Cockroach by Rawi Hage



The seventh book on the Canada Reads Top 40 list is Cockroach by Rawi Hage.  (This novel is also in the Canada Reads Top 5.)

First Impressions

Well, if you follow me on Twitter  you’ll likely know that I have stopped reading Cockroach… I really wasn’t enjoying this novel. I wanted to enjoy it. I really did. But there is something about the tone, the main character and the story (as far as I got) that didn’t work for me. I can’t give you one reason why I’ve stopped reading it, except to simply say that I didn’t like the book. I found the main character to be ugly (but maybe that is the point) – I strongly disliked him and couldn’t empathize with his problems or situation.

There were moments when I was drawn into the story of these people trying to make it during a cold Montreal winter, but overall I had no desire to read this book. In fact, I was forcing myself to read it. Not good. I can’t even really tell you what this novel is about since I haven’t read the publisher’s blurb… but I do know that critics and many others loved this book (hence, it’s Top 5 position in Canada Reads).

Is This A Novel That Could Change Canada?

Good question – how about you tell me. Did  you read Cockroach – tell me what you thought of it. Convince me to give it another shot.

Should You Read This Novel?

Maybe this is a book for you. I suggest you give it a read and let me know what you think. Maybe reading why it is in the Top 5 will help?

Up next is The Disappeared by Kim Echlin.

(The theme of Canada Reads 2014 is to find the one novel that could change the nation.)



3 thoughts on “Cockroach by Rawi Hage

  1. Pingback: Canada Reads 2014 virtual book club | bookgaga

  2. I wasn’t a big fan of this one either, but I did finish it because I thought the writing was good. I can see why it might be a contender for Canada Reads, because it is a story that takes place in the immigrant community, but I thought it was more about the main character than anything else. I’m hoping it doesn’t get any further. It think the others are better.

    • HI Naomi

      As you can tell with my blog post – I struggled a lot with this novel. I’ve since discovered via Twitter that I’m not the only one who struggled with it. I do regret not finishing it but I really wasn’t enjoying it. Kudos to you for finishing it.

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