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After all this time, he said, his bones would rest in his hometown beside his sister Layla; he almost added, Beside her scent, but he wasn’t sure that the dead would smell the same after four decades. Wars are probably never simple affairs, but the Syrian civil war seems more complicated than most of the wars that have been in the news in the last decades. After enjoining Bolbol to be good to his father, they vanished down a well-guarded side road. Abdel Latif, an old man, dies … Our final moments in this life aren’t generally an appropriate time for clear-eyed reflection; indeed, they always find us at our most sentimental. However, other female characters are more complete characters (mostly seen through the eyes of a male character). About the Book. Death Is Hard Work; Death Is Hard Work. Death Is Hard Work (Book) : Khalīfah, Khālid : FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR TRANSLATED LITERATURE A dogged, absurd quest through the nightmare of the Syrian civil war Khaled Khalifa's Death Is Hard Work is the new novel from the greatest chronicler of Syria's ongoing and catastrophic civil war: a tale of three ordinary people facing down the stuff of nightmares armed with … This novel is a gorgeous meditation on death, grief, family, and war. It takes place in present-day Syria and tells the story of three estranged siblings who come together to carry out their father's final wish. The last glimmer of his courage had almost flickered out by the time he found a taxi driver—listening serenely. Category: Fiction. Hussein had meandered around among several professions before taking a job as a minibus driver, and if nothing else this meant he’d gained considerable experience dealing with the state bureaucracy, and he had contacts all over the place. If I have one criticism it was that the story of the the sister was not as developed as the two brothers. I only disliked the fact that the female character is not really explained throughout the book and you don't really get to know her, or only as kind of mediator between both brothers. rich: death was no longer a carnival people threw in order to dem­ onstrate their wealth and prestige. His father had been im­maculate when the fighters brought him to Damascus from the besieged S; it was clear that they had taken good care of their comrade, this man who’d chosen to stay with them through more than three years of siege. 9780571346042. I think it was intentionally kept shrouded. Thanks to a fleeting moment of sentiment, Bolbol had promised to bury his father in the same grave as Bolbol’s aunt—whom he had never even met. He felt as though he were suffocating beneath the weight of his new predicament. He put his hands in his pockets, quickened his pace, and swallowed his fear. I’m not finished and that’s that. The following is from Leri Price's translation of Khaled Khalifa's novel, Death Is Hard Work. This book is about three siblings in modern day Syria trying to fulfill their father's dying wish to be buried in the town he grew up with, where is sister is buried. He considered texting Hussein the news, but it would have been beneath contempt to let him know that way. Peace and deliberation are required for reviewing the past and settling our accounts—and these are practices chat chose approaching death, rarely cake the time to do. Only residents could possibly have known which routes were per­missible and which forbidden. Death Is Hard Work: Khalifa, Khaled: 9780571346059: Books - Amazon.ca. A FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARDS IN TRANSLATED LITERATURE SHORTLISTED FOR THE SAIF GHOBASH BANIPAL PRIZE . And then it’s equally natural for the person, put on a cheerful front, as Bolbol was doing, so as not. 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