The Attack

The Attack

Book - 2005
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"Dr. Amin Jaafari, an Arab-Israeli citizen, is a surgeon at a hospital in Tel Aviv. Dedicated to his work, respected and admired by his colleagues and community, he represents integration at its most successful. He has learned to live with the violence and chaos that plague his city, and on the night of a deadly bombing in a local restaurant, he works tirelessly to help the shocked and shattered patients brought to the emergency room. But this night of turmoil and death takes a horrifyingly personal turn. His wife’s body is found among the dead, with massive injuries, the police coldly announce, typical of those found on the bodies of fundamentalist suicide bombers. As evidence mounts that his wife, Sihem, was responsible for the catastrophic bombing, Dr. Jaafari is torn between cherished memories of their years together and the inescapable realization that the beautiful, intelligent, thoroughly modern woman he loved had a life far removed from the comfortable, assimilated existence they shared. From the graphic, beautifully rendered description of the bombing that opens the novel to the searing conclusion, The Attack portrays the reality of terrorism and its incalculable spiritual costs. Intense and humane, devoid of political bias, hatred, and polemics, it probes deep inside the Muslim world and gives readers a profound understanding of what seems impossible to understand."--Inside jacket.
Publisher: New York : Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, 2005
Edition: 1st ed. in the United States
Branch Call Number: FICTION KHA
Characteristics: 257 p. ; 22 cm


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This politically charged novel, set in Tel Aviv, was spellbinding. Despite being an extremely successful surgeon, the main character is subject to prejudice from the Jewish population for being an Arab and also from the Islamic population for not being a devout Muslim. When his beautiful, happy wife is suspected of being a suicide bomber, all the prejudices come to the fore and we watch his life spiral out of control. The writing is flawless and I highly recommend it. (submitted by EW)

Oct 08, 2018

This is a wonderful novel, written with a poetic style that addresses complexity of socio-political life with an engaging and accessible narrative. If you have read the author's books on the rise of extremism and the consequent civil war in Algeria, then this novel helps to clarify his analysis. In this examination of Israel's occupation of Palestine, the author capably distinguishes the struggles of a subjected people from the rise of fundamentalism in Algeria and the ensuing civil war.

Oct 01, 2018

An interesting way to explore the rise of fundamentalism. There were some problems with the translation.

Apr 22, 2017

Similar to Gone Girl, with the Arab-Israeli conflict as an interesting backdrop.

A complex tale, too simply told. I had a feeling throughout that the author was not being objective, there was some moral message I was supposed to espouse by the end. Translation was awkward in some places (R&R not rehabilitation and one gets excited, not exercised). A quick read but not something I'd recommend.

WVMLBookClubTitles Jun 17, 2013

Khadra is the female pseudonym of a former Algerian army officer and author of The Swallows of Kabul. In this cleverly conceived psychological thriller he attempts to get at the heart of the Israeli Arab conflict and examines what happens when individuals are caught up in an endless and meaningless cycle of violence. In a nightmarish series of twists and turns, an Arab-Israeli surgeon finds his life torn apart in the wake of a terrorist bombing at a local restaurant as he deals with the discovery that his own wife was the suicide bomber responsible.

Feb 20, 2013

Read all Yasmina's books... they put a relatable personal perspective on the middle east situation (as opposed to just a political perspective) and are extremely educational as well as entertaining. Amazing characters and believable situations.

Aug 19, 2011

very good, but also very sad situation for the people who live in that country.....

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