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W.W. Norton & Company, 2009 - Fiction - 305 pages
7 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 naive 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.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bsiemens - LibraryThing

I feel some ambivalence in saying that I enjoyed this book, which is what my 4-star rating usually means. The author has done a masterful job at presenting a clear anti-hero; there is very little to ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - LynnB - LibraryThing

Cockroach tells the story of an immigrant in Montreal. He is trying to get by in his new country, leaving behind a tragic family situation in his homeland. Our hero deals with being on welfare, having ... Read full review

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About the author (2009)

Rawi Hage is a writer and visual artist. His two critically acclaimed novels, De Niro's Game and Cockroach, have been translated into twenty-nine languages. De Niro's Game was the winner of the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and Cockroach was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and for the Governor General's Literary Award. Born in Beirut, Hage lives in Montreal.

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