The Stone of Laughter by Hoda Barakat

The Stone of Laughter

The Stone of Laughter is a virile novel which brings forth the contradictory history of a city under fire through the life and dilemmas of a gay man. It is a bold and radical novel, full of black humor and cynical observations about life in war-torn Beirut. In 1990, when it first appeared in Arabic, it was hailed by critics throughout the Arab world as the best novel set against the background of the Lebanese civil war.The fractured narrative is ...


Details The Stone of Laughter

TitleThe Stone of Laughter
ISBN9781566561907
Author
Release DateApr 1st, 1995
PublisherInterlink Publishing Group
LanguageEnglish
GenreFiction, Lgbt, Cultural, Lebanon, Glbt, Queer
Rating

Reviews The Stone of Laughter

  • Tariq Alferis
    2014-08-22
    .الفرق أنك تقرأ رواية عن الحرب الأهلية وأنت مش مجرب الوضع وبين أنك تقرأ رواية عن الحرب الأهلية وأنت عايش في نفس الوضع بكل تفاصيله .لو قريت رواية زمان كانت حاتكون مملة وسيئة جدا ., لكن حاليا كل حديث عن وضع الحرب من قتل وتشريد يمثلني .القضية الانسانية ا...
  • Hilal
    2013-11-15
    رواية أيقونية إلى حد كبير عن الحرب اللبنانية بالنظر إلى تاريخ صدورها في بداية التسعينيات من القرن الماضي. كان من الممكن أن تنزلق إلى خيارات سيئة مع الشخصية الرئيسية المثلية التي تبحث عن هويتها . لكنّ هدى بركات تتفادى ذلك باحتراف (لا عجب!). لقد طبّعت ...
  • Vampire Who Baked
    2016-07-23
    This has been one of the most compelling books I have read so far. A mix of genres- queer fiction + feminist writing + "Arab" literature + a spirited anti-war commentary- and the first Arab novel with a gay protagonist, this packs revelation after revelation in every page.In no particular order, a few obvious-in-hindsight but beautifully articulated insights--1. When you live in a region of instability, there's a constant undercurrent of fear eve...
  • Abdullah Abdulrahman
    2017-08-02
    وكأنها أحجية طويلة كان جوابها في الصفحة الأخيرة، بأن الحرب قادرة على أن تغير فيك كما هي قادرة على تصحيح إنجذابك الجنسي ايضاً، هي المرة الأولى التي أقرأ فيها لـ "هدى"، ورغم جمال أسلوبها في إلتقاط المفردات وإعادة فرزها على الورق إلا أن تتبع مسار الحك...
  • Kayleigh
    2018-03-18
    3 stars.Read for my Women, Gender, and Sexuality in Middle Eastern History class, not going to review.
  • Kate
    2007-10-17
    Read this in an Arabic literature class taught by Professor Hussein." . . . the street after the explosion was even more meek and peaceful, like a believer after he has said his prayers" (32)."On his way home from the party Khalil passed underneath the balcony of the woman who was doggedly resisting the dirt that came up from the street . . . . she was standing on a high chair and was busy polishing the glass, busy with the irresistible love of l...
  • Aziza
    2014-02-01
    This novel won the Al-Naqid prize and is hailed as a “poignant portrayal of the Lebanese civil war” and a “must read.” However, much like with Assia Djebar’s Fantasia: An Algerian Cavalcade, I did not enjoy the overtly symbolic plot that was contrived to get across the point of the author. Barakat shows how the horrors of the Lebanese civil war of the 1990s and the heartbreak of being exiled and marginalized in his native country turn t...
  • Scott Cox
    2016-01-17
    The author wrote this novel in a Beirut basement during the Lebanese civil war which broke out in 1975 between the Christians (Maronites) and the Muslim-PLO alliance. The protagonist is a male homosexual (Kahlil) who responds to the ravages of civil war with an obsession for cleanliness. He often withdraws into a world of reading and day dreaming of lovers who could make his world safe. Much of the novel seems disjointed and other-worldly. This f...
  • Katie M.
    2010-12-08
    Another powerful novel from Interlink World Fiction's excellent series of translated Arabic literature.
  • إيمان الشريف
    2013-03-11
    رواية مقززة ويؤسفني أن تقوم وزارة الثقافة الأردنية بطباعة هذا الكتاب وعرضه بثمن رمزي في معرض "القراءة للجميع".
  • Jordan
    2018-03-12
    I very much enjoyed this book but the ending was awful enough to ruin it for me. It didn't make sense from any point of view, and if you read this I recommend stopping a few pages before it.
  • Shahid Khan
    2015-05-25
    An experimental novel (translated from Arabic) about a gay man, Khalil, going through the traumas of a war-weary world in Lebanon. It's not an easy translation to understand. A lot of the narrative is often ambiguous (switching back and forth between first and third person) and surreal, dotted with ellipsis and lucid dreams. It's not always clear where the stream-of-consciousness is streaming from.I feel that Barakat tries to draw a parallel with...
  • Margaret
    2015-03-04
    Not a favorite of mine. We also read this for my Arab literature and film class. Interesting in that it centers around an issue not often discussed in the Arab world - homosexuality. The main character, Khalil, is depicted as a very in-between character, not wholly man nor woman, child nor adult, ignorant nor knowledgeable. I think much of this novel was lost in translation. There is a distinct lack of punctuation, and an overabundance of ellipse...
  • Rosebud
    2017-02-27
    I don't know what I think of this book. It may have to settle in before I know, so I've rated it three stars. I will be interested to hear what the other members of my international book club think of it. It takes place in war torn Beirut and definitely portrays the tragedy of living in the middle of a war with bombs dropping all around you. As the author describes, people get used to war, and children come out to play after the bombs temporarily...
  • Amanda Jaczkowski
    2014-04-09
    I'm still not sure what to think of this book. The excessive use of adjectives definitely reflected the original Arabic style in which it was written. The storyline never seemed to progress anywhere - and in the last moments was intensely shocking. A view into Lebanese culture, including harsh politics yet avoiding a political agenda. I've never read anything like it - and am unsure whether I'd want to read more by this author without recommendat...
  • Angela Freckle
    2017-12-07
    I loved the flow of Khalil's story in this however the ending, whilst deeply saddening, didn't completely make sense. Perhaps I was tired or perhaps the event that triggers his change in character was not marked out well enough. Some passages were very beautiful and memorable. Others were the opposite. Loved the way Barakat weaves together the themes of masculinity, home and war. Well worth a read but probably best savoured chapter by chapter.
  • Bath-sheba Lane
    2015-03-16
    Love this book! It's such an interesting read and I didn't want to put the book down. It's about so many things, most importantly war and living in it every day as a civilian, but also about homosexuality and losing loved ones. The ending kind of surprised me a bit too, in a good way. I like when a good has a surprise ending and is written well.
  • Greg
    2012-09-26
    Such an amazingly written book. I could not put it down. I was entranced by its amazing narrative and use of stream of consciousness to present an artistically original novel. A great book, indeed!
  • Nadine Araby
    2014-08-08
    رواية رائعة تتابع هدى بركات تداعيات الحرب وما يفعله القصف والموت العبثي والعنف ثم اعتياد العنف وأثره في تشويه الإنسان حد التوحش، حد انتزاع الآدمية ذاتها، تفعل بركات هذا دون عنف في السرد بل رقة خالصة، ثراء في اللغة ورهافة في الوصف. رواية فعلا رائعة
  • Mahmoud Omar
    2013-12-21
    رواية تؤكل.
  • أمل نشوان
    2014-06-24
    يؤسفني جداً على الوقت الذي أضعته وأنا أقرأ هذا الشيء !!توقف عقلي عند الكثير من الأحرف ليجمعها ويلقي بها في القمامة .. بصدق أقدم أشد الأسف لوقتي وعقلي ، ومقعدي !
  • Tina.
    2011-03-30
    Rereading for paper writing. (5.2.2011)Four-and-a-half stars, actually. A beautiful book. (4.2.2011)
  • Muneera Salem-Murdock
    2017-01-05
    Read many years ago.
  • Michelle
    2008-08-27
    Interesting account of life in Beirut during Lebanon's civil war from the perspective of a homosexual man who is in the closet. It moves really slowly. Too slowly. I'm having trouble finishing it.
  • Zia
    2017-10-22
    I takhle se dají psát válečné romány.
  • Britton
    2007-11-05
    heartbreakingly brilliant