“Limburg-born Tom Kenis set himself two massive challenges when embarking on writing Sinai. The first was to do it in a foreign language (English), the second to depict post-Mubarak Egypt before his overthrow. Luckily, he knows his subject well, having studied in Cairo. Sinai is a dense, impeccably detailed and eerily prescient thriller, bursting with unconventional prose and witty wordplay. The endearing Linus, a tourist whose two guiding lights are A.A. Milne and Led Zeppelin, brings comic relief to this dark, fast-paced Middle Eastern tale involving politics, religion and intrigue.” 

The Bulletin, Brussels

“I happened to have been to Egypt three times in the last decade, once in 2006, once just after the revolution, and once few weeks ago from my sofa. I just read Sinai and felt transported to Egypt, in a sort of third dimension: half of it was known (smells, images, ambiance, heat, etc) and the other half looked like something I knew but with a twist – like if I had taken some special mushrooms… At the moment when we are entering in a new year, supposed to be the last one, I would say that Sinai is not a book, it’s an experience. At some point it makes you feel good, some other times makes you feel like pages don’t turn fast enough and that you’re heart might not make it to the end. But overall, I would say it’s an experience everybody should live!”

Delphine Thizy, Brussels

“SINAI is a Hollywood blockbuster in the making! An excellent thriller, which would transfer incredibly well into the big screen. Except, then people would say how the book was even better than the film, due to the author’s exceptional use of snippet-like descriptions of fleeting situations. A highly recommended read – get it and have a BLAST!”

Paula Lokman, Brussels

“…a complex tale with broad overtones relevant to other parts of the world yet unique to the Middle East in its current state of upheaval. We often wonder: Will it ever end? But with so many different individuals and groups vying for influence, solutions for one precipitates a crisis for another. [Sinai] picks up on that very well through the events that affect each of the main characters. Readers will be entranced. Incredible close-ups in this riveting story, which couldn’t be timelier! Sinai brings the reader into the action with all senses firing. Impossible to put down. The pace, the plot, the development of characters, the storyline, and the ending unfold beautifully.”

Beth Bruno, author of ‘Wild Tulips’, Toronto

“Support talent where you see it: in Sinai it’s omnipresent. The narrative is gripping and multifaceted, with the short chapters keeping interest in the various plot strands up so you don’t forget who’s who or what they’re embroiled in. Linus is a riot and we’ve all crossed path and sword with our own Abdel or Ross in life – the characters are all well-constructed and likeable, which helps the reader identify with their quandaries, plus the author really knows his Middle Eastern stuff. Having read Sinai, many 2011 Christmas present doubts have thus been resolved – an engrossing read!”

Lisa R., Brussels

“Every book has its time and place. Sinai is THE book for this time and place, and every time and place at once. The book sketches a troubled Egypt after Mubarak, but more broadly it explores a troubled world in troubled times. Of which, one hastens to add, there have been many. And in that troubled time very different people meet. Sinai intuits a contemporary pulse but includes enough cultural and historical references to ensure a timeless appeal. An avalanche of a book, no less.”

Joshua V., Detroit

“Good idea: write a novel that takes place in Egypt after Mubarak. Visionary idea: a post-Mubarak novel-written when that president still sat firmly in the saddle. Kenis’ English is perhaps richer than that of the average American author. His humor – from pyramid  jokes to ironic conversations of tourists in precarious circumstances – is very enjoyable. An approaching aircraft similar to “a giant suitcase trolley approaching a particularly rough sidewalk” is great. The main character Linus is rendered beautifully. [It is] a wonderful literary trick by Kenis to turn Linus’ fondness for Winnie the Pooh into a recurring motif: “What would Pooh do? Dip Into the Honey jar first of course, but he’d take the offer of adventure. “Also, references to and parallels with the movie Titanic or the biblical book of Exodus have been worked out down to the subtlest detail.”

Michaël Bellon, Brussel Deze Week


One response to “Reviews

  1. Pascal

    Great reviews, mabrouk !! Looking forward to reading it

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