03 May 2008

The Cyclist

I wanted to like this book, by Viken Berberian, better. The prose is lovely and strange (even rhyming at times), but in the end I couldn't make head or tail of it. Yes, the narrator is a prospective terrorist, yes, he's planning--with his comrades--to blow up a fancy Beirut hotel, but why is more mysterious. There's anger and determination, but the focus of those emotions is unclear. What's clear is that the character loves food and loves his girlfriend; with so much focused love, it's hard to credit the muddled motivation to violence.

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