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    The Book of Saladin: A Novel (The Islam Quintet) (Paperback) By (author) Tariq Ali

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    DescriptionSet in the twelfth century Cairo, Damascus and Jerusalem, this is the fictional memoir of Saladin the Kurdish liberator of Jerusalem. It is the second in the series of historical novels depicting the confrontation between Islam and Christian civilisations.


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  • Full bibliographic data for The Book of Saladin

    Title
    The Book of Saladin
    Subtitle
    A Novel
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Tariq Ali
    Physical properties
    Format: Paperback
    Number of pages: 378
    Width: 135 mm
    Height: 188 mm
    Thickness: 31 mm
    Weight: 408 g
    Language
    English
    ISBN
    ISBN 13: 9781859842317
    ISBN 10: 1859842313
    Classifications

    B&T Merchandise Category: GEN
    DC21: 823.914
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: F2.3
    BIC E4L: HIS
    BIC subject category V2: FV, FA
    B&T General Subject: 360
    B&T Book Type: FI
    DC22: FIC
    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 11110
    B&T Modifier: Academic Level: 05
    DC22: 823/.914
    Ingram Subject Code: FH
    Libri: I-FH
    Ingram Theme: CHRN/MEDIVL
    B&T Modifier: Subject Development: 74
    B&T Approval Code: P25208000
    Ingram Theme: RELI/ISLAM, CULT/ARAB
    BISAC V2.8: FIC014000, FIC019000
    LC classification: PR6051.L44, PR6051.L44 B66 1999
    Edition
    New edition
    Edition statement
    New edition
    Illustrations note
    map
    Publisher
    Verso Books
    Imprint name
    Verso Books
    Publication date
    02 December 1999
    Publication City/Country
    London
    Author Information
    Tariq Ali is a writer and film-maker. He has written over a dozen books on world history and politics and plays for both stage and screen. The first novel of his Islam Quartet, Shadows of the Pomegranate Tree, has been translated into several languages and was awarded the Archbishop San Clemente del Instituto Rosalia Prize for the Best Foreign Language Fiction published in Spain in 1994. the third, The Stone Woman, was published by Verso in 2000.
    Review quote
    "The Book of Saladin is the second in a quartet of novels by Tariq Ali on the long encounter between Western Christendom and the world of Islam. Grippingly well told, brilliantly paced, remarkably convincing in its historical depiction of a fateful relationship, it is a narrative for our time, haunted by distant events and characters who are closer to us than we had dreamed." - Edward Said "Ali overturns demonising stereotypes of Salah-al-Din, portraying instead the 'barbarian' Western invaders. Whether depicting erotically charged harem intrigue or siege warfare, The Book of Saladin is an entertaining feat of revisionist storytelling." -- Simon Carnell, Sunday Times "Ali's new historical novel... is told in a manner which combines the incantatory storytelling of the great Middle Eastern anthologies with the solidarity of historical research." - Philip Hensher, Mail on Sunday "Fiercely lyrical. Weaving political intrigue, gay and straight love, betrayal, cross-dressing, rape, assassination and crimes of passion, Ali's tale ripples with implicit parallels to our age." -- Publishers Weekly
    Review text
    Ali (Fear of Mirrors, p. 1302), a historian, academic, satirist, filmmaker, screenwriter, playwright, and - yes - novelist, here continues the tale, begun with Shadows of the Pomegranate Tree (1993, not reviewed), of Islam's confrontation with Christianity. The style of this second entry in a projected trilogy or quartet is smooth indeed as All chronicles the days of Saladin in 12th-century Cairo, Damascus, and Jerusalem. Yet the emotional flow of the fictional memoir is often rendered in banalities, as when young Saladin (real name: Salah al-Din) is abandoned by his mistress for an older man: "So I rode back to Damascus in a jealous rage, weeping tears of anger and of sadness." No doubt. But such feelings have been rendered rather more intensely by writers ranging from Dostoevsky to Salinger. Even so, one is carried along by the sheer gallop of the storytelling and dead-on sense of time and place. In volume one, Islam lost Spain after ruling the Iberian peninsula for 300 years. As a Kurdish warrior, Salah al-Din claims his most outstanding conquest in the liberation of Jerusalem in 1187; the city had fallen to the First Crusade in 1099 and left Islam shaken, reeling, panicked. His story is told to a Jewish scribe named lbn Yakub, who also interviews other members of Salah al-Din's court, including his wife. At length, Salah al-Din becomes Sultan of Egypt and Syria; his story is rounded out with a letter detailing the character and devilments of the despised Richard "the Lion-Arse." Episodic but red-blooded and even thoughtful, as if urged on by Leonard Bernstein conducting Carl Orph's Carmina Burana. (Kirkus Reviews)