Children of the Alley - Naguib Mahfouz

A little over a year ago, I went to Cairo. To get a feel for the place a little more, I bought a book by their most celebrated author, the Nobel prize-winning Mahfouz. I think it says something that it took me so long to finish reading this book. Caroline even gave up half-way through.

The book is effectively a sequence of five short stories, all too transparent allegories of the history of religion. The fifth is a bit of a twist, making it almost worth reading for... but not quite. I'm sure it's all very worthy, but it's basically too much effort, and reading between the lines of the blurb on the back, it feels like the reviewers agree.

Posted 2005-06-30.