art of resistance, Lebanon

The Book To Read: De Niro’s Game.

I am currently reading De Niro’s Game by Rawi Hage. It is a story of two young men caught in Lebanon’s long civil war. For Hage, who was a teenager growing up in Beirut during the war, a lot of the book comes from his memories, not his imagination. Bassam and George are childhood friends, always together , doing pranks, drinking beer, chasing girls… But, war changes their firendship and their aspirations in life.


The story is told in the most poetic of ways, sarcastic and smart, with great comparisons and descriptions. I’ve rushed through the first half of the book, but now stopped for a while, just because it is one of those books I do not want to finish to soon, I want to enjoy it little longer, page by page, I want to anticipate and crave for more and look forward to it every day.

Here are some great quotes from the first part of the book, just to illustrate Hage’s striking dance with words.

“Longhaired teenagers like us, with guns under our bellies, and stolen gas in our tanks, and no particular place to go” 


“We sat and sipped our cocktails, licked our fingers, and talked about the gun, and how silent it was.”


“Ten thousand bombs had split the winds, and my mother was still in the kitchen smoking her long white cigarettes.”


“They washed like meticulous Christian cats that leak corporate oil extracted by exploited Nigerian workers from underneath the earth where devils roam, and worms gnaw on the roots of dead trees that are suffocated by factory fumes and the greedy breath of white skinned engineers.”


“The sea that is filled with Pharoah tears, pirate ship wreckage, slave bones, flowing rivers of sewage and French tampons.”


“I laid ten thousand kisses on her body, under the cascade of sweet falling bombs.”


“George, I said the next day while we were sitting in a café, smoking and drinking coffee, Khalil’s funeral is on Wednesday. Are you going? “No, he said, and looked at me with piercing eyes. I do not kill the bird and dance with its feathers.” 


I will definitely write more about this extraordinary book in the future.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s