The Fabulous Road by Philip Brebner

The Fabulous Road

byPhilip Brebner

Kobo ebook | May 28, 2014

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The Cook. The Dervish. The Geographer. The Artist. The Jongleur. The Scholar.  The Historian.  A group of men are imprisoned by their Sultan and await death; they are to be executed for petty crimes. 

They all have one regret—not to have done the pilgrimage to Mecca. Whereupon, a talking parrot, centuries old, flies into their cell and rebukes them, suggesting they undertake the overland pilgrimage in their minds.   So the prisoners imagine the journey, weaving art, history, cuisine, geography, literature, philosophy, Sufism, anecdotes and comic stories, to travel a fabulous road across the breathtaking and punishing landscapes of North Africa.  

All the while they are accompanied by the convivial parrot and its recollections of the past, whether in the company of the Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton in Tangier, as a mascot in the French Foreign Legion, mingling with the cross-dresser Isabelle Eberhardt, as companion to an English aristocrat in Algiers, enslaved by pirates off Tripoli, as sidekick to the circus strongman Giovanni Belzoni or muse to Gustave Flaubert in Cairo.  It's a roller coaster of adventures that prove as colourful as its feathers.

But who will reach Mecca, as one by one the prisoners are dragged out of the cell to meet the executioner?

Winner of the K Blundell Trust Award.

Author Philip Brebner was born in London, educated in Washington DC and also in England.  After studying at the University of Dundee he was awarded a PhD from Glasgow University for his thesis on the ideologies of urban planning in Algeria between 1830 and 1980.  Later he lectured at architecture schools in Jeddah and Oporto, before living in Oxford for three years. There, in 'the city of dreaming spires' he wrote his first novel, A Country of Vanished Dreams, which was published by Picador to critical acclaim, and translated.

As well as fiction, he has published in academic journals and in The Independent. To keep the wolves from the door, he taught creative writing for the British Council and dealt in rare rugs and textiles in Istanbul. In 2004 he and a colleague were invited to design the master plan for a major tourism project in Morocco - an idea that, sad to say, the government put on ice.  

‘A dauntingly assured new voice.’ The Sunday Times.

Title:The Fabulous RoadFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:May 28, 2014Publisher:Thames Street PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1843962799

ISBN - 13:9781843962793

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