The Death of Murat Idrissi
Tommy Wieringa, Sam Garrett
Longlisted for the International Man Booker Prize.
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.
'The gifted Dutch writer Tommy Wieringa is a bold, intelligent stylist, unafraid of exposing the ugliness of society juxtaposed with the vagaries of human nature. A taut, intense contemporary thriller of multiple exploitations ... The full mercilessness of the migrant dilemma is confronted here to devastating effect.' -- Eileen Battersby * The Observer * 'Brilliantly paced, this slim novel delivers a high-voltage adrenaline rush while expertly weaving in commentary about displaced world citizens ... A cinematic, edge-of-your-seat thriller.' STARRED REVIEW * Kirkus Reviews * 'It has the grip of a nightmare that is all too plausible.' -- David Mills * The Sunday Times * 'This brutally searing mini-masterpiece has haunted me all year ... a razor-sharp exploration of migration.' -- Anthony Cummins * Daily Mail * 'A savagely effective little novel ... A nasty masterpiece of narrative tension; it's brutally spare.' -- Anthony Cummins * Evening Standard * 'The sentences are concise, propelling the action along and keeping readers on the edge of their seats ... a vital must-read.' -- Clayton McKee * Asymptote * 'The Death of Murat Idrissi is a powerful tale of identity, relationships and the desire to both fit in and to escape ... The Death of Murat Idrissi is a dark and deeply profound tale that examines the fragile humanity of ordinary people and exposes just how cheaply a life can be valued.' FOUR STARS -- Erin Britton * New Books Magazine * 'A lucidly written reflection on the migrant crisis, by a Dutch master storyteller.' -- Rose Shepherd * Saga Magazine * 'As scintillating as it is unforgiving, this tiny diamond of a novel from Dutch author Tommy Wieringa is such a masterpiece of compression it could stand as an object lesson for students of creative writing ... [A] deceptively simple, yet intricately layered, tale of complicity and exploitation.' -- Cameron Woodhead * The Age * 'Wieringa's writing and Garrett's translation are elegant. From the creation of the Strait of Gibraltar to the aftermath of Murat's death, it is as if each sentence, each word, has been chosen with care. Both the writing and story merge into a beautiful symmetry, where it's not possible to appreciate the devastating story without appreciating the paradoxically beautiful writing. I was able to easily slip within the minds of each character, understand their motives and anxieties. For such a short novel, it felt very full ... [A] compact novella pulling powerful punches. A must read.' -- Alice Farrant * Shiny New Books * 'Based on a shocking true story, this novel will make you question your belief in humanity ... The book is short, a fast read, at an almost breathless pace. It will make you appreciate where you are now.' -- Sophie Foster * Q Weekend * 'The prose is tight, the story packed into 100 pages, stripped of superfluous detail as a short story might be ... Engaging and thought-provoking.' -- Anne Goodwin * Annecdotal * 'All of a sudden the pace takes off, rocketing the reader to a satisfying conclusion.' -- Lauren Novak * Adelaide Advertiser * 'A powerful and moving tale. It confronts the horror and cruelty of the migrant dilemma with understated but stark honesty.' -- Graeme Barrow * Daily Post * '[A] sleek literary thriller ... While the underdeveloped Murat functions primarily as a political symbol, the women's ill-fated journey leads to an emotionally complex and ultimately chilling transformation. Wieringa hits the mark with this intelligent outing.' * Publishers Weekly * Praise for A Beautiful Young Wife: 'Wieringa takes us on a journey deep into the psyche of an ageing male in this potent work ... No words are wasted in this thought-provoking love story.' * Herald Sun * Praise for A Beautiful Young Wife: 'Brilliantly written ... the last few pages are mesmerising.' * The Saturday Age * Praise for Joe Speedboat: 'Joe Speedboat is never just another would-be inspirational read about overcoming adversity ... Expertly translated from the Dutch by Sam Garrett, Tommy Wieringa's novel offers a rewarding journey into the unfamiliar. It is also witty, thoughtful and surprisingly tender.' * The Independent (UK) * Praise for Tommy Wieringa: 'The best contemporary novels are a quest made out of literary and moral ambition. Those who have successfully pursued this Holy Grail in recent times are Bolano with his The Savage Detectives, Sebald in Austerlitz, Coetzee with Disgrace and the late Philip Roth. From now on, to that august list must be added the name of Tommy Wieringa.' * Le Figaro * 'Brilliantly paced, this slim novel delivers a high-voltage adrenaline rush while expertly weaving in commentary about displaced world citizens ... A cinematic, edge-of-your-seat thriller.' STARRED REVIEW * Kirkus Reviews * 'Trim, arresting story of the refugee crisis that reminds us how easy it is to dehumanise others for personal gain and self-preservation. No heroes in this one.' -- Blake Jordan * Napa Bookmine * 'The title of Tommy Wieringa's novel, The Death of Murat Idrissi, reveals its tragic ending: Murat, the Moroccan protagonist, will die. You know this. Yet you wait in heightened anticipation for what will happen next. The novel reads like a short story but packs such a punch that the reader is left gasping, overwhelmed by dark moments introduced casually ... exploring the details that determine who occupies the top rung in any social hierarchy and who is delivered into darkness, be it a shanty or the car boot that was Murat's final resting place.' * Necessary Fiction * 'Echoes of Don Quixote and the Odyssey frame the journey of the young women Ilham and Thouraya in this latest from award-winning Dutch author Wieringa ... In this taut, psychologically powerful tale, longlisted for the 2019 International Booker Prize, Wieringa's masterly descriptions create a sense of foreboding. Wieringa excels at characterisation while raising serious questions surrounding identity and immigration in a deceptively brief work. Highly recommended.' STARRED REVIEW -- Jacqueline Snider * Library Journal *
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