donderdag 28 november 2013

The Caliph's House: A Year in Casablanca - Tahir Shah (Boek)

Editorial Reviews
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. When Shah, his pregnant wife and their small daughter move from England to Morocco, where he'd vacationed as a child, he enters a realm of "invisible spirits and their parallel world." Shah buys the Caliph's House, once a palatial compound, now heavy with algae, cobwebs and termites. Unoccupied for a decade, the place harbors a willful jinni (invisible spirit), who Shah, the rational Westerner, reluctantly grasps must be exorcised by traditional means. As Shah remodels the haunted house, he encounters a cast of entertaining, sometimes bizarre characters. Three retainers, whose lives are governed by the jinni, have attached themselves to the property. Confounding craftsmen plague but eventually beautify the house. Intriguing servants come and go, notably Zohra, whose imaginary friend, a 100-foot tall jinni, lives on her shoulder. A "gangster neighbor and his trophy wife" conspire to acquire the Caliph's House, and a countess remembers Shah's grandfather and his secrets. Passers-through offer eccentricity (Kenny, visiting 15 cities on five continents where Casablanca is playing; Pete, a convert to Islam, seeking "a world without America"). There is a thin, dark post-9/11 thread in Shah's elegantly woven tale. The dominant colors, however, are luminous. "[L]ife not filled with severe learning curves was no life at all," Shah observes. Trailing Shah through his is sheer delight. Illus. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Bookmarks Magazine
In the March 2006 issue of The Atlantic, Terry Castle faced his addiction to the shelter magazines and furnishings catalogues that drive the "billion dollar business of home improvement." These same addicts put books like Peter Mayle's A Year in Provence and Frances Mayes's Under the Tuscan Sun atop the best seller lists. Travel writer Tahir Shah (In Search of King Solomon's Mines; Sorcerer's Apprentice) possesses the same idealistic (and some critics say naïve) pursuit of greener grass through domestic upheaval. While critics compare his book with the aforementioned classics of the genre, it is Shah's dark humor and skillful depiction of Casablanca that distinguish The Caliph's House. Though less intrepid souls might not care to live there, reviewers insist a few nights at Dar Khalifa in the company of such a talented writer is time well spent.<BR>Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

http://www.amazon.com/Caliphs-House-Year-Casablanca/dp/0553383108/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1301489031&sr=8-1

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