Thursday, February 8, 2018

Deep Sahara Review Tour

Klaus Werner travels to the Algerian Sahara to research a book on desert insects. He is billeted in a local monastery, but upon arrival he finds it empty of its inhabitants. He soon discovers that it is a recent crime scene.

Prologue: Memoir
The front door has just closed. I’m finally alone in the apartment, using this morning’s stillness to begin the account I’ve been wanting to write for days. It’s a letter to myself after the battering I’ve received from the media – not to mention the anonymous death threats – for attacking our so-called “pillars of society”.

I need to sift through all that happened out at the end of the world, coming back to me now like some dream. For the Sahara’s a place of mirages you can actually photograph: palm trees, oases, expanses of cool water, silent cities – there, but unreal. Conjuring up the past, I want to reassure myself that all I claimed to have found among those shifting sands, on returning here to Rome, far from being the figment of my imagination critics allege, is actually the case: that the experience of unearthing – of understanding - what I have revealed has made me into a new person.

Silence holds heavy. The blankness of this page is as intimidating as the desert itself. Still, I’ve plunged in, covering the paper like a suspect instructed by the police to write everything down. And though I’m no criminal, I’m scribbling both as a release and for the reader I sense exists, but can’t identify. This I do know: it’s someone with whom the self I’ve achieved – as well as how I’ve done so – strike a chord. He’ll see me as the solitary figure I was, in a monk’s habit like a Bedouin’s burnoose, lost against the pitiless Saharan sky. And he’ll find me faced with coming to myself in that emptiness to which life had finally brought me.

Yet, writing, so much I must recall is painful. I’m concerned that I’ve little more than my memory – that mirage – to rely upon, especially after all this time. Nevertheless, I know I must set out fully everything that took place, to see what was actually so, for my own peace of mind.

That’s why I have set aside the book I keep telling myself I should be working on. I’ve no alternative now but to write and finally establish the full story of what happened in the deep Sahara.

My Review:
4 stars

I would not call this book an easy read. The story is unusual and at times difficult to read, as is the writing itself. I would even go so far as to call it strange. Yet therein lies Deep Sahara’s charms. Even though it was strange, it was uniquely so. And though it took some time to get into the story, once I did, I could not put it down.

I don’t want to say too much about the plot, as I feel doing so would spoil the unique adventure that is Deep Sahara. So here’s what I can say without getting too spoilery. First, I greatly enjoyed the writing. The vivid imagery interspersed with the realistic dialogue drew me in and made the story real for me. In addition, the way Klaus was written made him such an interesting character who I would love to be friends with in real life. Finally, while there are lots of thrills and suspense, the mystery element wasn’t the main point, which I wasn’t quite expecting. There was also a large focus on the character development, commentary about the state of humanity, and surprising humor, all of which drew me in and made this an engaging read.

If you’re open to trying new things, even when they might be strange and not what you’re used to, I would recommend trying Deep Sahara.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

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Don’t forget to visit the other stops on the tour.

Author Bio and Links:
Leslie Croxford is a British author and Senior Vice-President of the British University in Egypt. Born in Alexandria, he obtained a doctorate in History from Cambridge University. He has written one novel, Soloman's Folly (Chatto & Windus), and is completing his third. He and his wife live in Cairo.

Buy Links:
Book Depository     |     Amazon     |     Amazon UK

1 comment:

  1. I've really enjoyed following the tour for Deep Sahara and I'm looking forward to reading it. Thanks for sharing the great posts along the way :)