The earlier Kayankaya books offer novel takes on the hard-boiled P.I. tradition, so I thought I'd bring back one of my earlier comments about Arjouni as I begin this latest book. The remark was part of a post about One Death to Die, a book I thought relied a bit too often on hard-boiled clichés but was full of interest nonetheless:
Better are Kayankaya's encounters with obstructionist officials, a more subtle way of portraying racism. Best is Kayankaya's searing verbal assault on a neighbor who he finds out supports a "moderate" right-wing party that doesn't want to kick Turks out of Germany but won't accept them either. The poor neighbor thinks himself humane and morally superior to Germany's "real" racists, and all it takes is two words from a furious Kayankaya not just to puncture his complacency, but to utterly shatter him. The words? "Heil Hitler!" Longtime readers of this two-day-old blog will recognize that this fulfills my top criterion for "international" fiction: It takes full advantage of its setting. Such a moment could not happen, or at least not with the same dynamic effect, anywhere but in Germany.Here's the rest of that comment along with my other posts about Arjouni.
© Peter Rozovsky 2010