IN THE HOUR OF THE SIGNS by Jamal Mahjoub

IN THE HOUR OF THE SIGNS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This wide-angled view of the late-19th-century siege of Khartoum, by the author of Wings of Dust (1994) and Navigation of a Rainmaker (1989), shifts continuously among its Sudanese and British combatants in a bustling, movie-spectacular kind of way. Indeed, the dominant figures of General Gordon (""Gordon Pasha"") and his resourceful antagonist, the fanatical Mahdi, have a sort of big-screen hyperreality, but Mahjoub strikes far deeper and truer with such figures as the zealous military leader Nejumi, a keenly intelligent and sentient officer named Hamilton Ellesworth, and, especially, the pilgrim and ""scribe"" (and apparent authorial stand-in) Hawi. Overall, an impressive fictional treatment of its overworked subject, and a real advance for its author.

Pub Date: Dec. 9th, 1996
Page count: 249pp
Publisher: Heinemann