Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
The Trench Paperback – August 10, 1993
Start a new series - Up to 50% off
These featured First in Series titles are up to 50% off for a limited time. See all titles
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
If you’re the author, publisher, or rights holder of this book, let ACX help you produce the audiobook.Learn more.
Top Customer Reviews
I am very sorry to have to refute the incredibly snide Kirkus Associates review, which joyfully embraces the trope of squalid, vile Yanks and noble, complex Britons. Kirkus' reviewer needs to actually read what the writer says rather than regurgitate his own prejudices. Mooran has nothing whatever to do with Jordan; it is clearly a medley of Saudi Arabia and the Trucial States (for one thing, there is not a significant volume of oil in Jordan). It's difficult to make the case that the Doctor's son, who indeed attends graduate school in San Francisco, is corrupted by "American values" (whatever the hell those are!); the only Americans he interacts with are employees of the State Department, and are agents of state policy, not "American values." This book describes an entirely different world from either Iraq or Kuwait, and the reason Munif "cannily" keeps the USA or the oil offstage is that he's done with them.
Munif does indeed write about what he feels like, and the vignettes are narrated in whatever sequence he wants. He returns to earlier points in each narrative to achieve whatever point he needs to make.Read more ›
It is a great novel, rich with insights into the human condition that transcends the Saudi setting. The rush of modernization, coupled with the nostalgic loss of traditional values. There is the corruption and scheming that money can inspire. Munif might present it in a satirical, even tongue-in-check way, but there are numerous lessons in "statecraft" that are worthy of "The Prince." Munif displays a full palette of characters, major and minor, most, plausibly developed. I could almost hear Munif chuckling to himself as he wrote about Dr. Subhi Al Mahmilji evolving his "Square Theory." Clearly Munif possessed visceral contempt for at least one person who had wormed himself into the King's inner court. There are the dynamic complexities of family relationships, and there is some love, and much lust and sex. I found the appointment and evolution of the first head of intelligence, Hammad Al-Mutawa particularly well done, and fascinating.Read more ›
As I stated in my review of Cities of Salt, this is more a story of a fictional Middle Eastern nation moving from a tribal to a 20th Century economy with all the societal, political and cultural upheavals that implies. Munif uses the personalities of his characters more than actual events to tell this part of the trilogy's story.
This is NOT a book about the evils of the "West" or about those nasty folks destroying all that was good about their country. It is about the growing pains felt by all countries trying to grow up and be a part of the rest of the world. Sure, there are opportunists, double-dealers, etc. but there were some of the same in their "old" tribal society, too. This is revelatory rather than reactionary.
Please read this, BUT read Cities of Salt first; and don't read into it what Munif didn't put into it!!!!
Indeed, book sets the stage in a city of Mooran, and within 560 pages fails to move elsewhere, except brief mentioning of trips to the US or Mecca. All right, even in static circumstances the author could have thought of some events, maybe court intrigues, love affairs, assassinations, etc. - the kind of things our life has plenty of. Instead, the author describes a bunch of self-sufficient people who just happened to be close friends of Sultan, and these people simply waste the lives as time goes by. Well, by "wasting" I mean that they build palaces, buy luxury cars, and some of them even create philosophical theories. Maybe this is indeed what happens in Arab world, which I am not very familiar with, but politics in the US and Europe is much more dynamic, nowadays as well as before.
So, the author presents those rulers as totally uninteresting, boring people. All right, if that is the case, why spend 500+ pages describing them? Sometimes, I have impression that the author was paid on per-page basis, so he was simply working as "typewriter" - just type what comes up to your head, and God will sort it out...
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is the second book of the trilogy by Abdelrahman Munif. Although I'm sure that these books are very meaningful to citizens of Saudi Arabia, I had a hard time relating. Read morePublished on December 9, 2010 by Amazon Customer
I consider myself a professional reader but took a long time to get through this novel; most readers--I suspect--should not pick it up thinking that it's a casual read. Read morePublished on October 8, 2008 by T. M. Teale