The City Always Wins

A debut novel that captures the experience of the Egyptian revolution like no news report couldThe City Always Wins is a novel from the front line of a revolution Deeply enmeshed in the 2011 uprising in Tahrir Square, Mariam and Khalil move through Cairo s surging streets and roiling political underground, their lives burning with purpose, their city alive in open revolt,A debut novel that captures the experience of the Egyptian revolution like no news report couldThe City Always Wins is a novel from the front line of a revolution Deeply enmeshed in the 2011 uprising in Tahrir Square, Mariam and Khalil move through Cairo s surging streets and roiling political underground, their lives burning with purpose, their city alive in open revolt, the world watching, listening, as they chart a course into an unknown future They are they believe fighting a new kind of revolution they are players in a new epic in the making.From the communal highs of night battles against the police to the solitary lows of postrevolutionary exile, Omar Robert Hamilton s bold debut cuts to the psychological heart of one the key chapters in the twenty first century Arrestingly visual, intensely lyrical, uncompromisingly political, and brutal in its poetry, The City Always Wins is a novel not just about Egypt s revolution, but about a global generation that tried to change the world.
The City Always Wins A debut novel that captures the experience of the Egyptian revolution like no news report couldThe City Always Wins is a novel from the front line of a revolution Deeply enmeshed in the uprising

  • Title: The City Always Wins
  • Author: Omar Robert Hamilton
  • ISBN: 9780374123970
  • Page: 391
  • Format: Hardcover
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    1 thought on “The City Always Wins”

    1. History changes as invisibly as the future, though more painfully in having tasted what is lost.The City Always Wins is astonishing, intelligent throughout and alternately inspiring and saddening, a novel of the Egyptian Arab Spring that covers the macro tides and currents of the movement's development while also painting a beautiful micro narrative of two young people swept up in the wave. It recounts and reflects on the difficult relationship between revolution and democracy; chaos and governa [...]

    2. Sometimes you appreciate a novel more than you enjoy reading it. The City Always Wins is important and well written, but it didn't always work for me. I'm still giving it 4 stars for its strengths. The novel takes place over a few years in the very recent past in Egypt. It is told primarily from the perspective of Khalil who grew up in the United States and whose father is Palestinian. It opens in Egypt in 2011, where Khalil and his girlfriend Mariam are fully engaged in the Arab spring. The per [...]

    3. A well-constructed and important story, even though I didn't love the writing style all that much. Full review to come.

    4. Tough, bleak and relentless, this book won't be for everyone. I found it challenging, thought-provoking, heart-wrenching and in many ways, necessary - we have all, after all, watched these events from the safety of our TV screens, but this glimpse into the reality of the events of 2011 is a wholly different - and wholly uncomfortable - experience. But I can't say I enjoyed any of it, though I'm sure that wasn't the intention. I'm glad I read it, and I admire the writer's talent, but I could have [...]

    5. Maybe it's my inner revolutionary but I thought this book was amazing. It details the hardships of war, revolution, and dictatorships. It starts off with the Egyptian revolution in 2011, and details the struggles of two main revolutionaries, Miriam and Khalil. While they start off as a couple together, they slowly begin to drift apart as Miriam becomes more reactionary and Khalil seems to become more disillusioned. The author takes us on a journey through the excitement and hope of a new beginni [...]

    6. If Arab Spring or Arab Revolutions can be considered a genre then this is one of my top genres to read especially when it's well written, and this book falls under this genre. It's always interesting having to read this topic in a fictional setting because the fiction and non-fiction intertwine together and creates a new world. This story reflects the uprisings that happened in Egypt portraying a timeline that's before January 25th till present day. The energy that is within the youth in this bo [...]

    7. This one hit me quite hard. It's probably the testimonies - particularly the last one by Umm Ayman, in which she says she's done supporting the revolution because every time she calls for people to stand for the cause her son died for, she's sending at least one more to their death. She thinks the state would not stop until there was no one left, and how could she justify her part in the slaughter? It's not cowardice, this, but a voice of a woman pushed to the edge of what she can live with, and [...]

    8. I would like to thank Netgalley for my ARC of this book for my honest and unbiased opinion.This tells the story of the 2011 Egyptian Revolution. Protesters make their grievances known. They have had to endure police brutality, fraud, corruption, lack of free elections and freedom of speech. The protesters organise strikes. demonstrations, riots and take part in online activism. When President Mubarak is overthrown by the military and another is elected president, nothing seems to change. There a [...]

    9. The promise of a better life. A fight against an unbeatable enemy. A love in a time of upheaval. Almost 20 years under the dictator Mubarak come to an end when masses of people inspired by revolutions in other Muslim countries gather in Tahrir Square in Cairo and force Mubarak to resign. Social media are the new weapons and Mariam and Khalil are in the centre of the protests. They broadcast what is happening to the world and they treat the wounded always in fear of becoming a victim of the polic [...]

    10. Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.The City Always Wins is poetic, heartbreaking and real. Omar Robert Hamilton has crafted a beautiful piece of literature that captures snapshots of hope and despair in a revolution. It is unique and emotional in a way that will stick with the reader long after they reach the last page.This book is the story of the uprising that started in Tahrir Square in 2011, told through the eyes of Khalil, a Palistinian-Egyptian born in America wh [...]

    11. I want to give this book a better rating because it is beautifully written. It took me a long time to read, the writer demands so much emotionally (especially from Egyptians, who were there, who know, who experienced what is written). I need to take the time parse out why this book makes me uneasy, and perhaps I can't say that I 'liked it' because it was so difficult to get through and while the fracturing felt very real and relatable, the writing felt like it stood on its emotional triggering a [...]

    12. I loved it. A beautifully styled novel; slam-poetic and sensorial. The novel's strength lay in ORH's ability to capture the rhythms, smells, cacophony, ecstasy, and ultimately the pain of revolutionary life.

    13. This debut novel tells the story of the Egyptian revolution and the disappointment that follows in a frentic way making it difficult to keep up with at times. I feel like the emotion by the author bleeds into the story and makes it very difficult to turn away or not feel overwhelming emotions,especially with the descriptions of several deaths, the torture, and the passionate pleas of freedom. Definitely a relevant book for these times we live in, the fast pace and constant demands of social medi [...]

    14. This book is written in a complicated and fragmented way, but I think this is done on purpose by the author because what happened in Egypt, or what we hink happened in Egypt in 2011, or the author point of view of what happened in Cairo since October 2011, is fragmented, not clear, confused but mostly it didn't work. A very sad view on a revolution that hadn't the results, or maybe it had, that most of the young people living in Cairo desired, the same the died, mostly and sadly.Questo libro é [...]

    15. من ماسبيرو ٢٠١١ حتى جنازة أحمد سيف الإسلام ٢٠١٤، واسترجاع لشرارة البدء وسقوط مبارك؛ كل حدث وواقعة مسبوق ذكرهم بتاريخ حدوثهم، لكن التواريخ تختفي بعد ١٤ أغسطس ٢٠١٣ الثورة مقابل سواد الثورة المضادة؛ الوجع الكثيف، الهزائم والأعطاب والاضطرابات والسجون والدماء والشهداء الأحيا [...]

    16. A diary out of the 25th of January Revolution .ways good to remember what happened and to reflect on the current state of affairs.

    17. Memoir books are many, and fiction that reflects real events is plentiful; but it is very rare to find a book that tells a story of a revolution but from the point of view of those who ignited it and died for it, those it elated and then left defeated, and those who gave every last breath, literally and metaphorically, to see it change the world.The City Always Wins is a heartbreaking book, and I do not say that lightly. There are pages in this volume that will rip you apart and leave you in tat [...]

    18. This is less a story and more a snapshot of a particular time, a revolution that came and went. You have to know a good amount about the January 25th revolution to understand this book and its nuances. As someone who followed the revolution day by day, it was exhausting for me to read, but also impossible to put down. The writer is very gifted and his writing grips you - to the point that I sometimes felt I couldn't breath until the end of the paragraph. I cried multiple times reading this book [...]

    19. Powerful and timely. A contemporary story in 2011-2012 of a revolution by the people in Egypt as Mubarak, Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood rise to power. A group of activists disseminate information via the internet and a blog, Chaos. Key activists are Khaled Said, Mariam and her mother Nadia are physicians tending to the wounded, Ashira, Michael, Rosa, Rania.As we watch in horror the current attempts to undermine America's democracy, the blatant corruption of the GOP, states implementing fines [...]

    20. Not such an easy book to rate actually. Tougher still to classify. Ambiguous and stream of consciousness, it hardly qualifies as narrative. And although it clearly has a point to make, it's not deliberate enough to really work as argumentation. What then? Exposition? I'm not sure there's enough detail here to really teach the reader. No, this is a book that's ultimate purpose and mode is description. It provides the reader with a vivid, sensory experience of what it felt like to be in Egypt duri [...]

    21. One the best political novels I've ever read, as good as Zola's Germinal. It's a harrowing and intense chronicle of the Egyptian revolution and its aftermath, from Tahrir Square to el-Sisi, centering on young activists Khalil and Mariam and their group of friends and fellow comrades. The sentences are long, breathless, full of anger and melancholy, and the story follows a tragic arc from hope to disillusionment. Whereas other novels about contemporary politics insist on submerging the political [...]

    22. Capturing the angst of the disenfranchised, revolting Egyptian youth, Hamilton's novel is a poetic, gritty piece of recent historical fiction. The writing shifts from Twitter headlines, philosophical monologue, to breakneck-paced ramblings of the minds' of characters caught in the violent chaos of Cairo's streets during the revolts taking place from 2011-2013. Symbolic of the power of the moment, versus the effectivity of planning for the future, the story unfolds as the revolution inevitably fa [...]

    23. "There is a shared reservoir of pain that lies like an aquifer beneath us. When all else is lost, that will be all that binds us." (p.283) This is an excoriating read. "You know it's over when everyone is either dead or in jail. And if you are neither of those things, you were just never a player." (p.281) The writing walks a changing line between the lyrical and the staccato, the personal and the political, just as the storytelling morphs fiction and reportage in its commitment to the cause onc [...]

    24. This book was amazing and one of the most intense books I've ever read. Hamilton shows the horrors of the Egyptian revolution and the betrayal of the Muslim Brotherhood as well as the army. They were successful in having a revolution and in toppling Mubarak, but then everything fell apart. In the end they were left with a military coup. This should be at the top of every revolutionary's list, because there are so many lessons to be learned, most importantly that nobody wants to live in chaos for [...]

    25. There is something captivating about it when a book published in 2017 and written about an event in 2011 is categorized as "Historical Fiction". It is a book about the Egyptian revolution in 2011, part of the Arab Spring, and its turbulent aftermath. This history was not too long ago, the dust has not even settled, it is not resolved yet - and it is brought to brutal life in "The City Always Wins". It is emotional and heartfelt, and brings you right into the middle of the action. It showcases th [...]

    26. This is a remarkable book. A gritty and disturbing book. Initially, you will find the writing style too jarring. As you get into the “story”, you realize that it is intentional. It is a cinematic style reflecting the author’s background; the movie title would be “Scenes from the Uprising”. The narrative method is unconventional but the writing (too) successfully evokes the dread, hope, fear, and disappointment of the activists. In a few instances and at the ending, I felt that the auth [...]

    27. This is an important book. Perhaps no other book so perfectly encapsulates the chaos and helplessness of,  not only post Arab spring Egypt, but also that of the world in which we live. A world where cops can shoot black people without consequence, where white men feel emboldened to carry torches and whine about how hard it is to be a white man, in which atrocities happen everyday, and we just scroll down. This is a difficult book to read which perhaps makes it all the more important.  In the w [...]

    28. I probably would have liked this more if I knew about the revolution beforehand. Unfortunately, the author does not explain much, he just assumes you are familiar enough with the events to follow along. That was not the case for me and I was confused most of the time. I also didn't like how he often skipped from one thing to the next without explaining a transition (for instance in one paragraph a character would be sitting around talking and the next they would be at the end of a protest). That [...]

    29. As a casual observer, I was confused by Egypt's rapid replacement of one military dictator for another circa 2011-2012. But after reading "The City Always Wins," I'm . . . still confused, but at least I know the names. I also have a deeper respect for the idealists who briefly made the "Arab Spring" of the early 2010's seem like the dawn of a millennial age in the Middle East before realpolitik crushed the fragile dreams of peace and democracy. Hamilton uses stream-of-consciousness to depict a s [...]

    30. I feel very conflicted about this book. Definitely a necessary read to understand some of the emotional intricacies of being in Egypt at the time of the revolution, but I did have some issues with the writing style. If you're going to read this, first get up to date on the timeline of events that took place leading up to and post January 25th. This author dives right in, which is great and adds to the hectic atmosphere of what was taking place at the time, but the reader very much gets the sense [...]

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