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Inhaltsangabe: While exploring Cairo, Ib, an American, is taken up with by Armenian Gamal-Leon, who follows him by way of a practical joke during the Muslim Ramadan fast period, and humorous cultural misunderstandings ensue. 12,500 first printing.
Glen Weldon, The Iowa Review, 1997: Kiteley depicts the shadowy streets, the genial diffidence of the people, but what sets his prose apart is the purchase it affords the reader on Ib's perceptions. In spare, economic language, he establishes Ib's uneasy mixture of familiarity and bemusement, his affection for--and frustration with--his world. We come to intuit the sense of hesitant isolation afflicting his life; he is at once home and not-home. Despite his years as a resident, he is forever a foreigner in a city of inscrutable mystery. The triumph of this novel [is] that these characters manage to brush up against some pretty large abstractions like foreignness and narrative truth without compromising their roundedness and vitality. This is not, luckily for the reader, merely a novel of ideas. Kiteley's people are simply too well wrought, too expertly achieved, to let themselves sit passively by, mouthing stories and theories and thought experiments. And that's important, because Ib's Cairo is, after all, a dire, intriguing place. Trusted guides vanish, only to reappear with different names. Strangers accuse each other of dark crimes. Personal histories come into doubt, truth is mutable. Thankfully, I Know Many Songs, But I Cannot Sing has at its wise heart a cadre of strong, believable characters who remain compelling against even so exotic, and wondrous, a setting.
Judith Caesar, North Dakota Review, Volume 64, No. 4, 1997: At first I Know Many Songs, But I Cannot Sing seems like an exotic, surreal, picaresque account of an American's night in a foreign city. The plot pulls the reader forward; we want to find out who these people are and how to place them. We want to know why they are acting as they are, and how they know what they know.But what follows is a novel of ideas that explores the multiplicity of identity and reality. The setting is not merely exotic because the novel concerns the the difficulties of understanding other cultures, other values, other realities. The events that seem mysterious and magical have a plausible explanation within these other realities. And yet Kiteley also explores the limits of human understanding, specifically one's ability to understand what is outside one's own direct experience.In its sheer density and complexity,I Know Many Songs, But I Cannot Sing resembles that classic post-modern novella, The Crying of Lot49. And yet Kiteley's themes are all his own.
Pablo Conrad, The Village Voice Literary Supplement, March 1996: Kiteley is not writing about enchantment.For all its frustrating disjunctions and apparent illogic, this novel is strangely concrete. His Cairo blossoms, not least in the heightened perceptions of food as the day's fast draws to a close: "two boys fly by shouldering hot metal pans of bubbling eggplant casserole... The smell that lingers in their path briefly blurs the scenery." Gamal engages[the narrator] Ib in a game of story-telling--joined later by others--narrating incidents and dreams that Ib copies down afterward. The longest isa quietly frightening account of the accidental poisoning of Gamal's four-year-old daughter Annahid, and shares the novel's title. Such intimacies draw Ib further and further into Gamal's circle; and at the novel's close they all gather outside the city, exhausted, just before sunrise. The gentleness and elements of love in their stories echoes Kiteley's evident concern with small details of relationships and personal interaction.However disconcerting at first, the effect is finally compelling. In the acknowledgments to this slim volume, the author notes he "wrote this book in part on postcards to dozens of friends and family members,"adding, "I appreciated everyone's forbearance." This strange, rewarding novel is steeped in that sort of intimacy.
Buchbeschreibung Simon & Schuster. Hardcover. Buchzustand: Very Good. Book has appearance of only minimal use. All pages are undamaged with no significant creases or tears. Buchnummer des Verkäufers G0684809052I4N00
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Buchbeschreibung Hardcover. Buchzustand: Fine. Dust Jacket Included. 1st Edition.... Simon Schuster, 1996. First ed. new in DJ with remainder line lower edge. Unread. 0.0. Buchnummer des Verkäufers 2152
Buchbeschreibung Simon & Schuster. Hardcover. Buchzustand: Fine. 0684809052 un-read First edition minor shelfwear only!. Buchnummer des Verkäufers SKU0000000317
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Buchbeschreibung Simon & Schuster, 1996. Hardcover. Buchzustand: Good. Hardcover. Sound, clean & nice copy, light edgewear. Jacket is nice, light to moderate rubbing/edgewear. Not price clipped. Buchnummer des Verkäufers 821079n
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Buchbeschreibung Simon & Schuster, New York, 1996. Hard Cover. Buchzustand: Fine. Zustand des Schutzumschlags: Fine. First Edition. First Printing. Author of STILL LIFE WITH INSECTS. Buchnummer des Verkäufers 007793
Buchbeschreibung Simon & Schuster, New York, 1996. Hard Cover. Buchzustand: Fine. Zustand des Schutzumschlags: Fine. (I-2). Buchnummer des Verkäufers 720100161