Read a sample of Azazeel by Youssef Ziedan

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Set in the 5th century AD, Azazeel is the tale of a Coptic monk's journey from Upper Egypt to Alexandria and then Syria during a time of massive upheaval in the early Church. Azazeel highlights how the history of our civilization has been warped by greed and avarice since its very beginnings and how one man's beliefs are challenged not only by the malice of the devil, but by the corruption with the early Church.

"One sentence leapt out as I read this novel, a question Azazeel asks of Hypa but also one that provokes uneasiness in any author: “Was your soul immaculate…before you began to write?”. The answer to that can only be glimpsed when the pages of any book come to their end and a reader is able to sit in judgement on a soliloquy by form, an imagination by desire, a skill by method. I found that Youssef Ziedan spoke to me on history, on early Christianity, on politics, on logical and madness. I read of fear and hope, of joy and sadness. Watched passion and rage both within a single person and inside an entire city. Out of it all comes the theme that life is what Azazeel craves to indulge in. For Azazeel death has no meaning. For Hypa life is a voyage with several stopping points, where solitude and calm are needed and craved as much as passion and fervour. It is a novel with something for everyone, a novel that lends to the personal knowledge of the author, a novel that is accessible by the intellectual and the dreamer." travelswithadiplomat, Fantasy Book Review logo logo

Reader reviews

from Cairo


I'm not used to read novels any more since high school; but Azazeel forced me to read it from cover to cover. All youth people agreed that after few pages of reading they couldn't wait until they finished it. It was a top seller for many months. I remember when I lost the 15th edition to find that i bought the 21st edition few weeks later. A friend of mine bought the 31st. It is not easy these days in Egypt to find a novel that sells this way. Dr Zidan, style is about letting you feel all the characters internal so that you feel you are the main character himself. Then he finishes but letting you an imaginary life that you keep think about character. Azazeel, made me addicted to Dr Youssef writings either as books or novels. Look for the next two novels translated to English; Al-Nabti and Mohal. Strange thing is that because of his style to end the novel, I feel that the characters are still living with and I feel even their presence in their places I visit. It is not just a novel it a masterpeace.

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