Apr 20, 2021
Le cafard
Posted by Rawi Hage Sophie Voillot

A dark and uncompromising vision Cockroach offers a version of an migr underground which is original, raw and brave Colm T ib n Cockroach 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 Rescu A dark and uncompromising vision Cockroach offers a version of an migr underground which is original, raw and brave Colm T ib n Cockroach 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 na ve 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 migr caf s, and out into the frozen nighttime streets of Montreal Bold, haunting, and emotionally trenchant, Cockroach is a powerful story of immigrant experience, indignation, and unrelenting fortitude.

  • Title: Le cafard
  • Author: Rawi Hage Sophie Voillot
  • ISBN: 9782923550268
  • Page: 314
  • Format: None
  • Le cafard A dark and uncompromising vision Cockroach offers a version of an migr underground which is original raw and brave Colm T ib n Cockroach takes place during one month of a bitterly cold winter in Mont


    An Arab immigrant as a Scheherazade to his Canadian therapist, his wild Third world past as 1001 nights to a steril life of taxpaying, TV watching and self fooling A compulsively stealing, quite lazy, sexually starving, resentful loner with a suicidal tendency, a special talent for metaphors and ability to turn himself willingly, unlike Kafka s Samsa into a cockroach Witty, passionate prose, great little kamikadze story Oh, how I enjoyed this one.A spoilerish P.S Still, I d take away half a star [...]


    Seeing as immigration is an integral element of the Canadian landscape, it should come as no surprise that authors might seek to dip into this cultural stew for dramatic purposes Very few, however, would likely seek to add the phantasmagorical and hallucinatory elements that Rawi Hage s novel Cockroach brings to the recipe.The Canadian author arose seemingly from out of nowhere in 2006 when his debut novel De Niro s Game was rescued from the obscurity of the slush pile at House of Anansi Press T [...]

    Jennifer (aka EM)

    Disturbing Less of what I liked so much about his first in the way of sweeping, poetic language to describe a world of hallucinogenic brutality, and focused on an internal world of delusion, trauma and sadness The central character here is a soul in great pain, but the first two thirds of the novel don t plumb those depths except by inference The superficiality of the court assigned psychotherapist s intervention compared to the gradual revelation of what caused the cockroach s flight and desce [...]

    Steven Teasdale

    Rawi Hage s second novel Cockroach takes place during a frigid Montreal winter and details the picaresque adventures of an unnamed protagonist, a recent immigrant from the Middle East and self professed thief who often envisions himself as a giant cockroach Hage is the recent winner of English literature s richest prize, the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, for his debut novel DeNiro s Game which I did not read as such, there has been a considerable degree of anticipation for this new book.There are [...]


    Awesome and haunting, and a spot on sense of Montreal portraits the eccentric landlady with fading aristocratic colors, the exploitative bosses, the hyper educated cab drivers The blur of fantasy reality across underground overground story layers really worked for me Highly recommended Also, funny as hell.


    Cockroach is an engaging character thief, suicidal, obsessed with the underbelly of life, hating his new homeland and the people who live in it why did he come, I wanted to ask , supposedly illiterate but wonderfully articulate and poetic, especially when he runs off into stream of consciousness ramblings on the state of his mind and of the nation.There is also a trend in writing, which I recently tried to address in a blog article, and I call it let it all hang out writing, which Hage seems to [...]

    Carly Svamvour

    Yes, I completed the book yesterday afternoon and attended the discussion at the library last night.We had a good turnout there, than expected, the weather being cold and wet.Feelings on the book were mixed, not so much around the table, but within ourselves as individual members We all agreed on it being a good book, in that the author s characters, including the protag were exasperating people.Protag and nobody can figure out what his name is feels sorry for himself due to his poorness Some [...]

    Hoda Marmar

    Oh, was I disappointed with this book I hate it It s about all of the clich s that frame immigrants messed up, psychotic, sex addicts, egocentric, psychopaths, thiefs, hallucinating drunkies, drug addicts, filthy, leeches,I happen to know many Lebanese who are immigrants in Canada, they have worked hard, they re serious people, they fled the war but they weren t psychotics who got turned on by their own sisters And they re not a threat, or terrorists in the make what the hell is this author tryi [...]

    Samar Barakat

    What a fresh approach to dealing with issues of exile I had begun to despair that Arab writers could do it, could write novels that could be taken seriously aesthetically and also pay homage to the issues political and social that must dominate the psyche of all Arabs What was impressive was how effortlessly the writer moved from West to East, from describing the banal, self absorbed existence of people in the West to describing the hysterical, emotionally loaded and usually desperate realities [...]


    Dark, cold, unsettling, and yet familiar the half cockroach narrator of the book feels real He is haunted by his past though he does not admit it He reveals his story through conversations with a therapist He stalks and steals and hallucinates, and drags the reader with himself the entire time.I enjoyed the passages where he talks about his cockroach side, especially where he followed a couple, entered their house and then inside their dreams I don t think this book has any resemblance with Kafk [...]


    A couple of details here, like the main character being a Lebanese immigrant in Montreal and have gone through traumatized past of civil war and domestic violence, reminded me of my favourite Denis Villeneuve film Incendies Needless to say, the common grounds are approached entirely different by both creators While the film director s efforts are concentrated almost entirely in retrospectively exposing the past of his character and involving the viewer into the regional conflict, Rawi Hage posi [...]


    Pas du tout aim ce roman qui apporte bien peu au niveau de l histoire et dont le style est assez terne, hormis quelques clats de g nies ici et l , mais trop rare pour sauver la mise Grosse d ception


    This novel feels true It happens in my city but it is not of my culture, and yet the author put me right in there, experiencing the struggle to survive I felt the empty belly of having no food, no money and nowhere to turn when you are hungry and cold I felt the total alienation from the mainstream, the hierarchy within the immigrant community, the weight of emotional baggage that an immigrant may bring with him Canada, land of welcoming arms and opportunity Oh, yeah Maybe if you come with money [...]


    Janet Berkman

    Hage s writing never fails to seduce His protagonist is not particularly appealing in the usual way, but I began to care for him even as he stumbles through life, seemingly unable to have normal relationships with those around him Much of the novel takes place in a Montreal winter and our immigrant cockroach avoids the sun, stumbles along the frigid streets, bumming cigarettes and food, and stealing He is I believe unnamed in the novel.So why did I care Because there is some damaged core to this [...]


    First, you will care about Cockroach in truth, no name is given, but he sometimes envisions himself as a cockroach , despite his B E, his theft, and his less than attractive habits This is a story of emigres in Montreal One of the cover blurbs refers to the tale as a hypnotic journey, taking us to the dark and mad underside of exile Another refers to this as a Dostoevskian fable, which lowers the reader into the sewers of immigrant Montreal to confront an underground world teeming with sex, crim [...]


    There is a lot packed into this book It is hard to separate my feelings for the main character and my feelings for the book The book is at its core about a marginalized immigrant who has a failed suicide attempt, and his interactions with the few other human beings in his life I found the books comments on society s and other people s views of the main character interesting than his own thoughts He is someone who is marginalized by society, and one of those whom many would not even notice, or i [...]


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    This is the 2nd book I have read by this author, and I have to say I enjoyed this much than the 1st book De Niro s GameI enjoyed the flow of the story, and simplistic ness of the book s characters.I had read somewhere that this was a follow on story of De Niro s Game, and though it contains many of the same themes, I didn t think that it was.Once again, it was a very abrupt ending.Set in Montreal, I can count this book as a read for QuebecReads2015

    Indigo Wayworth

    This made me uncomfortable than I wish to discuss.Read for ENGL 3271 Contemporary Canadian Literature


    Rawi Hage s second novel Cockroach is an absorbing story, told through the eyes of Lebanese immigrant living in Montreal The unnamed narrator fittingly unnamed as one would not name a cockroach is the anti hero of this tale of survival without hope, which takes place during a extremely harsh winter in Montreal, a city known for beauty than the lowlife activity which occurs in this story The narrator associates himself with cockroaches, an association that started with an innocent early childhoo [...]


    5 10 .


    Rawi Hage has said that he writes without a plan He s not one for detailed outlines instead, he writes himself into a situation and then turns around and writes his way back out of it And this approach is evident in his novels.De Niro s Game was a two part novel in three parts Hage seemed not to notice that he had already reached a plausible conclusion, and tacked on a contrived plot to bring things to a close And it felt contrived, improbable, implausible, as we went from being just some kid ge [...]


    This is a book about justice or perhaps revenge, though you wouldn t think so from the start At first I wasn t sure what to think about the novel and I didn t like it at first From the book jacket it sounded like a story about a weird loner, but that isn t what the narrator is at all, well, at least not in the way I was hoping for The first third of the book was depressing, bleak, and seems to go nowhere, but the author has this way of drawing you into the narrator s life, making you want to see [...]

    Teresa Mills-clark

    Just to qualify, there was a time part way through the book that I thought I didn t want to invest any of my time reading it But, I persisted, mainly because it was one of the Canada Reads picks for 2014 My preconception of the book was that the character would be identifiable in the there but for the grace of God go I and I could gain empathy for the refugee immigrant plight How narrow minded and naive of me The book was unsettling and yet by the end I could appreciate how very well crafted it [...]

    Patrick O'Neil

    There s a cool interesting story in Rawi Hage s Cockroach His underlining premise in regards to immigration and the starting over of uprooted displaced people Of what someone fleeing political persecution, or those that grew up in an urban wartime battlefield bring with them to the new country How being ill prepared to exist, emotionally damaged, as well as being unwanted in this alien environment could possibly raise comparison to common household bugs that people tend to dislike, yet somewhat [...]


    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 sequential order to the plot Perhaps this is what the author intended in order to illustrate the mental state of the unnamed main character, who was in therapy for a suicide attempt that was triggered by what, surely must have been either PTSD, from his years in war torn Iran, or by his struggle with [...]


    You know, we come to these countries for refuge and to find better lives, but it is these countries that made us leave our homes in the first place these countries we live in talk about democracy but they do not want democracy They only want dictators It is easier for them to deal with dictators than to have democracy in the countries we came from I fought for democracy I was tortured for democracy This passage stands out the most for me This book is a powerful look into the life of a refugee in [...]


    a really enjoyable, snarky but not misanthropic satire of multiculturalism and poverty in montreal the rambling narrative follows a troubled, brutally honest, occasionally hilarious arab immigrant who has recently attempted suicide we watch him as he attends therapy sessions, strong arms his friends out of money, washes dishes, breaks into multiple apartments and eventually falls in love for its first two thirds, cockroach maintains two contradictory accomplishments in one sense, it s an experim [...]


    Following an impoverished Lebanese immigrant in frigid Montreal, Rawi Hage s Cockroach is a grim story of survival, trauma, and life underground I wanted to like this book than I did The narrator is a suicidal thief who fantasizes and halluncinates that he is a cockroach The bleak writing is effectively dirty and unsettling, but the plot s payoffs don t appear until far too late in the novel for them to hold my attention The objective of Cockroach is clearly not to entertain, but considering th [...]

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