In the Country of Men

“In the Country of Men” by Hisham Matar (Libya)


Most readers enjoyed the book finding it beautifully written and insightful, with one reader going so far as to describe the author as a wizard with language! They loved the setting and the descriptions of the house and its surroundings. They liked how the characters were portrayed and warmed in particular to Suleiman’s mother. They were impressed by how the author had gotten into her mind and they were moved by her story. Readers felt that the fact the book was narrated from her son’s perspective helped ease the recounting of the violent suppression and betrayals going on in the adult world. They all agreed that using the voice of a child was a clever way to get across political and social messages. However, one reader found the theme of gender-based violence too much for her and it left her with mixed feelings about the book. Others were moved to tears on numerous occasions throughout it. Overall, it averaged an 8.7 out of 10.


Nine-year-old Suleiman is just awakening to the wider world beyond the games on the hot pavement outside his home and beyond the loving embrace of his parents. He becomes the man of the house when his father goes away on business, but then he sees his father, standing in the market… Read more

Nicola’s Book Club reading list

Season 19 (Oct 2015 – Jun 2016)
“The Lazarus Project” by Aleksandar Hemon (Bosnia-Hercegovina)
“Beloved” by Toni Morrison (U.S.)
“In the Country of Men” by Hisham Matar (Libya)
“The Ventriloquist’s Tale” by Pauline Melville (Guyana)
“The Narrow Road to the Deep North” by Richard Flanagan (Australia) *

* The book club favourite
In italics, Nicola’s Coup de Cœur

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