Read The Last Watchman of Old Cairo by Michael David Lukas Online

The Last Watchman of Old Cairo

In this spellbinding novel, a young man journeys from California to Cairo to unravel centuries-old family secrets.Joseph, a literature student at Berkeley, is the son of a Jewish mother and a Muslim father. One day, a mysterious package arrives on his doorstep, pulling him into a mesmerizing adventure to uncover the tangled history that binds the two sides of his family. For generations, the men of the al-Raqb family have served as watchmen of the storied Ibn Ezra Synagogue in Old Cairo, built at the site where the infant Moses was taken from the Nile. Joseph learns of his ancestor Ali, a Muslim orphan who nearly a thousand years earlier was entrusted as the first watchman of the synagogue and became enchanted by its legendary--perhaps magical--Ezra Scroll. The story of Joseph's family is entwined with that of the British twin sisters Agnes and Margaret, who in 1897 depart their hallowed Cambridge halls on a mission to rescue sacred texts that have begun to disappear from the synagogue.The Last Watchman of Old Cairo is a moving page-turner of a novel from acclaimed storyteller Michael David Lukas. This tightly woven multigenerational tale illuminates the tensions that have torn communities apart and the unlikely forces--potent magic, forbidden love--that boldly attempt to bridge that divide.Praise for The Last Watchman of Old Cairo"A beautiful, richly textured novel, ambitious and delicately crafted, The Last Watchman of Old Cairo is both a coming-of-age story and a family history, a wide-ranging book about fathers and sons, religion, magic, love, and the essence of storytelling. This book is a joy."--Rabih Alameddine, author of the National Book Award finalist An Unnecessary Woman...

Title : The Last Watchman of Old Cairo
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ISBN : 9780399181160
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 288 pages
Url Type : Home » Download » The Last Watchman of Old Cairo

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The Last Watchman of Old Cairo Reviews

  • Flo

    A fascinating story of Yussef al-Raqb, the son of a Jewish Egyptian woman and a Moslem Egyptian man. But Lukas tells his story by joining together three, sometimes four timelines: Cairo in the 11th century when the Ibn Ezra Synagogue was built, the mid 19th century when 2 British twin sisters, experts in Middle East documents, accompany Dr Solomon Shechter in their search for the geniza of the Ibn Ezra Synagogue and maybe the very Torah scroll the scribe Ezra penned 400 years before Christ and o ...more

  • Neil Plakcy

    I enjoyed the historical elements of this book more than that set in the present. The current-day narrator is a bit of a wet blanket, unsure of his place in the world, while all the historical characters jumped with life and determination.

  • David

    For readers who enjoyed The Weight of Ink. Like that historical novel, I found the historical narrative more compelling than the contemporary one with which it alternates. The ending makes up for its slow start.

  • Julie Barnard

    Unfortunately this doesn’t publish until next year, but it.’s definitely worth adding to your TBR list. Well-written book about Jews and Muslims in Cairo.

  • Penny

    This is a novel that takes place in three time periods, detailing the lives of some of the Muslim al-Raqb family that has had for a millennium, the job of being the watchman of Cairo's Ibn Ezra synagogue in Old Cairo. The first story goes back to the first watchman, Ali, while the second, in the nineteenth century, involves scholarly twin sisters from Cambridge who oversee the rescue of historical papers that have begun to disappear from the synagogue. The third takes place in contemporary Cairo ...more

  • Jennifer

    I won this book through a Goodreads giveaway. I would actually rate this book closer to a 3.5. I enjoyed how the story covered three different time periods related to interaction with the Ezra scroll. Characters were well developed to the point that you could imagine their behaviors and interactions. Some areas of the story took you down a path that felt important but then were wrapped up quickly and not really resolved. One big positive was the ending for the current day storyline. It was manag ...more

  • Elyse

    “The Oracle of Stamboul”, written by Michael David Lukas — published in 2011—

    his debut....was sooooo wonderful- I was speechless to express how much I loved his novel.

    It’s still a very special book to me - one I read with my daughter...with so many fond memories. I remember the story as if I read it yesterday.

    The writing is gorgeous.

    It was a joy to meet Michael years back and hear him talk about his book.

    I learned of ‘this’ book yesterday - ( thank You Netgalley - Random House - and Goodread

  • Margitte

    I went into this book with no idea what to expect. Although it was a very busy time, actually an insanely hectic time, I managed to read a few pages in between.

    From the blurb:

    Joseph, a literature student at Berkeley, is the son of a Jewish mother and a Muslim father. One day, a mysterious package arrives on his doorstep, pulling him into a mesmerizing adventure to uncover the tangled history that binds the two sides of his family. For generations, the men of the al-Raqb family have served as w