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Utopia (Arabic) (Arabic) Paperback – November 15, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Far more convincing a depiction of a nightmarish future even than A Clockwork Orange, Utopia is a miniature masterpiece. I defy anyone not to read it in one sitting. -- Sholto Byrnes The Independent A wonderful novel, a real addition to Arabic literature Alaa Al Aswany, author of The Yacoubian Building Towfik paints a vivid picture of Egypt in 2023... a disturbing dystopic vision. The Guardian, UK A disturbing dystopic vision -- Eric Brown The Guardian, UK A highly imaginative novel that has succeeded in injecting new blood into the current [Arabic] literary scene. The Daily News, Egypt A chilling portrait of a scary new world without morals or scruples... Gulf News Thoroughly enjoyable... which seems - like Ahmed Mourad's Vertigo and Khaled Al-Khamissi's Taxi before it- to resonate loudly in the moments after the Arab Spring. The National Towfik's real strength is in his imaginative observations of the predicaments of the tattered social fabric of the future. Bidoun Ahmed Khaled Towfik's Utopia was translated in 2010, by Chip Rossetti, and published by a forward-thinking BQFP. This year, the book is a finalist for the English-language Science Fiction and Fantasy Translation Award. -- M. Lynx Qualey Arablit.com A politically charged fable about human cruelty, where a prince and a pauper exchange roles as predator and prey... the cat-and-mouse between them reads a bit like Patricia Highsmith's mysteries. As with Highsmith or even Philip K. Dick, an irresistible sense of unease propels the reader forward... The "story" of the Arab Spring as it's been told in the U.S. has largely been one of technology: Twitter and other social media enabling heretofore-impossible collaborations and coalitions. Utopia, where technology fades into the background and the hunting is done with a knife, highlights the revolution's human dimensions. Hopefully, Utopia represents the first of many translations of Towfik's novels. -- Scott Selisker Los Angeles Review of Books --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Ahmed Khaled Tawfik was born in 1962 and is probably the Arab world's bestselling author of science fiction and horror. He has written more than 200 books.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing (November 15, 2010)
  • Language: Arabic
  • ISBN-10: 9992142391
  • ISBN-13: 978-9992142394
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #869,246 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By G. I. Basterian on May 31, 2012
Format: Paperback
If you want to understand the Egyptian Revolution, read this book. As I am not a great reviewer, I'll quote extensively from a review in the Independent from SUNDAY 18 SEPTEMBER 2011 which hits it out of the park. UTOPIA is especially important because the author is only 49, prolific, a popularist and a huge hit among Egyptian youth.

According to the Independent:

"The year is 2023. Our unnamed protagonist wakes up. He urinates, smokes, eats, pukes, has sex with the African maid, swigs whisky, scrawls a slogan on the wall of his home, dances, pukes again and eats some more. "In one hour, I've done everything, and there's nothing left in life that interests me or that I want." Welcome to Utopia, the gated, US Marine-protected colony on the north Egyptian coast to which the wealthy retreated when the country's society collapsed in the first decade of the 21st century.

In Ahmed Towfik's chilling, gripping vision of an alternative future, translated from the Arabic, Israel had built its own version of the Suez Canal, tourism revenues were insufficient to pay for services and the Middle East's petroleum reserves became worthless after the US invention of a new super-fuel. The Egyptian middle class disappeared, as did the apparatus of the state. Those who remained outside Utopia, The Others, sunk into bestiality. No one read books, poverty dismantled "the barricades of morality", and hunger, disease and violence became the norm.

Utopia's youth grow up utterly spoiled, devoid of feeling for their fellow men. Money has eroded traditions of respect and religion, and in their international enclave, none of the children are given Arabic names, setting them further apart from The Others and from their history.
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By daverz on August 16, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Pretty graphic novel about Egypt in 2023, where the privileged few live in a walled city protected by ex-US military and the Others live under inhumane conditions on the outside. A series of events leads to a surprise ending. Cynical and dark but very entertaining and thought-provoking.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a short and rather horrific novel about an Egyptian dystopia. It is written in the typical Egyptian/Arabic style with philosophy interweaved in the narrative. Of interest to anyone knowing modern day Egypt. But this is a depressing book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great book! For any lover of Dystopian Sci-Fi, check this book out, whether in Arabic or English. It has a very eerie feel, kind of like the British Sci-Fi series Black Mirror, but with a lot of political and cultural references.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The main theme is good and the writing is grasping. Do not underestimate the little guy and what he is willing to do for change.
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