The Colors of Infamy (New Directions Paperbook)

The Colors of Infamy (New Directions Paperbook)

Albert Cossery


A pleasant, deeply humorous novel concerning the triumph of the correct prankster ― a chic gentleman pickpocket in Cairo.

His eyes “shine with a glimmer of perpetual amusement”; his sartorial flavor is impeccable; Ossama is “a thief, no longer a legitimated thief, akin to a minister, banker, or real-estate developer; he's a modest thief.” He understands “that by means of dressing with a similar beauty because the authorized robbers of the folk, he may elude the mistrustful gaze of the police,” and so he glides lazily round the cafe´s of Cairo, looking his prey. His state could be a catastrophe, yet he’s a hedonist confident that “nothing in this earth is tragic for an clever man.”

One fats sufferer (“everything approximately him oozed opulence and robbery on a grand scale”) is relieved of his crocodile pockets. In it Ossama unearths not only a pleasant amount of money, but in addition a letter ― a letter from the Ministry of Public Works, removing its ties to the fats guy. A resource of wealthy bribes heretofore, the fats guy is now too scorching to deal with; he’s a fabulously prosperous real-estate developer, in recent times a lot within the information simply because certainly one of his affordable constructions has simply collapsed, killing 50 tenants. Ossama “by a few divine decree has develop into the repository of a scandal” of epic proportions. And so he comes to a decision he needs to act. . . .

one of the books to be valuable by way of the definitely singular Albert Cossery, his final, hilarious novel, The colours of Infamy, is a specific jewel.

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