Professional restaurant supplies Spring Reading 2016 Amazon Fashion Learn more nav_sap_cbcc_7_fly_beacon $5 Albums Fire TV with 4k Ultra HD Grocery Mother's Day Gifts Amazon Gift Card Offer bschs2 bschs2 bschs2  Amazon Echo  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Amazon Echo Fire, Only $39.99 Kindle Paperwhite AutoRip in CDs & Vinyl Spring Arrivals in Outdoor Clothing SnS
Customer Review

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Of Interest, May 12, 2007
This review is from: Maze of Justice: Diary of a Country Prosecutor- An Egyptian Novel (Paperback)
This novel, published in 1937, was written in the form of a diary covering 12 days in the life of an overworked prosecutor employed by the government in the Egyptian countryside. It was based partly on the firsthand experience of al-Hakim (1898-1987), a Westernized liberal intellectual who's best-known as the father of the modern Arab theater.

During the course of the novel, the prosecutor investigated but failed to solve various crimes in one village: a murder by shooting, a murder by poisoning, and a murder by strangling. Meanwhile, he mused on the many obstacles he faced---a ridiculous caseload, departmental checklists governing procedure that ignored the chaotic reality of his job, the ignorance and dissimulation of the peasants, who lived like cattle, a legal system imported from abroad that protected creditors and the government rather than the people, and the lack of dedication of the civil servants around him, who were interested mainly in protecting their jobs with each shift of the political wind. ("Fancy me the Refuge of Justice! Where was Justice! I don't know it and have never set eyes on it, since nobody has shown it to me . . . . 'justice' and 'the people' are words whose significance is still unknown in this country. They are just phrases whose only purpose is to be written on paper and delivered in orations . . . ."). The social criticism wasn't directed only at the village, because "the village is, after all, the state in miniature."

Most of all I enjoyed several of the humorous set-pieces in the novel, such as the description of a trial, the questioning of a dying suspect, and the search for a body in the cemetery, for the blackness of their humor. Some of the scenes in the novel recalled Gogol's descriptions of ignorance and futility in the 19th-century Russian countryside, though without, in my opinion, matching Gogol's vivid characters, colorful narration or blend of reality and fantasy. One scene recalled a short story by Chekhov about a peasant put on trial for stealing nails from a railway line.

Remarkably, this English translation was produced in the 1940s by the Israeli diplomat and politician Abba Eban.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
  [Cancel]


Review Details