Asyah and Saif
This remarkable novel labours under what some might think serious disadvantages. First of all, at around four hundred thousand words it could be thought on the long side for a book principally concerned with the life of a PhD candidate from childhood to the age of thirty. This judgment could be disputed on the ground of generic precedent, the Bildungsroman habitually tending to length: but in these days blockbuster sizes tend to be associated either with the 19th century or with airport bookstalls, always excepting an occasional highbrow freak. However, respice finem; a fair reader will withhold condemnation on that score.
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