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THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER ‘People say I am a megalomaniac. It is not true. I am an exceptional being, providence incarnate, envied by the gods, able to make a faith of his cause.’ October 2011. In the dying days of the Libyan civil war, Muammar Gaddafi is hiding out in his home town of Sirte along with his closest advisors. They await a convoy that will take them south, a THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER ‘People say I am a megalomaniac. It is not true. I am an exceptional being, providence incarnate, envied by the gods, able to make a faith of his cause.’ October 2011. In the dying days of the Libyan civil war, Muammar Gaddafi is hiding out in his home town of Sirte along with his closest advisors. They await a convoy that will take them south, away from encroaching rebel forces and NATO aerial attacks. The mood is sombre. In what will be his final night, Gaddafi reflects on an extraordinary life, whilst still raging against the West, his fellow Arab nations and the ingratitude of the Libyan people. In this gripping imagining of the last hours of President Gaddafi, Yasmina Khadra provides us with fascinating insight into the mind of one of the most complex and controversial figures of recent history.


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THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER ‘People say I am a megalomaniac. It is not true. I am an exceptional being, providence incarnate, envied by the gods, able to make a faith of his cause.’ October 2011. In the dying days of the Libyan civil war, Muammar Gaddafi is hiding out in his home town of Sirte along with his closest advisors. They await a convoy that will take them south, a THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER ‘People say I am a megalomaniac. It is not true. I am an exceptional being, providence incarnate, envied by the gods, able to make a faith of his cause.’ October 2011. In the dying days of the Libyan civil war, Muammar Gaddafi is hiding out in his home town of Sirte along with his closest advisors. They await a convoy that will take them south, away from encroaching rebel forces and NATO aerial attacks. The mood is sombre. In what will be his final night, Gaddafi reflects on an extraordinary life, whilst still raging against the West, his fellow Arab nations and the ingratitude of the Libyan people. In this gripping imagining of the last hours of President Gaddafi, Yasmina Khadra provides us with fascinating insight into the mind of one of the most complex and controversial figures of recent history.

30 review for The Dictator's Last Night

  1. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    This novel takes as its subject matter the controversial figure of Muammar Gaddafi, seen through the last night of his life. Gaddafi has retreated to Sirte after the fall of Tripoli in the Libyan Civil War; where the former dictator is holed up in a disused school, waiting for the arrival of his son, Mutassim, and hoping to break out and find refuge in another part of the country. While he waits, Gaddafi reflects on the Arab Spring, his life and those around him. It is difficult to create a movin This novel takes as its subject matter the controversial figure of Muammar Gaddafi, seen through the last night of his life. Gaddafi has retreated to Sirte after the fall of Tripoli in the Libyan Civil War; where the former dictator is holed up in a disused school, waiting for the arrival of his son, Mutassim, and hoping to break out and find refuge in another part of the country. While he waits, Gaddafi reflects on the Arab Spring, his life and those around him. It is difficult to create a moving and sympathetic portrait of a man who divided opinion so strongly – both in his lifetime and since his death. Portrayed in the West as a vaguely comic figure, he was obviously feared by many in his own country, and, indeed, his own entourage, and the author manages to create a realistic portrayal of a man who is cornered and yet defiant. Reflecting on his Bedouin childhood, insults and slights – remembered and pored over – revenge, power and success; Gaddafi turns from feelings of despondency over his perceived situation, anger at the astounding ingratitude of his people and ministers and an inability to accept any dissent or criticism, even while asking those around him what went wrong… Through Gaddafi’s fictional memories, the author manages to give us the essential history of a man who rose from poverty to change his destiny; heading a coup d’etat in 1969 to depose King Idris and having extraordinary power. By containing the book within this short, but incredibly stressful, time period, the novel feels extremely tense and gripping. Although we know the outcome, I did find the whole book simply riveting and was unable to put it down at the end. This would be an incredible choice for reading groups, with so much to discuss. Lastly, I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, for review. Highly recommended.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Cold War Conversations Podcast

    Tense and gripping imagining of Muammar Gaddafi’s last hours. No one can know what went through the head of Gaddafi in his last hours but Yasmina Khadra ably aided by Julian Evans translation creates a plausible and scary insight into what the Brotherly Leader and Guide of the Revolution of Libya might have been thinking. The book begins with Gaddafi hiding in Sirte waiting for the arrival of his son, who is going to help him break out and find refuge in another part of the country. During the wai Tense and gripping imagining of Muammar Gaddafi’s last hours. No one can know what went through the head of Gaddafi in his last hours but Yasmina Khadra ably aided by Julian Evans translation creates a plausible and scary insight into what the Brotherly Leader and Guide of the Revolution of Libya might have been thinking. The book begins with Gaddafi hiding in Sirte waiting for the arrival of his son, who is going to help him break out and find refuge in another part of the country. During the wait Gaddafi ponders his life, his current circumstances and the events that have brought him to this. The book itself is short, but this keeps the tension high even though you know what will happen. Some scenes are not for the faint hearted, but it’s a very powerful story told very well. I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Maria Beltrami

    Most of us remember Gaddafi as a bloody dictator, implicated in stories still unclear as the Ustica massacre and the various attacks around the world, as well as the clown that established himself in European capitals with his tent and his court, sure to be honored in a servile way by Western leaders because he was holding the cocks of some natural resources so essential for us. Then came the Arab spring with everything that followed, and we still don't know whether it was good or not. Maybe not Most of us remember Gaddafi as a bloody dictator, implicated in stories still unclear as the Ustica massacre and the various attacks around the world, as well as the clown that established himself in European capitals with his tent and his court, sure to be honored in a servile way by Western leaders because he was holding the cocks of some natural resources so essential for us. Then came the Arab spring with everything that followed, and we still don't know whether it was good or not. Maybe not judging from the trail of blood and cruelty stemming from the so-called spring. The inglorious end of Gaddafi, his marred body, is printed on our retinas, and on those of Yasmina Kahdra, who reconstructs the last night of the dictator with a dense record and an epic inspiration, without making discounts to the dark side of the character, yet clarifying his historical stature. I thank Gallic Books and Netgalley for giving me a free copy in exchange for an honest review. La maggior parte di noi ricorda Gaddafi come un dittatore sanguinario, implicato in storie ancora oggi poco chiare come la strage di Ustica e attentati vari in giro per il mondo, e anche come il pagliaccio che si stabiliva nelle capitali europee con la sua tenda e la sua corte, sicuro di essere omaggiato in modo servile dai governanti occidentali perché teneva in mano i rubinetti di alcune risorse naturali per noi così essenziali. Poi è arrivata la primavera araba con tutto quel che ne è seguito, e ancora non sappiamo se sia stato un bene oppure no. Forse no a giudicare dalla scia di sangue e di barbarie scaturita da quella cosiddetta primavera. La fine ingloriosa di Gaddafi, il suo cadavere scempiato, è stampato sulle nostre retine, e su quelle di Yasmina Kahdra, che ricostruisce l'ultima notte del dittatore con una cronaca serrata e un afflato epico, senza fare sconti ai lati oscuri del personaggio, eppure chiarendone la statura storica. Ringrazio Gallic Books e Netgalley per avermi fornito una copia gratuita in cambio di una recensione onesta.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Dawnie

    This was a very interesting read showing a very clearly disturbed person. I think this is a wonderful view into a horrible person that clearly saw himself as something so much better than anyone else. Now before i get really into this review, i have too say that i don't know a huge amount about Muammar gaddafi. I know he was a very brutal dictator. But thats about it. So i don't know if this book is as good of a few into this person as i felt it was, because i don't really know anything about hi This was a very interesting read showing a very clearly disturbed person. I think this is a wonderful view into a horrible person that clearly saw himself as something so much better than anyone else. Now before i get really into this review, i have too say that i don't know a huge amount about Muammar gaddafi. I know he was a very brutal dictator. But thats about it. So i don't know if this book is as good of a few into this person as i felt it was, because i don't really know anything about him, so bear that in mind. But i thought this was nicely done. It really takes us into the very disturbed mind of a person that clearly believes himself god like, dealing out punishments after asking for the truth and after getting it not wanting to hear it after all. Thinking that he worships women, but actually kidnapping, raping and torturing them and sometimes killing them. This book clearly shows how someone can be completely mad a person can be, seeing and believing himself to be something completely different than he actually is. Personally i find that quiet fascinating to see and read about. How someone can be so completely self absorbed and think himself about everyone else but at the same time thinking of himself that he is doing good and helping everyone. This book is not for everyone, the writing is different - a bit abrupt, a bit short worded, slightly strange in the "scene" change, how we are simply dropped into the story without explanation or background, expected to know exactly what happened and who every person mentioned in the book is. But i think its a good book telling a part of history, about a clearly horrible person and simply portraying him. Not trying to explain, not trying to crucify him, but simply sharing who that person was, how he saw himself, how he actually was and that up to the end he was not a nice or even good person that did not at all see what he did wrong. If you want to read a book that will show you a -hopefully- very different personality, a different historical aspect that is not often talk about without any personal option added into the mix, but simply sharing information.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Zeb Kantrowitz

    The Dictator's Last Night by Yasmina Khadra NOTE: this was a free book from NetGalley This book by the marvelous Algerian writer, who writes under the pseudonym of Yasmina Khara, has written this story of the last day in the life of Muamar Gaddaffi. This short book (or novella), is written in the first person with Gaddaffi as the narrator. What does a man who knows he will not see another day think of in his last hours. What does a man think of?? His accomplishment?? His missed opportunities?? His The Dictator's Last Night by Yasmina Khadra NOTE: this was a free book from NetGalley This book by the marvelous Algerian writer, who writes under the pseudonym of Yasmina Khara, has written this story of the last day in the life of Muamar Gaddaffi. This short book (or novella), is written in the first person with Gaddaffi as the narrator. What does a man who knows he will not see another day think of in his last hours. What does a man think of?? His accomplishment?? His missed opportunities?? His mistakes (if he made any)?? Or does his life flash before him?? These are the questions that Khadra tries to answer. From the time of his childhood, Gaddaffi knew that he was destined for greatness. He was a willful fatherless child who brought nothing but pain and misery to his mother. Mostly he wanted to know the true story of his father (which he was not to learn for years). He talks about his time in military training and the friends he made (who later helped him lead the coup d’etat that overthrew the King). He talks about his children and his family, his hatred for how he was treated by his tribe when he was growing up, even though they had paid for his education. More than anything he talks about what he had done for Libya and how he had made his country respected all over the Moslem world. It’s the ravings of a psychotic drug addict. I wonder if it was true that at the end of his life, Gaddaffi like Hitler had become a drug addict? Is it true or is Khadra giving in to rumor and innuendo? The end is Gaddaffi thoughts as he is dragged out of a water drain, beaten and eventually shot dead. Is it true that all Dictators and psychotic, narcissists who cannot see when they have overstepped? Well, ask Saddam Hussein or any of the other “leaders” overthrown during the Arab Spring. Zeb Kantrowitz zworstblog.blogspot.com [email protected]

  6. 4 out of 5

    عبد القادري

    EPIC

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kate Vane

    I had such hopes for this novel. I read the news but there’s so much I don’t know about Libya and its former leader, Muammar Gaddafi. I thought this first-person account of the last few hours of his life would give me insights into the politics, economics and culture of the country which he ruled, and the factors that led to his downfall. And Gaddafi, with his vanity and guile and bizarre behavior, would make the ultimate unreliable narrator. The novel begins with Gaddafi in hiding in a disused b I had such hopes for this novel. I read the news but there’s so much I don’t know about Libya and its former leader, Muammar Gaddafi. I thought this first-person account of the last few hours of his life would give me insights into the politics, economics and culture of the country which he ruled, and the factors that led to his downfall. And Gaddafi, with his vanity and guile and bizarre behavior, would make the ultimate unreliable narrator. The novel begins with Gaddafi in hiding in a disused building, with just a few loyalists around him, contemplating what he sees as the failure of his allies and the treachery of his people. We are taken through a series of conversations, interspersed with his memories and thoughts on key events in his life, ending with his attempt to flee and his violent death at the hands of a militia. The structure should make for great drama, so what went wrong? I think the key difficulty is the voice. Of course, any narrative, particularly a first person one, is a device, but it’s not clear who is speaking here. Are we reading Gaddafi’s innermost thoughts? Or is he, even now, trying to live up to his public persona? It’s not quite either. The prose at best is functional and there doesn’t seem to be a fully developed character animating the words. What we get instead are some clunky exchanges of dialogue, and reminiscences which don’t really take you beyond the headlines. I didn’t feel I’d got a deeper sense of who Gaddafi was. How did he rise up from nothing? What was his appeal? What drove him? There is some odd phrasing too. I’m not sure whether this is due to the original or the translation. But who, under any circumstances, never mind when lying in a drain facing imminent death, would muse, “A guide, though entrusted with a messianic mission, when he has official responsibility for a country, does not turn the other cheek”? The book feels like one of those dramatised reconstructions you get in TV documentaries, where underemployed actors struggle valiantly to give life to chunks of exposition. Disappointing. * I received an ARC from the publisher via Netgalley. This review first appeared on the TNBBC blog http://thenextbestbookblog.blogspot.c...

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kimbofo

    The Dictator’s Last Night by Yasmina Khadra puts us in the shoes of Colonel Gaddafi at the height of the Libyan civil war in 2011 shortly before his capture and execution by the NATO-backed rebel forces of the time. It’s a fictionalised account, of course, but it has a ring of authenticity about it. Unsurprisingly, it’s quite a dark and sombre novella, seeing as it provides a fascinating glimpse into the mindset of one of modern history’s most controversial and divisive figures, yet there’s a ce The Dictator’s Last Night by Yasmina Khadra puts us in the shoes of Colonel Gaddafi at the height of the Libyan civil war in 2011 shortly before his capture and execution by the NATO-backed rebel forces of the time. It’s a fictionalised account, of course, but it has a ring of authenticity about it. Unsurprisingly, it’s quite a dark and sombre novella, seeing as it provides a fascinating glimpse into the mindset of one of modern history’s most controversial and divisive figures, yet there’s a certain delicacy of touch, which makes it a fast and compelling read. When it opens, Gaddafi is holed up in a disused school — his troops’ secret headquarters — waiting for his son to join him so that they can move on to another, safer, location. It is the night of 19 October 2011 and the city of Sirte is raging all around him, as NATO attacks from the air and rebel forces attack from the ground. Over the course of the next 24 hours, Gaddafi recalls his life story — a Bedouin who grew up believing he was the Ghous clan’s “chosen one” yet forever remembering the childhood curses and slights against him even as he rose to become one of the Middle East’s most powerful and influential men, albeit one with a messiah complex — while confronting his own fears for the future. He is largely resolute in defeat, knowing that his time has come, but he’s also angry and bitter at what he perceives to be the ingratitude of the Libyan people and he has short shrift for those in his immediate employ who he treats with disdain and cruelty. To read the rest of my review, please visit my blog.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Baljit

    This is written in the voice of President Gaddafi, when the Libyan civil war is in its dying days, and the President is in hiding. It is well written and gives and insight into the powerful figure he was. It is historical fiction. I did not enjoy this book as much as Khadra’s other novels because of the the style and setting. His other novels were set in conflicted areas and about ordinary people trying to cope with life. This was about a dictator having a monologue with the reader, justifying h This is written in the voice of President Gaddafi, when the Libyan civil war is in its dying days, and the President is in hiding. It is well written and gives and insight into the powerful figure he was. It is historical fiction. I did not enjoy this book as much as Khadra’s other novels because of the the style and setting. His other novels were set in conflicted areas and about ordinary people trying to cope with life. This was about a dictator having a monologue with the reader, justifying his actions and accounting for his disappointments.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Anya

    Famed Algerian author Yasmina Khadra was recommended to me by a friend (who incidentally has read all of Khadra’s books…except this one). “La Dernière nuit de Rais” is a fictional retelling of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s last days. The entire book is narrated in the first-person, i.e., by Gaddafi himself. He tells us about his childhood, his meteoric ascension to power, as well as his bitter fall from grace. I appreciated that the book does not make any outright judgements for or against Ga Famed Algerian author Yasmina Khadra was recommended to me by a friend (who incidentally has read all of Khadra’s books…except this one). “La Dernière nuit de Rais” is a fictional retelling of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s last days. The entire book is narrated in the first-person, i.e., by Gaddafi himself. He tells us about his childhood, his meteoric ascension to power, as well as his bitter fall from grace. I appreciated that the book does not make any outright judgements for or against Gaddafi, but presents facts and allows readers to come to their own conclusions. The novel tackles a very complicated and interesting individual, but seems almost too short for the task. The novel could, and perhaps, should, in my opinion, have been at least two or three times long. Given the short length, the narrative jumped very quickly from topic to topic. I would have appreciated more background on Gaddafi’s life, his views and motivations, etc, or that the novel simply not stretch to cover Gaddafi’s biography, but only focus on his last nights and struggles with his internal demons. This was a good novel with some flashes of brilliance (the very last few sentences about Van Gogh’s ear, for one). However, I felt that Khadra missed an opportunity to deliver a truly brilliant novel, had he chosen to polish and better develop the philosophical debates underlying Gaddafi’s (and really all dictators’) actions. (Ex/ Can cruelty and murder in order to build a utopian society ever be justified?) While reading this novel, I just kept thinking about how much better Aitmatov wrote about this in his brilliant “The White Cloud of Genghis Khan”. I also kept thinking about how “La Dernière nuit…” might be well suited to a theatrical adaptation… All in all, I would recommend this book to those interested in learning more about North African history/politics.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Camille Vargas

    "Life is only a dream to which our death sounds the reveille, my uncle used to say to comfort himself. What matters is not what you take with you, but what you leave behind..." Muammar Gaddafi was known by many names: Great Colonel, liberator, leader, Brotherly Guide... And also Dictator, psycho, megalomaniac, and Mad-dog of the Middle East... Do a research and you'll find how the people in and out of Libya are still torn as to whether Gaddafi was "good" or "bad". From being a goatherder Bedouin, h "Life is only a dream to which our death sounds the reveille, my uncle used to say to comfort himself. What matters is not what you take with you, but what you leave behind..." Muammar Gaddafi was known by many names: Great Colonel, liberator, leader, Brotherly Guide... And also Dictator, psycho, megalomaniac, and Mad-dog of the Middle East... Do a research and you'll find how the people in and out of Libya are still torn as to whether Gaddafi was "good" or "bad". From being a goatherder Bedouin, he persevered and later on freed Libya from its despair under King Idris' rule in a bloodless coup and led it to glory... But there were also horror stories during his 40 year regime... This book is a re-imagining of Libya's former President Gaddafi's last night. Before he was captured while hiding in a drainage pipe near Sirte. The author tried to understand how he descended from being Libya's most beloved, to the most hated-massacred-and-ruined man in 2011... I give this a 3/5 rating primarily because I probably expected more from it. Nonetheless it paved way for me to research on my own to try to understand the two sides of the story of this man. I recommend this to anyone who would want to have an additional understanding and perspective about the life and death of Muammar Gaddafi.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Salam Ch

    3 stars for the book overall + 1 star to the Arabic translation !!!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    A stunning first person fictional account of Gaddafi's last night. Triumphs and regrets are both explored as he waits his final destiny. A creative imagining of what he might have been thinking as his end approached. I really enjoyed this book. I received this book as part of a Goodreads giveaway but the opinions expressed are solely my own.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Marina Sofia

    Portrait of the archetype of a dictator, not just a specific dictator. The author cleverly examines how it is possible to become so self-absorbed, megalomaniac, removed from reality, prone to tantrums, paranoid when surrounded by sycophants, how power corrupts, and yet how dictators are often revered in their countries (at least at first). A nuanced look at the legacy of tyrants.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Donna Maguire

    This book really intrigued me when I read the description so I was delighted when I was given the opportunity to review the book in exchange for my honest opinion. The book was good and quite easy to read but I didn't really find it as one for me.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Eileen Hall

    Couldn't get into this story at all. Whether it was the style of writing, or subject I'm not sure. This digital book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley in return for an hinest unbiased review.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Tony

    Seeing as how my parents lived in Libya at the time of the military coup that brought Gaddafi to power, I suppose I have more of a connection to this fictional account of his final night alive than most Western readers. That said, I didn't come into it with much more than a general impression of him as a megalomaniac from humble beginnings who leveraged a military career into a cruel 40+ year dictatorship. Of course, the same could be said of any number of despots throughout the history of the m Seeing as how my parents lived in Libya at the time of the military coup that brought Gaddafi to power, I suppose I have more of a connection to this fictional account of his final night alive than most Western readers. That said, I didn't come into it with much more than a general impression of him as a megalomaniac from humble beginnings who leveraged a military career into a cruel 40+ year dictatorship. Of course, the same could be said of any number of despots throughout the history of the modern nation-state. The book opens with Gaddafi holed up a crumbling school in Sirte and ends some twelve hours later as he is torn apart by a mob of rebels who found him hiding in a drainage pipe. The slim book (about a 2-3 hour read) imagines the intervening hours, as well as multiple flashbacks to scenes from his life. Readers will be highly tempted to stop along the way and try and find out what's true and what isn't. For example, I didn't know that he was fatherless, much less that one story puts his lineage down to a Corsican flying for the Free French who was shot down over Libya and taken in by his tribe for a few years! The book gets a bit reductive in imagining that his shame over being fatherless drove him to cast himself as both his own and the ultimate father figure (God), but it's at least a plausible imagining of what happens inside of a madman's brain. Indeed, there are a number of sections of interior thought, which get pretty over the top, as well as a lot of him shouting at his few remaining loyal officers as the noose tightens around them. (I defy anyone to read these scenes and not visualize the much-memed "Hitler Rant" scene from the film Der Untergang.) Throughout the book, Gaddafi implores various subordinates to explain why his people are revolting against him, even as he rails against Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. Also sprinkled throughout are dreams/visions of Vincent Van Gogh, whose meaning becomes interesting at the very end. Although the book is certainly grounded in real events and centers on a real person (whom the author apparently briefly met once), it's to be read for the imagination at work. The work of fiction is to place the reader in the unknown, and few things can be more unknown than the mind of a dictator. Well worth the time for any reader interested in power and the fall therefrom -- could be a good companion read to one of Shakespeare's plays about power, maybe King Lear.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Bilal Ahmad

    Beautifully crafted novel. Excellent use of vocabulary. The subject matter of the novel - Muammar Gaddafi - is in the last night of his life and is retreated in Sirte in some disused school after the outbreak of Libyan civil war. He is waiting for his son - Mutassim - so that he along with his son can take refuge elsewhere. This is about how things unfold in the life of the Dictator in the last night as he waits anxiously for his son also reflecting on his life from childhood to date, the Arab u Beautifully crafted novel. Excellent use of vocabulary. The subject matter of the novel - Muammar Gaddafi - is in the last night of his life and is retreated in Sirte in some disused school after the outbreak of Libyan civil war. He is waiting for his son - Mutassim - so that he along with his son can take refuge elsewhere. This is about how things unfold in the life of the Dictator in the last night as he waits anxiously for his son also reflecting on his life from childhood to date, the Arab uprising. The author has beautifully described the history of Muammar Gaddafi, how he overcame poverty, how he overthrowed King Idris in 1969, his uprising to achieve great power. The author works magic with his words. Overall, an excellent read. Go buy it.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Rayene Mammeri

    AN INSIGHTFUL LOOK INTO MUAMMAR EL KEDHAFI'S LAST HOURS ... this book was teribble ! i loved it ! In the middle of the Libyan civil war , that was 6 years ago , as no one knows what really was happening there , Yasmina Khedhra takes us into a deep story about the past killed president , El khadhafi , in his last hours and what he felt and experienced . A look into his past years , his struggles , what he believes in , how he became president at such young age... As this may sound as something bor AN INSIGHTFUL LOOK INTO MUAMMAR EL KEDHAFI'S LAST HOURS ... this book was teribble ! i loved it ! In the middle of the Libyan civil war , that was 6 years ago , as no one knows what really was happening there , Yasmina Khedhra takes us into a deep story about the past killed president , El khadhafi , in his last hours and what he felt and experienced . A look into his past years , his struggles , what he believes in , how he became president at such young age... As this may sound as something boring to read about ( as I am someone who's not a big fan of politics , those conflicts and all ) , the book was everything but boring and again I am astonished by the author's imagination of places and events , it blows my mind .. Certainly reading for Yasmina Khedhra again , I recommend him ❤

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mercedes Chervony

    Compassion for the mind of a madman. Khadra possesses not only the prose to strike the core of your heart but he also owns the deep otherworldly wisdom it requires to empathize with both brutality and narcissism. What makes a hero? What makes a madman? Does murdering our enemies ruthlessly in the name of our country make us terrorists or guardians? A question many nations on today’s global stage should be asking themselves. “Whom who has held authority of any kind is without blood on their hands? Compassion for the mind of a madman. Khadra possesses not only the prose to strike the core of your heart but he also owns the deep otherworldly wisdom it requires to empathize with both brutality and narcissism. What makes a hero? What makes a madman? Does murdering our enemies ruthlessly in the name of our country make us terrorists or guardians? A question many nations on today’s global stage should be asking themselves. “Whom who has held authority of any kind is without blood on their hands?”

  21. 4 out of 5

    Nisrine Hatoum

    Read it in French .... A masterpiece that takes us to the head of Mouammar Kadhafi during his last hours , a passionate novel that makes you wonder about the reasons of tyranny, arrogance and dictatorship ... a very well written story ... this novel can not pass unnoticed. Charming style and images ! Hats off !

  22. 5 out of 5

    Louis

    The writer takes us through Muammar Ghaddafi`s last night on earth. Quite an interesting read. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The writer takes us through Muammar Ghaddafi`s last night on earth. Quite an interesting read. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Saffarini

    The language and chain of events described in this book is just perfect, on emy favorites for this author

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ergün K.

    Really interesting to see everything from his view. I love this kind of insight and I really enjoyed it ! I loved the way the author wrote it, clear, simple and concise.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ronald Reagan

    Save your money & time, no need to buy this book and read it if you are expecting an accurate recount of the story of Gaddafi's death. This book is complete garbage. Anyone who knows Libya and followed the 2011 war can guess this. This book depicts Muammar Gaddafi talking to his closest people (namely Mansour Dhao, Abu Bakr Yunis) in a unrealistic way. These people were not simply Gaddafi's generals, but also some of his closest and most loyal friends. The other thing that appeared from the first f Save your money & time, no need to buy this book and read it if you are expecting an accurate recount of the story of Gaddafi's death. This book is complete garbage. Anyone who knows Libya and followed the 2011 war can guess this. This book depicts Muammar Gaddafi talking to his closest people (namely Mansour Dhao, Abu Bakr Yunis) in a unrealistic way. These people were not simply Gaddafi's generals, but also some of his closest and most loyal friends. The other thing that appeared from the first few pages is how little the author knows about bedouin life... No one chases mouflon in Libya! The author could have found out about this if he ever took the time to actually speak with bedouin Libyans. At some point, we're given a story about how Gaddafi's source of inspiration is his uncle, which is another lie. Gaddafi was mostly influenced by his father and grand-father. The fighting is really not well recounted. We are almost lead to believe that those who fought for Muammar Gaddafi were forced to do so, when in fact, Gaddafi gave all of fighters the choice to fight or go home in september 2011, in a well known speech given in Sirte. The book minimized Gaddafi's heroism in the last days of his life, but anyone with an objective point of view can see how heroic have Gaddafi and his fighters been. Keep in mind that Gaddafi could have bargained and run away for good, but he refused this multiple times, because he believed in his mission. Edit: I finished this book. I still find it complete and utter garbage. What was the point? Gaddafi was the leader of Libya for 42 years, this book has failed miserably in describing the leader's last days.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Laurent Szklarz

    Another great book from the author. This time he offers us a trip inside a tyrant's mind.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Jane (Literary Flits)

    I received a copy of The Dictator's Last Night by Yasmina Khadra from its publishers, Gallic Books, via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. This is my fifth review for Sophie and Suze's NetGalley Challenge and I am hoping that I might just get a sixth title read by the Challenge's end date of October 12th. The Dictator's Last Night is already available in paperback and is due to be released as a Kindle ebook on the 19th October. I forgot, when I chose the book, that I have already read a I received a copy of The Dictator's Last Night by Yasmina Khadra from its publishers, Gallic Books, via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. This is my fifth review for Sophie and Suze's NetGalley Challenge and I am hoping that I might just get a sixth title read by the Challenge's end date of October 12th. The Dictator's Last Night is already available in paperback and is due to be released as a Kindle ebook on the 19th October. I forgot, when I chose the book, that I have already read a work by Yasmina Khadra: The Sirens of Baghdad back in July 2013 which was before I started reviewing everything! In both books, Khadra delves deep into the minds of his protagonists. In Sirens we followed a suicide bomber; In The Dictator's Last Night we spend a dozen hours in the imagined mind of Muammar Gaddafi during the night of his final capture and murder. This isn't exactly a spoiler as Khadra's novel keeps to the known timeline of Gaddafi's last movements. It took about half the book for me to really get into the story. Gaddafi is, unsurprisingly, not at all likeable although his remembrances of his youth did allow me to understand him more. Once he is forced to flee, the novel's pace leaps for a breathtaking final ride that makes for an exciting read. The Dictator's Last Night is written entirely in the first person and, as a feat of imagining one man's mind, it is certainly an interesting achievement. However, due to this device, it is also necessarily restricted to a narrow point of view and I would have liked a wider perspective. I am wondering if anyone has suggestions for other works to fill out the picture? See more of my reviews on my blog, Stephanie Jane

  28. 5 out of 5

    GONZA

    It had been a while since the last time I read a Yasmina Khadra's book but he is still one of my favorite author. In his special super simple way he has the ability to tell a very difficult story where we can almost empathize with one of the most dangerous and tyrannical man of the last 30 years. His own vision of Libia and of his role in guiding it outside the power of the western country and the reasons behind his defeat mostly; a pity that there isn't very much about the way he became the "br It had been a while since the last time I read a Yasmina Khadra's book but he is still one of my favorite author. In his special super simple way he has the ability to tell a very difficult story where we can almost empathize with one of the most dangerous and tyrannical man of the last 30 years. His own vision of Libia and of his role in guiding it outside the power of the western country and the reasons behind his defeat mostly; a pity that there isn't very much about the way he became the "brotherly guide", with a little help from some "Italian Friends", but ok, this book is all about the last night of the Rais before his defeat. Era passato un po' di tempo dall'ultima volta che avevo letto un libro di Yasmina Khadra, ma lui resta comunque uno dei miei autori preferiti. Nel suo modo super semplice e lineare di rccontare le cose, abbiamo qui il racconto il prima persona da parte di Gheddafi, con il quale riusciamo anche ad empatizzare a tratti, nonostante sia stato uno degli uomini piú pericolosi e tirannici degli ultimi 30 anni. La sua personale visione della LIbia al di fuori della sfera di influenza dei paesi occidentali, il suo ruolo di guida del popolo e le ragioni della rivolta che hanno portato alla sua sconfitta. Peccato ci sia poco riguardo alla sua salita al potere, quella per la quale possiamo ringraziare anche qualche "amico italiano", ma ok, tutto sommato questo libro avviene tutto nell'ultima notte prima della sconfitta del Rais. THANKS TO NETGALLEY AND GALLIC BOOKS FOR THE PREVIEW!

  29. 4 out of 5

    miss.mesmerized mesmerized

    He was one of the last great dictators in northern Africa: Muammar Gaddafi. His last hours are portrayed by one of the authors who know the region best: Yasmina Khadra. Hidden in a school, longing for his beloved son and reflecting about what he has achieved and made of his home country, Khadra depicts how Libya’s tyrant might have spent those very last moments of his life. Looking back at his childhood, where he as a boy without father was often teased, his time in the army, and the revolution He was one of the last great dictators in northern Africa: Muammar Gaddafi. His last hours are portrayed by one of the authors who know the region best: Yasmina Khadra. Hidden in a school, longing for his beloved son and reflecting about what he has achieved and made of his home country, Khadra depicts how Libya’s tyrant might have spent those very last moments of his life. Looking back at his childhood, where he as a boy without father was often teased, his time in the army, and the revolution which put him in the highest position. The underdog who achieved everything and dies god-alike, misunderstood by his followers, his country, the world. From the ruler’s point of view we look at what we know from the news. His psychological state – far from any normal assessment of the situation – is described in a lively and very interesting way. Khadra creates a character who is fully absorbed in his view of himself and the world, who outlines his motivations to rise to the top and sketches his idea of a perfect ruler. His hubris can be felt in every line and one tends to believe, that this fictional picture of Gaddafi comes quite close to the real person. Once more Khadra gives the western world inside into the Arabian ways of thinking and countries so close and yet so far away.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mandy

    The author of this original and insightful imagining of the last night of President Gaddafi of Libya actually met him once – albeit only briefly and in an official capacity. Whether this helped him get inside the mind of this most controversial of figures I couldn’t guess, but certainly what we get here is an eminently convincing and intriguing glimpse into the world of someone who ruled his country for 42 years and committed endless atrocities against his own people. It’s October 2011 in the fi The author of this original and insightful imagining of the last night of President Gaddafi of Libya actually met him once – albeit only briefly and in an official capacity. Whether this helped him get inside the mind of this most controversial of figures I couldn’t guess, but certainly what we get here is an eminently convincing and intriguing glimpse into the world of someone who ruled his country for 42 years and committed endless atrocities against his own people. It’s October 2011 in the final hours of the Libyan Civil War and Gaddafi is hiding out in his home town of Sirte. As all collapses around him he reflects on the journey that has brought him to this place and this predicament. It’s a short book but a powerful and compelling one. The dramatic tension is very well sustained even though the reader knows the outcome – something Gaddafi himself doesn’t, of course. Whether it’s an accurate exploration of the dictator's mind or not doesn’t really seem to matter. We can’t possibly know in any case. But it certainly feels credible, and I found it an absorbing and thought-provoking read.

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