“An ode to storytelling with shades of Scheherazade, this novel by the author of The Meursault Investigation features a hero convinced that his journal writing keeps those he loves alive.”


Just finished Zabor, or the Psalms by Kamel Daoud.
This is the story of a man named Zabor, who believes that he can prolong people’s lives by continuously writing.   He has a separate notebook for each person and he assigns a number to that person.   He then will begin to write in that notebook in order to prolong that persons life.

The story takes place in the modern era.  Zabor is one of the few people in his village who can read or write, and his life is consumed with reading books.  His mother passed away when he was young, and his father has remarried, basically making Zabor an outcast who must live with his aunt.

Then one night his brothers come for him as their father is dying and Zabor is needed to try and save him.
The story is full of Zabor feelings about everything.   He writes about some of the books he has read, his life, the lives of others, and about his family.  The book is basically a complete narrative with minimal dialogue.

It is not an easy read, but the author is a gifted writer and many of the thoughts expressed by Zabor throughout the book are interesting.   Still, this book isn’t for everyone.
If you’re looking for a book that is plot driven, then this book isn’t for you.


Reviewed by:

Richard Franco

Added 14th May 2021

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Richard Franco