Front Cover
W.W. Norton & Company, 2009 - Fiction - 305 pages
21 Reviews
One of the most highly anticipated novels of the year, Cockroach is as urgent, unsettling, and brilliant as Rawi Hage’s critically acclaimed first book, De Niro’s Game. The novel takes place during one month of a bitterly cold winter in Montreal’s restless immigrant community, where a self-described thief has just tried but failed to commit suicide by hanging himself from a tree in a local park. Rescued against his will, the narrator is obliged to attend sessions with a well-intentioned but naďve therapist. This sets the story in motion, leading us back to the narrator’s violent childhood in a war-torn country, forward into his current life in the smoky émigré cafés where everyone has a tale, and out into the frozen nighttime streets of Montreal, where the thief survives on the edge, imagining himself to be a cockroach invading the lives of the privileged, but willfully blind, citizens who surround him.

Cockroach combines an uncompromising vision of humanity with razor-sharp portraits of society's outsiders, and a startling, poetic sensibility with bracing jolts of dark humor.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

The prose itself was gorgeous. - Goodreads
Hage's writing never fails to seduce. - Goodreads
He is also one hell of a writer. - Goodreads

Review: Cockroach

User Review  - Jim Puskas - Goodreads

How can one book be at one and the same time gritty, fatalistic, lyrical, bitter and rhapsodic? How can a writer conjure beauty out of the stuff of ugliness and desperation? Rawi Hage succeeds in all ... Read full review

Review: Cockroach

User Review  - Mj Amirault - Goodreads

Reading this book made me feel cold, wet, dirty, unwanted and poor. At first I didn't think I would suggest this book to anyone to read, but as I pushed through it I realized I was learning. I was ... Read full review

About the author (2009)

Rawi Hage was born in Beirut, Lebanon, and lived through nine years of the Lebanese civil war. He immigrated to Canada in 1992. His writing has appeared in Fuse magazine, Mizna , Jouvert , The Toronto Review , Montreal Serai , and Al-Jadid . His debut novel, De Nirorsquo;s Game , won many prestigious national and international awards, including the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. He lives in Montreal.

Bibliographic information