Trilogy" transcribes his dreams. Presented without interpretation, the hundred and four sketches are cryptic, haunting, and brief—none more than a few paragraphs, some only a few sentences. Frequently, the narrator begins in delight and wonder—a street is a circus; a beautiful lady stirs his heart—and ends in terror, doubt, and confusion. He seems to experience everyday life with the knowledge that something is amiss—sometimes, perhaps, everything—and that people are, at the core, an uneasy mixture of idealism and hate.
Copyright © 2005 The New Yorker


A literary artist who is using his fiction to speak directly and unequivocally to the condition of his country. -- Washington Post

Mahfouz is the greatest writer in the most widely understood languages in the world, a storyteller of the first order. -- Vanity Fair

Mahfouz’s work is freshly nuanced and hauntingly lyrical. -- Los Angeles Times

Customer Reviews

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rev4u VINE VOICE on August 1, 2009
Format: Paperback
Egyptian Nobel Laureate Mahfouz, who was nearly assassinated in 1994 at the age of eighty-two, survived the attempt on his life and lived twelve more years, long enough to compose a book about his post-assassination dreams.

The late Mahfouz transcribed these dreams with captivating lyrics shrouded with mystery, and developed his actual reveries into short stories.

The book consists of a series of allegories connected to the attempt on his life, as well as previous experiences of people he knew, places he went, situations he faced, all laced with the ominous political atmosphere in which he lived in.

Unlike Freud, Mahfouz recited his dreams without interpretations, and left it up to the reader to construe the content and to decipher the enigma.

The two hundred and six scenes he dictated to his secretary are obscure, perplexing, and concise. He frequently began the vision with joy, nostalgia, and astonishment and ended in horror, uncertainty, and confusion. His dreams are a troubling mixture of the deceptively ordinary, and the frightfully eccentric constituting ten years of everyday experience.

You have to be a Mahfouz fan and an avid reader of his literature in order to appreciate this volume. Otherwise, you might find it boring and confusing. Overall, the book will present an interesting literary experience of a prolific author and a literary giant.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Zeldie Stuart on March 12, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not a story but pieces and fragments of dreams and thoughts. I found this book strange and not interesting enough for deep and long thinking; too much mind work for a book; I wouldnt mind if it were enjoyable in some sense but I did not find it so.
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