Monday 11 July 2011

Schmitt, Éric-Emmanuel "Monsieur Ibrahim and the Flowers of the Koran"

Schmitt, Éric-Emmanuel "Monsieur Ibrahim and the Flowers of the Koran" (French: Monsieur Ibrahim et les fleurs du Coran) - 1999

What a wonderful story. A young Jewish boy in Paris meets a Muslim grocery store owner. The two of them enter a father-son like relationships. A simple story, quite an easy read, as well. And yet, there is so much to this. Wonderful language, a lot of wisdom from both the religions. Éric-Emmanuel Schmitt manages to put that all together and create a very compassionate story.

I read this book in the French original but I've heard the translation is quite good, too.

We discussed this in our book club in May 2016.

From the back cover:

"Paris in the 1960s. Thirteen-year-old Moses lives in the shadow of his less-than loving father. When he's caught stealing from wise old shopkeeper Monsieur Ibrahim, he discovers an unlikely friend and a whole new world. Together they embark on a journey that takes them from the streets of Paris to the whirling dervishes of the Golden Crescent.

This delightful, moving play has already been a huge hit in Paris and New York. Performed in thirteen countries and published in twelve languages, it is also an award-winning film starring Omar Sharif.

Monsieur Ibrahim and the Flowers of the Qur'an received its UK premiere at the Bush Theatre on 17 January 2006."

I later read "Oscar and the Lady in Pink" (Oscar et la dame rose) and liked this just as much.

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