Cockroach

Front Cover
W.W. Norton & Company, 2009 - Fiction - 305 pages
19 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.

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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

Review: Cockroach

User Review  - Goodreads

The author definitely has a good grasp of language and is quite skilled with the art of description, but I found the story to be extremely fractured and choppy. I had a hard time finding any kind of ... Read full review

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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.

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