An allegorical journey

The Journey of Ibn FattoumaThe Journey of Ibn Fattouma by Naguib Mahfouz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This short novel follows the travels of a man from “the land of Islam” to five other lands with differing religious and political arrangements. Hoping to bring back wisdom to help the land of Islam, ibn Fattouma chronicles his travels, comparing and contrasting the places that he visits with his own land. This set-up allows Mahfouz to make some really interesting commentary on authoritarian, liberal democratic, and communist societies.

There is one somewhat racy scene, and the ending made my wife mad because she thought it was a bad literary choice, but overall it was a really enjoyable book.

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