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Rawi Hage Á 6 review

Sexuality Pavlov agrees to take up his father’s work for the society and over the course of the novel acts as survivor chronicler of his torn and fading community bearing witness to both its enduring rituals and its inevitable declineIn Beirut Hellfire Society award winning author Rawi Hage praised for his “fierc I wanted so much from this bookIf you like needlessly explicit descriptions of eye rolling male fantasies a main character who does nothing and yet muses on about the world because he read a bit of philosophy years ago I feel like we all have someone like this in our life and a plot that goes no where well have I got a book for you

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Beirut Hellfire Society

E poetic originality” Boston Globe and “uncompromising vision” Colm Tóibín asks What after all can be preserved in the face of certain change and imminent death The answer is at once propulsive elegiac outrageous profane and transcendent and a profoundly moving meditation on what it means to live through war Taking place in the midst of the Lebanese civil war in the late 70s Beirut Hellfire Society follows Pavlov the son of an undertaker After the sudden passing of his father Pavlov agrees to carry on his life s work helping an underground organization perform last rites for those denied proper burials because of their lifestyle sexuality or religion The story explores how people try to carry on in spite of the carnage around them and looks at the smaller violent feuds that arise in such an environmentI struggled a bit with Beirut Hellfire Society mainly because I was reading about soldiers and fighting and killing but I didn t seem to be feeling much of anything Rather than just assuming it was just a problem with me and my ability to empathize I realized early on that I could at least partially attribute my response to the writing Pavlov observes the terrors of war stolidly and this manner at least partially influences the way the reader experiences the story As well the imagery employed throughout came off far too light for the grisly things described a good example being long dead skeletons getting blown out of the ground by an errant bomb compared to frolicking dolphins So it seemed that the failure to evoke an emotional response stemmed from a failure of expressionBut then something changed I felt something Not something from the greater war but from the personal conflicts into which Pavlov entered This made me consider that Beirut Hellfire Society wasn t marred by a failure of expression that everything viewed as such had intent behind it What became clear upon re evaluation was what Hage wanted us to understand of living within a warzone that people become numb to the destruction in the effort to maintain some sort of normalcy within it It feels unreal like it can t touch you until you re hit with something that connects everything to you or those you love The triumph of the book is that the author doesn t just describe this but that he so effectively puts the reader in a similar mindset as he explores the ways his characters react when they get there when they truly feel the touch of the conflictJust keep in mind that if you give this book a try the subtle writing may make this some degree of inaccessible But stick with it if you do there s richness that can be found within the pages so long as you re able to be receptive to your emotions while you read

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After his undertaker father’s death laconic Greek mythology– reading Pavlov is approached by a member of the mysterious Hellfire Society an antireligious sect that among many rebellious and often salacious activities arranges secret burial for outcasts who have been denied last rites because of their religion or I am ambivalent about this book I thought the writing was great and the individual episodes describing the complexity of beliefs and attitudes as expressed by the many characters in this story was fascinating And the setting during the Lebanese civil war with the constant violence and threat of unexpected death due to bombings and gunfire was horrifyingI ve decided however Rawi Hage s work is not really for me This is the second book by him that I ve attempted and the only one I ve finished The book is really good but I don t think I m the right audience for his work


10 thoughts on “Beirut Hellfire Society

  1. says:

    A book about the randomness of whistling bombs destruction and death in 1978 Beirut A father tenderly guides his son Pavlov through the ceremonies of cremation for all those the state denies a burial in consecrated ground and those preferring a fire funeral They believe fire is a passage and a dance Its destruct

  2. says:

    Ahhh Rawi Hage He's just on another level This surpasses Cockroach as my favourite of his books caveat I've never read Deniro's Game I loved the endless ways he created to approach death violence family sex hate dance in this book I like my books dark and my themes intricately explored and this is that And as dark as it is there is joy and insight too Rawi creates characters that you love and hate simultaneously characte

  3. says:

    I am ambivalent about this book I thought the writing was great and the individual episodes describing the complexity of beliefs and attitudes as expressed by the many characters in this story was fascinating And the setting during the Lebanese civil war with the constant violence and threat of unexpected death due to bombings and gunfire was horrifyingI've decided however Rawi Hage's work is not really for me This is

  4. says:

    Now the man told his son you're sixteen – old enough to become a member of the Society The Hellfire Society the father added He switched on the car radio and drove towards the coast and then up into the mountains of Lebanon In the prologue to Beirut Hellfire Society an undertaker introduces his teenaged son Pavlov to a secret cr

  5. says:

    I was a big fan of Hage's DeNiro's Game and had high hopes for his new release While conceptually it was super intriguing Hage doesn't execute it as well as I had hoped Following Pavlov a son of a dead undertaker who serviced the marginalized homosexuals atheists sexual deviants who were unable to receive proper burials

  6. says:

    I wanted so much from this bookIf you like needlessly explicit descriptions of eye rolling male fantasies a main character who does nothing and yet muses on about the world because he read a bit of philosophy years ago I feel like we all have someone like this in our life and a plot that goes no where well have I got a book for you

  7. says:

    The description of this book seemed so promising – it’s a story about the son of an undertaker who after his father’s death is approached by the mysterious Hellfire Society an anti religious sect that arranges burials for those who have b

  8. says:

    Taking place in the midst of the Lebanese civil war in the late ’70s Beirut Hellfire Society follows Pavlov the son of an undertaker

  9. says:

    This review originally appeared in BookBrowse JournalIn Beirut Hellfire Society Rawi Hage creates a dance that is savage devastating tender mournful and darkly wickedly humorous The novel is loosely a modern day version of Antigone set during one year of the Lebanese civil war Rather than a sister intent on burying her brother the

  10. says:

    For those who understand the civil war in Lebanon Rawi Hage's latest novel Beirut Hellfire Society brings very special meaning Its hero Pavlov is the antithesis of the sectarianism that destroyed one of the most progressive countries in the Middle East Some readers will enjoy the novel for its simple but moving prose Others will relish its irreverence and philosophical wanderings But like Gibran Khalil Gibran Hage's story telling

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