A grim futuristic account of Egyptian society in the year 2023, Utopia takes readers on a chilling journey beyond the gated communities of the North Coast, where the wealthy are insulated from the bleakness of life outside the walls. When a young man and a girl break out from this bubble of affluence in order to see for themselves the lives of their impoverished fellow Egyptians they are confronted by a world that they had not imagined possible. Breathtaking and suspenseful, Utopia's twists and turns will keep listeners guessing until the very last moment, and may leave some wondering whether this is a vision of the future that is not too far away.
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Ahmed Khaled Tawfik was born in 1962 and is probably the Arab world's bestselling author of science fiction and horror. He has written more than 200 books.Review:
Far more convincing a depiction of a nightmarish future even than A Clockwork Orange, Utopia is a miniature masterpiece. I defy anyone not to read it in one sitting. -- Sholto Byrnes The Independent A wonderful novel, a real addition to Arabic literature Alaa Al Aswany, author of The Yacoubian Building Towfik paints a vivid picture of Egypt in 2023... a disturbing dystopic vision. The Guardian, UK A disturbing dystopic vision -- Eric Brown The Guardian, UK A highly imaginative novel that has succeeded in injecting new blood into the current [Arabic] literary scene. The Daily News, Egypt A chilling portrait of a scary new world without morals or scruples... Gulf News Thoroughly enjoyable... which seems - like Ahmed Mourad's Vertigo and Khaled Al-Khamissi's Taxi before it- to resonate loudly in the moments after the Arab Spring. The National Towfik's real strength is in his imaginative observations of the predicaments of the tattered social fabric of the future. Bidoun Ahmed Khaled Towfik's Utopia was translated in 2010, by Chip Rossetti, and published by a forward-thinking BQFP. This year, the book is a finalist for the English-language Science Fiction and Fantasy Translation Award. -- M. Lynx Qualey Arablit.com A politically charged fable about human cruelty, where a prince and a pauper exchange roles as predator and prey... the cat-and-mouse between them reads a bit like Patricia Highsmith's mysteries. As with Highsmith or even Philip K. Dick, an irresistible sense of unease propels the reader forward... The "story" of the Arab Spring as it's been told in the U.S. has largely been one of technology: Twitter and other social media enabling heretofore-impossible collaborations and coalitions. Utopia, where technology fades into the background and the hunting is done with a knife, highlights the revolution's human dimensions. Hopefully, Utopia represents the first of many translations of Towfik's novels. -- Scott Selisker Los Angeles Review of Books
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