The Last Summer of Reason

The Last Summer of Reason This elegantly haunting work of fiction features bookstore owner Boualem Yekker who lives in a country overtaken by a radically conservative party known as the Vigilant Brothers a group that seeks t

  • Title: The Last Summer of Reason
  • Author: Tahar Djaout Marjolijn De Jager
  • ISBN: 9781886913509
  • Page: 286
  • Format: Hardcover
  • This elegantly haunting work of fiction features bookstore owner Boualem Yekker, who lives in a country overtaken by a radically conservative party known as the Vigilant Brothers, a group that seeks to control every aspect of life according to the precepts of their rigid moral theology The belief that no work of beauty created by humans should rival the wonders of their gThis elegantly haunting work of fiction features bookstore owner Boualem Yekker, who lives in a country overtaken by a radically conservative party known as the Vigilant Brothers, a group that seeks to control every aspect of life according to the precepts of their rigid moral theology The belief that no work of beauty created by humans should rival the wonders of their god is slowly consuming society, and the art once treasured is now despised Boualem resists the new regime with quiet determination, using the shop and his personal history as weapons against puritanical forces Readers are taken into the lush depths of the bookseller s dreams, the memories of his now empty family life, and his passion for literature, then yanked back into the terror and drudgery of his daily routine by the vandalism, assaults, and death warrants that afflict him Books have been the compost in which Boualem s life ripened, to the point where his bookish hands and his carnal hands, his paper body and his body of flesh and blood very often overlap and mingle In the end Boualem himself didn t see a clear distinction any He has met so many characters in books, he has come in contact with so many destinies that his own life would be nothing without them Marketing plans for The Last Summer of Reason A percentage of proceeds go to ABFFE Joint promotions with ABFFE and member stores, including highlight in Bookselling This Week, Galley mailing BookSense Galley Program participation National advertising Co op availableTahar Djaout was considered one of the most promising writers of his generation, and was a firm believer in democracy Djaout s murder wasattributed to the Islamic Salvation Front, who reported that he was killed because he wielded a fearsome pen He is the author of eleven books, including the novel Les vigiles, which won the Prix Mediterrane.

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      Published :2019-09-11T15:50:25+00:00

    About "Tahar Djaout Marjolijn De Jager"

    1. Tahar Djaout Marjolijn De Jager

      From Tahar Djaout was an Algerian journalist, poet, and fiction writer He was assassinated by the Armed Islamic Group because of his support of secularism and opposition to what he considered fanaticism He was attacked on May 26, 1993, as he was leaving his home in Bainem, Algeria He died on June 2, after lying in a coma for a week One of his attackers professed that he was murdered because he wielded a fearsome pen that could have an effect on Islamic sectors He was born in Azeffoun, in the relatively secular Kabylie region After his death the BBC made a documentary about him entitled Shooting the Writer , introduced by Salman Rushdie.


    1. Can a man exist with a heart capable of committing the horrors thus told?This brief, terrifying tale of dystopia was found in he author's papers after fundamentalists killed him outside his home in in Algeria in 1992. This is an interminable nightmare, but one with blessing. Such terrors are sanctioned from on high and that is the element which scares me. People are often so certain about religion. Doubt is removed. Butchering everyone else can be viewed to assist and assert expansion of said pu [...]

    2. (review originally written for Bookslut)Tahar Djaout was assassinated for writing books like The Last Summer of Reason. His words are disconcerting, discomforting, and it's not only the fundamentalist Islamic groups (who have been attributed the responsibility for his death) who should be uneasy, it should be all of us. This book is an elegant argument against the complacency of political correctness that excuses brutal repression in the name of cultural differences. As recent events have all to [...]

    3. This is most of all a love letter to books, and their expression of dreams and ideas. This is also a warning cry about people who destroy books because they hate dreams and ideas -- the sort of people who love only control & death.Lately I've been thinking a lot about ideas in books and speech, and the necessity of dissent. Here, the author evokes a world in which those who love ideas are silenced and persecuted. This world is dark, bleak and scary -- and it is also a parallel to the repress [...]

    4. Boualem Yekker, bookseller in an unnamed county, is living on borrowed time as someone who does not buy into the new extremely religious regime in his country. The dictatorial new laws are enforced with violence and through coercion, and require women to be completely covered and religious rituals to be practiced. They also forbid things like books, music, and mixed-gender or otherwise "immoral" socializing. Boualem's family, disgusted with his refusal to comply, have left him. We spend the nove [...]

    5. Beklemmend hoe Tahar Djaout de defaitistische gedachtewereld beschrijft van een boekhandelaar in een fundamentalistisch islamitisch regime. In alles een soort islamitische staat avant la lettre, met een zedenpolitie, met rigide kledingvoorschriften, met een propaganda-offensief in kunst, cultuur en wetenschap, met openlijke vijandigheid naar vrouwen toe en met een uitgebreid kliksysteem om de brave gelovigen van de ongelovigen te scheiden. Een politieke en ideologische beweging om verschillende [...]

    6. This review is for the English translation of an Algerian book.If I was one of those heathens who highlights in books, I would have highlighted every word in this one. The writing is stunning. I wish I had read this book sooner instead of letting it linger on my shelf for months.I first heard of author Tahar Djaout several years ago, but The Last Summer of Reason is the only book of his I’ve read. Djaout lived in Algeria and was an outspoken critic of Islamic fundamentalism. In 1993, he was mu [...]

    7. This lyrical story (all the more stunning for being a translation) portrays the importance of art and the dangers of fundamentalism with power and brevity. I cannot recommend it more enthusiastically. The brilliant and incisive preface by Wole Soyinka is a must read.

    8. One of my favorite books ever written. This novel is so important, especially in times like these.This novel reminds you of how important it is to understand one another, no matter how different. People have a right to have different interests, beliefs, and opinions. This is what makes the world such a magically diverse place.Below are a few of my favorite quotes:"The proliferation of a mind-set that feeds on a compulsion to destroy other beings who do not share, not even the same beliefs, but s [...]

    9. I was introduced to this book as a result of reading: A History of Algeria by James McDougall, which described the sort of absurd, random violence this author found himself caught up in. This was a time when Algerians were burning books, murdering intellectuals, beating up unveiled women and killing people because they found wine corks in their garbage. The radicals were choosing to kill anyone who refused to think and act as they did. Tahar Djaout was an outspoken critic of the Islamic extremis [...]

    10. I was loving this little book about the terrifying and overwhelming reality of trying to resist against theocratic madness, and then I lost it on the subway. I had found it left out on the steps of a brownstone in Brooklyn in the summer of 2005, and had just gotten excited about reading it right now because it has correlations to the class on Political Theology I'm currently involved in but alas, I have lost it, and I was almost finished. It must have been on some occasion that I was trying to r [...]

    11. I read this for the "Great African Reads" group--left solely to my own devices, this would have been way too serious and challenging! But, thank you, Great African Reads, because I'm happy that I read it. The author, an Algerian, was killed in 1993 by militant Islamists who left the message that it was because his writing was dangerous. This manuscript was found among his things. It was difficult to read, because he really made me feel the oppression and hopelessness of a fundamentalist theocrac [...]

    12. 'The Last Summer of Reason' is a short and strange read. We see so many dystopias these days, but this book should really be discussed as separate and apart from that trend. Unlike a lot of those books, I thought this struck a really nice balance between plot and character. In fact, in 'Last Summer,' the society, overbearing and omnipotent though they are, aren't the most interesting parts of the story. Ultimately, it's the main character, Boulaem Yekker, who resonates the most. Boualem has pret [...]

    13. December 9, 2010I never got around to writing a review for this after I read it. I'm considering a second reading, because I think it probably deserves more than the three stars I gave it. A few days ago I ran across something I had copied from the book. It's never too late to share gorgeous writing, so I wanted to post it here. I love the way he sums up the gifts each season has to offer: "It is fall, with trees growing cold and leaves beginning to turn red. Nature is resting after having turne [...]

    14. The story of the dangers of a society that has given itself completely to religious fervor. Ironically, and tragically, this novel was found amongst the authors papers after he was assassinated by an Islamic fundamentalist group.

    15. Sometimes I feel like the United States is in it's "last summer of reason" but books like this remind me that there are much darker and more repressive levels that society can occupy.

    16. Bookstore owner, Boualem Yekker lives in a country taken over by a radical religious group, the Vigilant Brothers. At first he is left alone with his books and his memories but eventually the group’s followers come after him for even daring to have books. Stepping back from what is in the novel and concentrating more on how it came to be, it is valuable to note that its author, Tahar Djaout was persecuted and finally assassinated by those in his own country who had begun to target intellectual [...]

    17. So often it's cast as "us against them," a battle of cultures, West versus East, or even a "crusade," with all its loaded implications. For several reasons, Tahar Djaout's novel The Last Summer of Reason demonstrates the error of using such thinking when it comes to radical Islamists. In fact, it shows that the impact of and battle against fundamentalism is far from us versus them.[return][return]The Last Summer of Reason examines life from the viewpoint of Boualem Yekker, a bookseller in a repu [...]

    18. For any reader of influential, dramatic, spiritual, or very real stries, I highly recommend this novel. Reminiscent of "Fahrenheit 451", Djaout (somewhat) delivers the story of a free-thinking bookstore owner trapped in a world of restricted and abhorrent policies regarding literature and works of art. A religious revolution has decreed that "all man-made creations rivaling the beauty of the Almighty Creator" are not acceptable. Boualem Yekker, our protagonist, stands powerlessly by while watchi [...]

    19. This is an important book, a revelatory account of what happens when people who know they are right and everyone who disagrees with them are not just mistaken but evil and must be annihilated. Dystopian and post-apocalyptic? Yes, but not in the manner of so many currently popular books set in some ghastly future; the world described here by Djaout is very real and with us today. Brilliantly written, I've shelved it as prose because of its lyrical, almost nightmarish language.With all that going [...]

    20. This book was recommended by Author John Green (in one of his vlogbrothers posts) Tahar Djaout was a journalist, author and poet in Algeria while that country was being swallowed up by Islamic extremism. He was assassinated in 1993 by a fundamentalist group saying he: "wielded a fearsome pen that could have an effect on Islamic sectors."Here are some words from that pen:----------Some people may consider the following paragraph a spoiler. I really don't since I know a little (very) about the his [...]

    21. This book has been on my list for years and I finally got to read it. The plot reminds me of "Bonfire of the Vanities" in the Renaissance period where Savonarola ordered to burn paintings and books publicly in Florence because he thought those things were connected with sins. The complex relationships among religion, politics, gender roles and literature are so well-portrayed in this book."He has met so many characters in books, he has come into contact with so many unforgettable destinies that [...]

    22. This book came recommended by John Green as a book he loved but didn't think many people had read, let alone heard of. It's a beautifully written story of a man who owns a bookshop in a country recently taken over by conservative extremists who think art is evil. The entire book is an allegory for radical theocracies, and it makes sense given that Tahar Djaout was killed by Islamic extremists. I was surprised to see that it was such a slim and short novel, and I was surprised to read such beauti [...]

    23. A short novel both chilling and full of hope at the same time, written in beautiful prose. This story by Algerian author Tahar Djaout is an important tale for for our times -- read this, and share it with others.A Talibanesque dictatorship takes over not only a goverment but also a society. Its facade of legitimacy is an ideology it claims serves "God," yet the "God" of these thugs is nothing but an excuse for brutality, rigidity, and control.In the face of this, the lead character Boulem holds [...]

    24. A disturbing story of what happens when fanatics of any religion or political persuasion take over a country. This one happens to be set in Algeria in the 1990s but could easily happen anywhere. In this particular edition there is an excellent introduction which tells about the author, assassinated in 1993 for expressing his beliefs in a magazine he created, Ruptures. I believe that information led me to enjoy the book more. Each chapter could be its own short story, but the horror and indigniti [...]

    25. A 4.5. The protagonist of this tragic, lyrical novella is a refugee in his own city, whose inhabitants' minds and actions (even his children's) are increasingly being controlled by radical Islamists certain of the truth and hateful of anyone who doubts or even thinks. Although there are sections of the novella about what was occurring in Algeria in the early 90s, this is more a universal novel of the spirit, of the crushing of a spirit, the crushing of a future and of the present.This is a novel [...]

    26. Great, somber book. The translator rocks. I want to read everything she translates (Marjolijn de Jager, translates from French and Dutch). This novel is a good antidote to what I imagine things like Lolita in Teheran to be like. The Last Summer of Reason makes it clear that (1) literature won't save you from fundamentalists and (2) the literature you might use to console yourself in a world run by fundamentalists is not only written by West European/North American Christians but also by African [...]

    27. : the Armed Islamic Group (GIA) is an Islamist organisation that wants to overthrow the Algerian government and replace it with an Islamic state. The GIA called for and implemented the killing of anyone collaborating with or supporting the authorities, including government employees such as teachers and civil servants. It named and assassinated specific journalists and intellectuals (such as Tahar Djaout), saying that "The journalists who fight against Islamism through the pen will perish by the [...]

    28. Five stars for literary quality! Oh my. This was one of the most lyrical and beautiful books about books that I have ever read. The beauty and elegance of script was so wonderfully written and I was so impressed by the quality of the story. The emotion and passion that fueled the story was so amazing. The story line was also very unique and I have to say that I was surprised I enjoyed it. The ideas of liberty in art and expression and ideas of repression, ignorance and obsession created a stunni [...]

    29. I think the other ratings have said what I want to say about the book aside from the captivating forward by Wole Soyinka which so powerfully warns against the evils that destroy the Djaouts of our world. Over the years, news story after news story has provoked me to re examine that section and after nearly 100 re reads, just about all of it is highlighted or underlined or commented upon in my copy.

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