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经济学人双语人文新闻在线试听:烟雾氤氲 Wreathed in smoke

Lily85 于2013-01-09发布 l 已有人浏览
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Parker Bilal带领读者轻松杀入开罗黑暗的心脏。从中世纪市集迷宫般的巷道,到尘土飞扬,尚未竣工的豪宅工地,埃及首都处处是威胁,背叛则如神魔组成的军队一般盘旋梭巡,神出鬼没。
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Still in Books and Arts; Book Review;New thriller;Wreathed in smoke;
文艺;书评;新的惊悚小说;烟雾氤氲;

The Golden Scales. By Parker Bilal.
《金色的区域》,Parker Bilal于布伦堡著。

Parker Bilal whisks the reader straight to the dark heart of Cairo. From the maze of alleys in the medieval bazaar to sand-blown, half-finished luxury housing developments, the Egyptian capital is a menacing place where betrayal swirls like an army of djinns.
Parker Bilal带领读者轻松杀入开罗黑暗的心脏。从中世纪市集迷宫般的巷道,到尘土飞扬,尚未竣工的豪宅工地,埃及首都处处是威胁,背叛则如神魔组成的军队一般盘旋梭巡,神出鬼没。

Makana is a poverty-stricken Sudanese political exile living alone on a rickety houseboat on the Nile. He is commissioned by Hanafi, a violent and corrupt Cairene oligarch, with finding Adil Romario, a star football player. Meanwhile, Liz Markham, the daughter of a British aristocrat, has been tortured and murdered while searching for her daughter, who went missing in Cairo more than 20 years earlier. A former policeman himself, Makana is no naif, but he rapidly finds himself in a perilous world peopled with Egypt's ultra-rich, Islamic militants and Russian organised crime. It's a heady mix, but one that Mr Bilal pulls off with verve.
Makana,苏丹人士,穷困潦倒,因政治问题被流放他乡,独居于尼罗河上一艘破败不堪的船屋里。他肩负开罗残暴腐朽的独裁者Hanafi的使命,寻找足球明星Adil Romario。同时,英国贵族之女Liz Markham在寻找20余年前在开罗丢失的女儿时被折磨并被杀害了。Makana曾为警察,自然绝不天真,但很快却发现自己身陷人间地狱,周围尽是埃及巨富、伊斯兰好战分子,还有俄罗斯人组织的犯罪。这是个让人眼花缭乱的局面,Bilal先生却用高超的技艺成功驾驭了它。

A London-born literary novelist, Parker Bilal (whose real name is Jamal Mahjoub) has also lived in Cairo and Sudan. His prose has a subtlety that is rarely found in crime novels: an old man “screwed up his face so that all the lines drew together, like a net being drawn in”; metal rods on a construction site are scattered like “enormous burned matchsticks”; naked light bulbs on an electrical flex resemble “strange fruits on a vine”. The novel is set in pre-Arab-spring Cairo and the city is vividly evoked, its smells and sounds almost seeping from the pages. Characters such as Okasha, a policeman who is Makana's friend and ally, and Sami, a terrier-like reporter, are nuanced and believable though the story flags a little in the middle—always tricky territory for a crime novel—and there are perhaps one too many meaningful meetings with long looks across the table wreathed in cigarette smoke. In the end there is justice, of a sort. Some evildoers are punished, others walk free protected by higher authorities, just as they probably would in real-life Cairo. The twist at the end is subtly signalled. Makana, too, has his demons. His journey, as he learns to live with them, stays with you.
Parker Bilal(真名为Jamal Mahjoub)生于伦敦,曾居于苏丹和开罗,擅写小说,文笔优美。他的犯罪小说字字璇玑,笔触细腻精妙,有如散文,甚为难得:一位老人“饱经风霜,脸上的皱纹交结在一起,如同一张收拢的渔网。”;建筑工地散乱的钢筋像“无数烧过的火柴棍儿”;灯泡没有灯罩,悬在花线末端,宛如“葡萄藤上奇异的水果”。小说将故事背景设在“阿拉伯之春”前,鲜活地重现了当时的开罗:它的喧嚣,它的气味,全都跃然纸上,呼之欲出。小说对角色的刻画细致入微,真实可信;Makana的同盟好友Okasha警官,对朋友忠诚友善的记者Sami都是如此。然而文章的中段有些拖沓——犯罪小说很难处理好这些地方——还有一些多余的“有意义”的会面,人从这头穿过氤氲的烟雾看着桌子的那头。在文章最后,正义勉强算是得到了伸张。一些行恶之人受到了惩罚,一些则在上头的保护下逍遥法外;如果真的是在开罗,最后结局大概也就是这样。结尾的大转折在前文中埋有伏笔。Makana心中也有自己的恶魔。在旅途中,他学习着如何与它们一道生活;在这条路上,他与你相随。

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