Short Rambings: Death is Hard Work; a novel

This morning I finished yet another great novel. The book was written in Arabic by the Syrian novelist Khaled Khalifa. The book is reminiscence of William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying, one of my favorite American classical novels. However, Death is Hard Work takes place in war-torn Syria rather than rural Mississippi. It takes you inside the Syrian civil war in a graphic way. It is about a family’s long and hard journey to bury their father. It is beautifully written, however, I believe the original Arabic would carry more of the writer’s poetic word smithery.

I used to speak and read rustic Arabic. I can now just enough to recognize some places (as I read the book in English) what the Arabic probably said. For example, the title doesn’t really translate to English very well. A more precise translation of (الموت عمل شاق) would be something along the lines of (Death takes a lot of Effort). Even that doesn’t do it justice.

But I would give it 5 stars in beauty about a ugly and morbid topic.


Published by J. Michael Jones

J. Michael Jones is a writer and PA who lives in Anacortes, Washington. He is the father of five children, who are now grown and out discovering this wonderful world on their own. He has previously focused his writing on non-fiction including medical topics and issues of the philosophy of Christian thought. With the success of his last book, Butterflies in the Belfry, Michael is now moving into fiction with his first novel, The Waters of Bimini.

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