Monday, May 08, 2006
Today I finished reading Ali Al Saeed's book QuixotiQ. I started reading it over a month ago and had intended to read while on vacation, but as things happened, I didn't, so I put off getting back into it until I came back home. I found that I had to go back and re-familiarize myself w/ the characters somewhat so that I could read w/out wandering what was happening, but it was well worth it.
Over the last few days, I've been hounded by a longing to finish it... sneaking in and getting a read with every chance I got - even if it meant reading while at work. ;)
I'm not a critic/reviewer or novelist (even tho I'd like to be), but here are my thoughts/feelings on his first English novel. Let me point out... I do not want to give anything away about the novel, so I won't give a lot of details... I think you should read it and find out for yourself. I thoroughly enjoyed it and it was a good thriller.
QuixotiQ is a serious novel (thriller), addressing the day-to-day struggles/life circumstances of three people. People who are just like you and me. These ppl could be you, they could be your friends, your family or even co-workers... they are just people facing life's challenges and wanting to get by, but through a series of unfortunate and compelling events, their lives change forever - in a drastic and very sad way, in most cases.
There are two men who are the main characters - Guy and Patrick. There are other men in the story who have important roles but the story mainly focuses around these guys and the main female character, a girl named Christina. I found myself identifying w/ Christina and feeling sadness for her, and also cheering her on. Even tho you may not believe it - if you've read the book - I found myself feeling a lot of compassion for Guy, even though many probably wouldn't feel that way, I did. My heart ached through each horrible event, and I only wished and hoped for the best to happen to him. He seemed to fall into one hell hole after another... and w/ each, he pulled everyone in with him - no one seemed to be able to escape.
What I thought was so real to life was the fact that these people faced hardships, incredible sadness and loss, they longed and sought out love and comfort, dealt w/ death in the worst possible ways, dealt with nightmarish/warped sense of realities, but they continued along their paths/journeys in life... they continued to survive.
I felt that they were guided by the misfortunes and unhappy circumstances that seemed to plague all of them, and these misfortunes are what eventually lead them to one another - as well as their dreams/visions. Dreams played a big role in this book. Not only that but how they dealt w/ the information given to them in their dreams. Everyone has dreams... but do we all listen to them? Guy, Patrick and Christina did... but did they have a choice? These dreams had relevance in their lives - these dreams could have saved lives even... but sometimes w/ dreams... we don't listen or in some cases, we can do nothing to change fate... what is meant to be is meant to be.
When I got a little over half way through the book, I didn't want to put it down. I knew what was about to happen and I couldn't stand it. I found that I didn't want to read further but I couldn't help myself. I love it when a book does that to me... there isn't a better feeling... at least I don't think so.
The story is very descriptive. Ali has a good way of describing situations and bringing you into his world and the world of the characters. I could feel a connection w/ all of the characters and have had dreams that are vital to situations, and have felt the tug of trying to make the right decisions in life and what life deals to me, and sometimes even getting a bad gutt feeling about something, but having no other choice but to do it anway. This is what these characters did. They lived their lives.
It was a difficult read at times... one reason is because I would have to stop and look up words. I hate to admit it, but it is a fact. Sometimes, at various places, the editing could have been better... but it was easy for me to read past this. Sometimes I found that I would get lost and would have to go back and reread because situations were ever changing, and sometimes reality was mixed with the dream world, and this was hard for me to 'make sense out of' at times.
With this said, Ali is an excellent writer. He captivates the reader and pulls you into his character's lives immediately and takes you on a journey that is hard to turn away from. He is very explicit and descriptive, which I find quite enjoyable when reading. I'm one that loves to be whisked away and consumed by a novel, and this is one that accomplished that for me.
I applaud you Ali for writing so well. I only hope that one day I will be able to write with such force and creativity. You have accomplished what so many dream of... and I'm looking forward to reading more of your work.
Btw, I read your three short stories and rated them. They were so very good. I loved A Touch of Gloss. It was my favorite... the Purple Rose came in a close second.... but, as soon as I say that, I wonder if the Bullshitter wasn't the second. ;) Keep up the great work. I wish you tons of success. I think the QuixotiQ would be good for books on tape, and even a movie!