Beirut Hellfire Society

Rawi Hage (Author)
Available

Description

On a ravaged street overlooking a cemetery in Beirut's Christian enclave, we meet an eccentric young man named Pavlov, the son of a local undertaker. When his father meets a sudden and untimely death, Pavlov is approached by a colorful member of the mysterious Hellfire Society--an anti-religious sect that, among many rebellious and often salacious activities, arranges secret burial for outcasts who have been denied last rites because of their religion or sexuality.

Pavlov agrees to take on his father's work for the society, and over the course of the novel he becomes a survivor-chronicler of his embattled and fading community at the heart of Lebanon's civil war. His new role introduces him to an unconventional cast of characters, including a father searching for his son's body, a mysterious woman who takes up residence on Pavlov's stairs after a bombing, and the flamboyant head of the Hellfire Society, El-Marquis.

Deftly combining comedy with tragedy, gritty reality with surreal absurdity, Beirut Hellfire Society asks: What, after all, can be preserved in the face of certain change and imminent death? The answer is at once propulsive, elegiac, outrageous, profane, and transcendent--and a profoundly moving fable on what it means to live through war.

Product Details

Price
$26.95  $24.79
Publisher
W. W. Norton & Company
Publish Date
July 16, 2019
Pages
288
Dimensions
5.5 X 1.2 X 8.4 inches | 1.0 pounds
Language
English
Type
Hardcover
EAN/UPC
9781324002918

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About the Author

Rawi Hage is the author of four novels. Beirut Hellfire Society was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, shortlisted for the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize, and a finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award. Born in Beirut, Lebanon, Hage now lives in Montreal.

Reviews

[A] hell of a story... Pavlov is an irresistible lead: stony, well-read, tightly controlled, with a deep well of sadness. Call him Harry Bosch but in Lebanon.--Nathan Deuel
Hallucinatory... [A] faceted meditation on existentialism.--Sam Sacks
Potent... Hage's novel is a brisk, surreal, and often comic plunge into surviving the absurd nihilism of war.
Beirut Hellfire Society crackles with the kinetic energy of a dancer...The absurd volume of deaths is also tempered by Hage's signature dark humor and stylistic playfulness.