Otared : A Novel

3.24 (1,141 ratings by Goodreads)
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2025: fourteen years after the failed revolution, Egypt is invaded once more. As traumatized Egyptians eke out a feral existence in Cairo's dusty downtown, former cop Ahmed Otared joins a group of fellow officers seeking Egypt's liberation through the barrel of a gun. As Cairo becomes a foul cauldron of drugs, sex, and senseless violence, Otared finally understands his country's fate. In this unflinching and grisly novel, Mohammad Rabie envisages a grim future for Egypt, where death is the only certainty.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 132.08 x 203.2 x 25.4mm | 340.19g
  • Hoopoe
  • Cairo, Egypt
  • English
  • Translation
  • 9774167848
  • 9789774167843
  • 891,861

Review quote

"Gritty."--New York Times

"More than just a portrait of a bleak future, this novel is of course a trenchant critique of modern Egypt. In Robin Moger's deft translation, Rabie's deployment of irony is skillfully rendered, a tool he uses to invert his country's contemporary characteristics in an attempt to underscore the absurdity of his narrative."--Culture Trip

"Reading Otared is by and large like having a hand grasping the back of your head, forcing you to look through photos from hell."--Marcia Lynx Qualey, The National

"Part early Ian McEwan, part Philip K. Dick, Mohammad Rabie's apocalyptic take on the Arab Spring in Egypt is an expressionist coupurgent, disturbing, and eminently readable."--Youssef Rakha, author of The Crocodiles and The Book of the Sultan's Seal

"A book of perverse and stomach-curdling violence that would have been unthinkable before the 2011 revolution, which inspired it."--Times Literary Supplement

"A fulfilling read that is honest in its depictions and provides a haunting look at the effect of war and at people who have seen too much of it."--Portland Book Review

"The world Rabie paints reminds me very much of the insane landscape in Paul Auster's 'In the Country of Last Things, ' with its violence, its cruelty, and its bizarre customs. . . . No science fiction novel has gut punched me this hard for a long, long time. . . . Mohammad Rabie is an emerging force in Egyptian letters"--Sean McLachlan, Black Gate blog
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About Mohammed Rabie

Born in 1978, Mohammad Rabie is the author of three acclaimed novels. His first novel, Amber's Planet, won first prize in the Emerging Writers category of the Sawiris Cultural Award in 2012. He lives in Cairo, Egypt.

Robin Moger studied Egyptology and Arabic at Oxford University before working as a journalist in Cairo for six years. He is the translator of A Dog with No Tail by Hamdi Abu Golayyel (AUC Press, 2009) and Women of Karantina by Nael Eltoukhy (AUC Press, 2014), and his translation for Writing Revolution (2013) won the 2013 English PEN Award for outstanding writing in translation.
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Rating details

1,141 ratings
3.24 out of 5 stars
5 17% (197)
4 29% (333)
3 25% (289)
2 16% (186)
1 12% (136)
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