Forget about 1984?
Forget about George Orwell?
Remember Boualem Sansal!
Do you want to know what can happen later on in this century?
Maybe during your lifetime?
Or just a few years after your death?
Read this fascinating novel by the Algerian writer Boualem Sansal.
Let us travel to Abistan. In this country people serve and worship Yölah and his faithful Messenger Abi. The capital city of the immense and almost empty Abistan is Qodsabad. One day we meet Ati, who has just been decharged from a kind of hospital, where he has been treated and now he has recovered he can travel to one of the extensive suburbs of the capital city. On his discharge papers was written that the state officials should keep an eye on him. At at times At has whispered the word freedom when he hid underneath the blankets on his bed. When he meets state officials he utters all those words that are expected of him. But in his mind doubt has crept in and a longing for something different. Now we follow the journey to Qodsabad in a closely watched and selected caravanserai. We meet all kinds of government organization who keep the population under tight control. Everything is organized, and thorougly organized. Civil servants are bundled together in their living quarters and are being transported underground to their workplace. There is a council of Respected Men that rules the country under the blessing of Yölah and his faithful Messenger. The messages of the supreme Yölah have been written in de Gkabul.
During his journey on foot to Qodsabad Ati meets with Koa and Nas. Nas is an archeologist and he has discovered the remnants of a village, but his findings have to be kept secret, for what Nas has discovered shows there is not just what is present in Abistan. There has been another civilisation, while people in the country have been led to think that the world only consists of Abistan. In their secretive search for freedom and what his been hidden by the Respectable Men At and Koa discover a shadowy world where Balis (Evil) rules. There is a hidden way of transporting people and goods from the underground place of Evil to the other lif of Abistan. Smuggling is galore.
Ati and Koa go on a search for Nas, for they want to know more about his archeological findings. They lay hands on falsified documents in order to travel to the center of Qodsabad, Abireg. They have to be very careful and they travel from one contact to another in order to stay out of the hands of government spies. While travelling to find Nas they do not realize that their every move and every step is being monitored and the people who help them serve there own plans.
In the end Ati gets involved in a friction in the ruling class with an attempt to overthrow the Respectable Men. His only longing now is to find the border. Is there life outside the borders of Abistan? He wants to know just that.
Boualem Sansal has written a brilliant novel. A searching dissection how totalitarian regimes (with or without religion) can evolve. At times it is hilarious, but always with a simmering of disaster that is on the way.
Boualem Sansal – 2084 – La fin du monde – 2015