In the City by the Sea Kamila Shamsie’s debut novel is now the same age as her first protagonist, year-old Hasan, the only child of a lauded. Editorial Reviews. Review. ‘Lively, playful, provocative’ Anita Desai ‘A touching and engrossing In the City by the Sea – Kindle edition by Kamila Shamsie. Kamila Shamsie’s debut novel In the City by the Sea published in and eloquent, charming and quietly political novel is set in an unnamed city in Pakistan.

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The story was a little too all over the place, and the neither the plot nor the characters really drew me into the sfa. Still, it has many elements that Shamsie continued to use in her novels – smart, verbally sophisticated characters, a solid sense of place, an understanding of histor In a mad scramble to read as much Shamsie as I could before reviewing her latest novel I managed to inhale one of her earliest novels.

And in this book, the odds are the imprisonment of a loved uncle. Jun 21, Lauren rated it liked it. I don’t know who it was, but I know someone was. But then, he also has the talent to shut off his imaginary sez and speak to adults in their language and poise.

I would have envied her for being able to leave home and walk through the streets. The problem is that while reading, both the events jump back and forth, which may leave a reader confused and frustrated at times. I felt the story and plot could have come together better,was left with a feeling that something was missing. Set in a land ruled by an oppresive military regime, this eloquent, charming and quietly political novel vividly recreates the confusing world of a young boy on the edge of adulthood, and beautifully illustrates the transformative power of the imagination.

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you’ll like this book. You will also find here what authors like Omar Shahid hamid do so liberally in novels: Trivia About In the City by th So it wasn’t as bad as I remembered. They read that book first, and then feel disappointed with other books for not being as good and moving as Room.


Its not a fast paced story but there are some wonderful pieces that describe a young boys imagination and the places they go. The characters are too witty, always making clever remarks and word jokes, and the whole book just didn’t come together for me. His beloved uncle, an opposition politiican, is arrested for treason and Hasan’s life is turned upside down.

In the City by the Sea

Besides his adoration of his parents, Shansie also adores his maternal uncle, Salman Mamoo, who is a politician under house-arrest. Stacker Proudly powered by WordPress Theme: It’s like watching a flower vy to blossom in a rapid progression of still shots taken through time. Her slightly eccentric minor characters The Oldest Man and The Widow provided plenty of smiles while dispensing their own brand of philosophy on life.

But as soon as I turned the page, something meaningful would come tge that would make me stick to it. The book starts with him watching his neighbour “The boy” later named Azeem falling off of roof leading to his death.

Political nature of the country is tyrannical and everyone hates the President. Kamila seems very confused. These occurred two-three times in the book where Shehryar father while talking to Hasan got into the philosophical mode, trying to explain the situation to his son, which ended up Hasan asking his father to tone it down because he was talking to an eleven-year-old child and he understood none of them.

I found I was unable to engage with the characters and story of this novel as well as I had with the other Shamsie novels I have read. No trivia or quizzes yet. With sophisticated, poetic prose, Shamsie crafts a community of privileged characters somewhere on the coast of Pakistan. But even with these single-traited characters, she tried to explore them in different ways which were beautiful; they were single-traited, but not one-dimensional.

It’s like reading a character sketch of Hasan and a few members of his family, leading to a tragic end that could have been modified into something better. When I give a new author a spin shamsif my brain, I like to start with an early work, which this ahamsie is. I enjoy books where the protagonist has learned something valuable along the way and there’s no This is my first introduction to Shamsie’s work, which is highly acclaimed in England where she resides, and elsewhere.


Another thing which made me restless while reading the book was Hasan’s age group that has been defined in the story.

In the City by the Sea by Kamila Shamsie

And soon after, Hasan’s idyllic and sheltered family life is shattered when his beloved Uncle Salman is thrown behind bars, awaiting a military trial for treason against the dictator. Hasan wants to rescue his uncle and is willing to go any length for that yet he also understands his incapacity to actually put any of his plans into action. In her debut novel, Kamila Shamsie gives the reader a glimpse into politics in Pakistan through the eyes of a child as eleven-year-old Hasan’s world is turned upside down when his uncle, a dissenting politician, is arrested and faces a kamial for treason.

First of all, this book was published when she was 25, and wrote while being in college, and covering a political theme affecting a family is commendable. I am very glad I read this. It is a tale of political instability in Pakistan and how it affects those l In the City by the Sea is a heart-rending tale of the main protagonist Hasan, who at a th young age 11 must learn to deal with many issues in his native country of Pakistan.

Thanks for telling us about the problem. This was a light and enjoyable read. Her later books, like the brilliant novel Burnt Shadowsshow her restraint, her expertise.

I also feel there are too many italicised, unfamiliar words. Initially, an impression is given that Hasan is an imaginative boy, which many year-old kids are. I will not recommend this book to anyone. Up on his roof one afternoon, enjoying his favorite pomegranate, Hasan cheers with great excitement as the sea breezes catch the yellow kite of another young boy a few rooftops away.