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The Death of Murat Idrissi

The Death of Murat Idrissi 1

by Tommy Wieringa
Publication Date: 08/01/2019
4/5 Rating 1 Reviews
RRP  $29.99 $27.95

Two venturesome women on a journey through the land of their fathers and mothers. A wrong turn. A bad decision.

They had no idea, when they arrived in Morocco, that their usual freedoms as young European women would not be available. So, when the spry Saleh presents himself as their guide and saviour, they embrace his offer. He extracts them from a tight space, only to lead them inexorably into an even tighter one- and from this far darker space there is no exit.

Their tale of confinement and escape is as old as the landscapes and cultures so vividly depicted in this story of where Europe and Africa come closest to meeting, even if they never quite touch.

Publication Date:
Scribe Publications
Country of origin:
Tommy Wieringa

Tommy Wieringa was born in 1967 and grew up partly in the Netherlands, and partly in the tropics. He began his writing career with travel stories and journalism, and is the author of four other novels. His fiction has been shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Oxford/Weidenfeld Prize, and has won Holland's Libris Literature Prize.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating

4 / 5 (1 Ratings)
  • Dark and powerful, this is a thought-provoking rea

    by on

    “Thouraya’s hair was blowing wildly in the wind. They smoked one cigarette after the other, in silence. Ilham admired her, her independence and her fearlessness – she took what was coming to her, she was bellicose, in everything, including her desires. Thouraya – and this was what she admired most – had tamed the beast of shame.”

    The Death of Murat Idrissi is a novel by prize-winning Dutch author, Tommy Wieringa. It is flawlessly translated from Dutch by Sam Garrett. Ilham Assouline and her friend, Thouraya are on the ferry to Spain, headed back home to Rotterdam from their impulsive, and rather ill-fated Moroccan summer vacation. There on deck with them are three young men: Saleh, whose company became welcome when they ran into difficulties, and his two friends. Ilham is uneasy, because she’s been talked into doing something against her better judgement.

    When they dock at Algeciras, a quick check of the car’s trunk reveals things have gone dreadfully wrong. And now the two young women, of Moroccan immigrant parents, but raised in the Netherlands, are on their own with very little money, not enough petrol to get home, and the remains of Murat Idrissi. Is how they react a product of their upbringing or their environment? Or both? When does fear and the need for self-preservation overwhelm the respect and responsibility a person has been taught? Are eroded values contagious?

    Wieringa has a talent for evocative prose: “He possessed no firm core, only other people’s melodies, to which he danced in step. Her irritation had vanished; now there was only a harmless sort of contempt. She was proud of her own insight into human character.” Dark and powerful, this is a thought-provoking read.
    This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by Scribe Publishing.