The Committee: A Novel
This wry take on Kafka’s novel The Trial revolves around its narrator’s attempts to petition successfully the elusive ruling body of his country, known simply as “the Committee.” Consequences for his actions range from the absurd to the hideous.
Ibrahim offers an unbroken first-person narrative rendered in brief, crisp prose framed by a conspicuous absence of vivid imagery. Furthermore, the petitioner is a man without identity. The ideal antihero, he remains, as does his country, unnamed throughout the intricate plot with a locale suggestive of 1970s Cairo.
The Committee pierces the inflammatory terrain between ordinary men, unbridled displays of power, and other broader concerns of the author’s native Egypt. The novel’s corrosive, shocking conclusion catapults satiric surrealism into a new realm.