Leaping uncontrollably through history, Khairy Shalaby creates a time lapse of Cairo through words, covering thousands of years of history. He writes in short chapters telling a fantastical story of power struggle, of emir’s, sultan’s, revenge, death, and of kingdoms rising and falling.
What most surprised me though is the main character, Ibn Shalaby, the man who sold pickles and sweets. Spinning in and out of different times, the man is incredibly smart and witty, and yet so simple and often times stupid. I found myself smiling sheepishly at how much of Egypt seeped through the lines on each page, even while reading the English translation of the story.
Highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to get lost in time, in Egypt, and in story.