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The Final Bet 1st Edition

3.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-9774161506
ISBN-10: 9774161505
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Though very simple, and in part also naïve compared to standard American or European crime-fare, the conditions presented in The Final Bet make it a novel of some interest. It's not so much the exotic locale but rather the very different social and legal environment that make the work interesting, and Hamdouchi's perspective -- seeing it in Moroccan terms, not those of some Western writer -- also give it a more compelling feel. And even if the crime and how the case is resolved are unremarkable (and, in part, too facile), Hamdouchi has a nice, simple style that make it an enjoyable read. Worthwhile. Graded as B --The Complete Review

About the Author


ABDELILAH HAMDOUCHI is one of the first writers of Arabic-language detective fiction. The author of eight novels, Hamdouchi is also an award-winning screenwriter for Moroccan television and cinema. All of his police novels, including The Final Bet, have been produced for Moroccan television. He lives in Rabat, Morocco.

JONATHAN SMOLIN is an assistant professor of Arabic language and literature at Dartmouth College.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: The American University in Cairo Press; 1 edition (May 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9774161505
  • ISBN-13: 978-9774161506
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.7 x 5.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,740,169 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I was held riveted by Hamdouchi's superb storytelling and finished this tale as a bedtime read in just over two hours. Here is a writer who knows how to cut to the chase and hone his talent for pace and plot-structure.

If I had to describe the plot in a paragraph, I would say this: A handsome young man, Othman returns home one night to find the woman he loathes, his wealthy dowager wife, Sofia, 40 years his senior - just think about it, she's 73 - stabbed to death while he himself sought an affair with a pretty aerobics instructor, Naeema. Through sinister alleyways, a grumpy Moroccan sleuth in Inspector Alwaar must discover the murderer. Alwaar is of the old school, harking back to the 70s and 80s, where the police were considered to be cruel and and as a result, much-feared. They were blamed for thousands of missing suspects and the abuse of human rights through the use of torture. There was said to be always a torture room in the basement of a police station.

Naturally, Othman's much-maligned love affair lead him straight to the police as an obvious suspect. The plot details the rough touch and intial rudeness of the detectives. The cantankerous sleuth in Alwaar and his colleagues badger their way around witnesses and use occasional force - why, nothing like a violent push or a bullying shout at an old woman in a tenement flat - and it's all in a day's work.

Alwaar whose life seems to be very much in keeping with France's own favourite sleuth in Inspector Maigret also like his French counterpart, owns up to the kitchen bustle of a fussy inquisitive wife. This, for a touch of necessary comedy. I wish that Hamdouchi had developed this specific scene as Alwaar's fictional wife would have added sharper depth, colour and interest to the plot.
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Format: Hardcover
Very good book. Not long. Can be finished in a day or two. Easy to read & will give you a rudimentary knowledge of Morocco.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
this is pretty thin gruel ( no depth to the characters/ no interesting material/ a plot full of holes--but i won't spoil the plot by going into that)....striking cover and quality paper.....why was this book chosen for translation?.....i suspect a political agenda because the writing has nothing to recommend it.
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