- Paperback: 104 pages
- Publisher: LUCITA Publishing (April 22, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 193828402X
- ISBN-13: 978-1938284021
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.3 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 23 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,433,274 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Verse in Arabic Paperback – April 22, 2013
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About the Author
Czech-American author Birgitte Rasine writes literary fiction that pulls the beauty and the pain of the human experience out into the open by their very roots. It’s raw, it’s resolute, and it’s real. Every story Birgitte writes is born from an actual event or experience and probes the deeper, if inconvenient, truths about the human psyche and modern society. Compared by some to Franz Kafka, James Joyce, and Edgar Allan Poe, Birgitte’s work leaves you doubting whether the ground you’ve been walking on is really as solid as you thought. In addition to her writing, Birgitte serves as the Chief Evolution Officer (CEO) of LUCITÀ Inc., a hybrid design and communications firm. Birgitte holds a BA in Film Aesthetics from Stanford University, studied cinematography at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles, and completed a professional masters degree in international relations in Spanish at the Instituto Universitario Ortega y Gasset in Madrid, Spain. She is a Founding Circle member of the Association of Women in Water, Energy and the Environment, as well as member of other professional organizations, and sits on the board of directors of the American Fund for Czech and Slovak Leadership Studies, a non profit organization in New York City dedicated to supporting the leaders of tomorrow. She lives in Northern California with her family.
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Top customer reviews
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The author never fails to capture the imagination with her beautiful prose. I look forward to reading more of her books in the future!
I was not disappointed. Her language, and the style of having a story told by one of the participants, reminds me of that old volume. I loved the way she sets up the mystery, from the unmarked house where the narrator meets the story-teller, to the dark corridor, and even the out-of place mint tea brought by the housekeeper. Her language is lush and perfect for the time period. Just read a quote like this:
Spain had forged her reputation with the blood of her own sons and daughters, and dragged her honor through the mud of political convenience and moral hypocrisy. And as any persona carrying an excess of her own importance, she was bloated with a blind and incompetent bureaucracy-- its clerks and administrators made Don Quixote look like a professor of nuclear physics.
Rasine does a beautiful job of using the doctor's formal manner of speech to bring us into a time when educated people spoke formally.
The story drew me in as it built, layering one strange fact after another. I read this novella twice. The first time, I felt disappointed by the ending, but now I am not so sure that I need to know everything. Just as Poe left so much to one's imagination, so Rasine leaves me wanting to read it yet again, to search for the little clues dropped here and there about who the murdered girl was, and what happened to her.
Only two tiny details bothered me a little. At the beginning, Rasine used a narrative device: the journalist says he was too absorbed in his thoughts to notice the scenery as the driver takes him to his destination. But, if he's so absorbed, how can he describe this scene? And later, the journalists comments that he's very observant. The other tiny detail is that way too many characters have 'olive skin.'
I could easily read this over and over, it's so beautiful and interesting. This story should appeal to anyone over the age of six or seven.
I received a free copy of this novella from Storycartel in exchange for my honest opinion and review.
The author is a true story-telling artist. She captures phrasing of classic mysterious tales, and then startles with new twists of her own. The mechanical details of the central character's investigative strategy may call for the reader to be gentle with the analysis. Never mind. The story itself is so exquisite that these issues are not worth probing.
The ending is a shock. The reader may wonder if he has fallen through the looking-glass. I won't give it away, because this is a surprise worth waiting for. A turn of phrase that captivates and entrances. Be sure you have a cup of tea at the ready when you turn the last page. You will need to sit and think for a bit. Do read Verse in Arabic.
I received a copy of this book at no charge in return for my honest review. This review is my own opinion in my own words.
They say that a book belongs to its readers once it leaves the author. It's certainly the case in this multi-layered work. It's not so much the story or even the characterization, but rather the book's atmosphere. I was as genuinely creeped out and befuddled as the doctor by the atmosphere of the house his patient was in, and by the cast of carekeepers in the house. Whether the author intended to or not, I also began to question the reliability of the doctor's story because I caught him in an inconsistency about whether or not the piece of mysterious handwriting which is the core of the story was recognizably that of the housekeeper's or a great imitation of his own. At the end of the story I did feel like I'd experienced some of the opacity and befuddlement of living in a regime where no one tells the whole truth.
The pacing of the book is wonderful, and the author manages to sustain interest all the way to the end although (Spoiler) the conclusion is not necessarily the clear cut one expected of a mystery. That disappointed the less intellectual part of me, I can tell you. But, it's actually what ties the whole tale together. The one irritating thing about the writing was the narrator who was characterized as an American but sounded more Central European than anything else.
I started the story because I was intrigued by the mystery of how the girl was killed and whether the doctor was innocent. After reading the story 3 times, I'm still not sure who did it. But I don't regret the time spent on the book. I ended up being captured by a larger mystery, that strange metamorphoses that takes place when a reader confronts the words, and takes away a much larger message than perhaps intended.
Definitely one for lovers of Kafka and Pinter.