Carnival: A Novel

By Rawi Hage

A stirring new masterpiece from the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award–winning writer of Cockroach and De Niro’s Game.

In Carnival, across the world acclaimed writer Rawi Hage takes us into the area of Fly, a taxi motive force in a crime-ridden apocalyptic city.

Raised within the circus, the son of a golden-haired trapeze artist and a flying-carpet guy, Fly sees every thing, taking in all the city’s carnivalesque attractiveness and ugliness as he roves via its dizzying streets in his taxi. Fly is a reader, too, and while he’s now not in his taxi he's at domestic within the both dizzying labyrinth of books that fills his tiny house. His ally is Otto, a political activist who’s out and in of jails and asylums, mourning his lifeless spouse and misplaced foster son. On one differently tawdry evening Fly meets Mary, a book-loving passenger with a domineering husband. So starts off a romance that's, for Fly, a short glimmer of sunshine amid the shadows and grit of the Carnival city.

Along with Otto and Mary, Fly introduces us to madmen and revolutionaries, magicians and prostitutes as he alternatives them up and drops them off, touring via a nightmarish city that is―we can’t support yet notice―a parable for our personal debauched, unjust world.

Wildly ingenious and darkly ironic, Carnival is an impressive achievement.

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After they had entire barraging one another with fucks and oh yeah, oh yeahs, considered one of them, might be to defuse the internal violence of the crowd, became to me, the scapegoat, and requested me the place I got here from. I knew completely good the place that query might lead. I acknowledged Brazil, simply because that might flip the dialog to shores and thongs and, if i used to be fortunate, soccer and carnivals. they'd locate anything to agree upon, girls on seashores, bikini dances and browsing, and oh yeah may turn into phrases of contract and fuck could regain its literary feel. yet then a type of smartasses checked out my identify at the dashboard and commenced to shout, what sort of Brazilian identify is that? you're a fucking towelhead or a type of issues there, from the wilderness and shit, Brazilian my ass, fuck. you're a camel jockey, liar, and that i wager you take us the good way. Yeah, considered one of them shouted, I don’t see our lodge but, blood brother. Are you taking us travelers for a journey? We might be from out of city yet we’re nonetheless in our personal kingdom! You can’t idiot us. I saved quiet whereas they shouted at me and jeered and have become rowdy back. And one among them, as I pulled as much as the resort, acknowledged, Liar, probably you want to return to BRAZIL, liar. and so they all shouted, Brazil my ass! and slammed the door. They didn’t are looking to pay me. Their alcohol breath stated to me: We don’t pay liars and cheats. I them into the lodge, my Philips hiding in my sleeve, simply because I had as soon as promised myself that everybody will pay. I instructed them that i might receives a commission or i might flip their white matches into splashes of pink, i might hunt them in bars and watch for all of them evening if I needed to. i'm able to rapidly pulling the bedsheets out from less than their drowsing heads with no waking them up, i'll make their prostitutes look of their girlfriends’ closets, i'll alternative their cocaine traces with fishing ropes that sailed up their nostrils and down their brains, or i may easily juggle bowling pins whereas status at their Sunday barbecues in the course of their lawns . . . yet all of them shouted, Liar, liar, and walked in the direction of the elevator, other than a quick man who stayed at the back of. He got here to me smiling, pulled out a ten-dollar invoice, and passed it to me. He laughed and acknowledged: Brazil, sturdy one. preserve the swap, blood brother. He clapped me at the shoulder and left. I went again to my motor vehicle and tucked my screwdriver away beside me. that very same evening, I picked up a guy who claimed that he had simply run clear of the psychological health facility. He opened front door and sat subsequent to me, panting. He had run out throughout the health center doorways as a stretcher — or was once it a wheelchair, he muttered — stood among him and the massive nurse who desired to chain him to his mattress, and he laughed for some time and confirmed me the lines of straps round his wrists. I seemed rigorously yet I didn’t see any marks. He claimed in an effort to get away each straitjacket, or any underwater tank for that topic, simply because he possessed the data. What wisdom? I requested him. All males are trapped, he stated, until eventually they pay attention the decision.

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