THE BLEEDING OF THE STONE by Ibrahim Al-Koni

THE BLEEDING OF THE STONE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This spare novel, its prominent Libyan author’s first to reach English translation, is a winning combination of ecological fable, political statement, and lyrical lament for the past. The focal character is Asouf, a herdsman who lives essentially alone with his goats in a mountainous desert region all but untouched by the modern age. Asouf’s peace is routinely disrupted by the “Christian tourists” who flock to observe ancient religious paintings hidden away on the walls of honeycombed caves, and more severely threatened by ebullient “Westerners” who enlist him to guide their hunt for the moufflon, a species of wild sheep believed to be a sacred animal. The story’s melodramatic apocalyptic finale seems slightly forced, but in no way dissipates the power of al-Koni’s subtle dramatization of irreconcilable cultural misunderstanding and enmity.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 1-56656-417-4
Page count: 140pp
Publisher: Interlink
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2002