Yasmina Khadra Attack

ISBN 13: 9780099499275

Attack

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9780099499275: Attack

Tel Aviv. A suicide bomber has killed 19 in a packed city centre restaurant. Dr Amin Jaafie, an Israeli Arab, is a surgeon at a nearby hospital. Respected and admired by his colleagues, the doctor represents integration at its most successful. But this night of turmoil and death takes a horrifyingly personal turn as his beloved wife's body is found among the dead...could she have caused the devestation? From the graphic, shocking description of the bombing that opens the novel to its searing conclusion, The Attack portrays the reality of terrorism and its costs. Intense and humane, thoughtful, sensitive and heartfelt, it displays a profound understanding of that which can seem incomprehensible.

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About the Author:

Yasmina Khadra is the nom de plume of the Algerian army officer, Mohammed Moulessehoul, who took a female pseudonym to avoid submitting his manuscripts for approval by the army. He is the author of four other books published in English, including the acclaimed bestseller Swallows of Kabul. He lives in France.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

After the operation, Ezra Benhaim, our hospital director, comes to see me in my office. He's an alert, lively gentleman, despite his sixty-odd years and his increasing corpulence. Around the hospital, he's known as "the Sergeant," because he's an outrageous despot with a sense of humor that always seems to show up a little late. But when the going gets tough, he's the first to roll up his sleeves and the last to leave the shop.

Before I became a naturalized Israeli citizen, back when I was a young surgeon moving heaven and earth to get licensed, he was there. Even though he was still just a modest chief of service at the time, he used the little influence his position afforded him to keep my detractors at bay. In those days, it was hard for a son of Bedouins to join the brotherhood of the highly educated elite without provoking a sort of reflexive disgust. The other medical school graduates in my class were wealthy young Jews who wore gold chain bracelets and parked their convertibles in the hospital lot. They looked down their noses at me and perceived each of my successes as a threat to their social standing. And so, whenever one of them pushed me too far, Ezra wouldn't even want to know who started first; he took my side as a matter of course.

He pushes the door open without knocking, comes in, and looks at me with his head tilted to one side and the hint of a smile on his lips. This is his way of communicating his satisfaction. Then, after I pivot my armchair to face him, he takes off his glasses, wipes them on the front of his lab coat, and says, "It looks like you had to go all the way to the next world to bring your patient back."

"Let's not exaggerate."

He puts his glasses back on his nose, flares his unattractive nostrils, nods his head; then, after a brief meditation, his face regains its austerity. "Are you coming to the club this evening?"

"Not possible. My wife's due home tonight."

"What about our return match?"

"Which one? You haven't won a single game against me."

"You're not fair, Amin. You always take advantage of my bad days and score lots of points. But today, when I feel great, you back out."

I lean far back in my chair so I can stare at him properly. "You know what it is, my poor old Ezra? You don't have as much punch as you used to, and I hate myself for taking advantage of you."

"Don't bury me quite yet. Sooner or later, I'm going to shut you up once and for all."

"You don't need a racket for that. A simple suspension would do the trick."

He promises to think about it, brings a finger to his temple in a casual salute, and goes back to badgering the nurses in the corridors.

Once I'm alone, I try to go back to where I was before Ezra's intrusion and remember that I was about to call my wife. I pick up the phone, dial our number, and hang up again at the end of the seventh ring. My watch reads 1:12 p.m. If Sihem took the nine o'clock bus, she should have arrived home some time ago.

"You worry too much!" cries Dr. Kim Yehuda, surprising me by bursting into my cubbyhole. Continuing without pause, she says, "I knocked before I came in. You were lost in space. . . ."

"I'm sorry, I didn't hear you."

She dismisses my apology with a haughty hand, observes my furrowing brow, and asks, "Were you calling your house?"

"I can hide nothing from you."

"And, obviously, Sihem hasn't come home yet?"

Her insight irritates me, but I've learned to live with it. We've known each other since we were at the university together. We weren't in the same class--I was about three years ahead of her--but we hit it off right away. She was beautiful and spontaneous and far more open-minded than the other students, who had to bite their tongues a few times before they'd ask an Arab for a light, even if he was a brilliant student and a handsome lad to boot. Kim had an easy laugh and a generous heart. Our romance was brief and disconcertingly naïve. I suffered enormously when a young Russian god, freshly arrived from his Komsomol, came and stole her away from me. Good sport that I was, I didn't put up any fight. Later, I married Sihem, and then, without warning, very shortly after the Soviet empire fell apart, the Russian went back home; but we've remained excellent friends, Kim and I, and our close collaboration has forged a powerful bond between us.

"It's the end of the holiday today," she reminds me. "The roads are jammed. Have you tried to reach her at her grandmother's?"

"There's no telephone at the farm."

"Call her on her mobile phone."

"She forgot it at home again."

She spreads out her arms in resignation: "That's bad luck."

"For whom?"

She raises one magnificent eyebrow and shakes a warning finger at me. "The tragedy of certain well-intentioned people," she declares, "is that they don't have the courage of their commitments, and they fail to follow their ideas to their logical conclusion."

"The time is right," I say, rising from my chair. "The operation was very stressful, and we need to regain our strength. . . ."

Grabbing her by the elbow, I push her into the corridor. "Walk on ahead, my lovely. I want to see all the wonders you're pulling behind you."

"Would you dare repeat that in front of Sihem?"

"Only imbeciles never change their minds."

Kim's laughter lights up the hospital corridor like a garland of bright flowers in a home for the dying.

* * *

In the canteen, Ilan Ros joins us just as we're finishing our lunch. He sets his overloaded tray on the table and places himself on my right so that he's facing Kim. His jowls are scarlet, and he's wearing a loose apron over his Pantagruelian belly. He begins by gobbling up three slices of cold meat in quick succession and then wipes his mouth on a paper napkin. "Are you still looking for a second house?" he asks me amid a lot of voracious smacking.

"That depends on where it is."

“I think I’ve come up with something for you. Not far from Ashkelon. A pretty little villa with just what you need to tune out completely.”

My wife and I have been looking for a small house on the seashore for more than a year. Sihem loves the sea. Every other weekend, my hospital duties permitting, we get into our car and head for the beach. We walk on the sand for a long time, and then we climb a dune and stare at the horizon until late in the night. Sunsets exercise a degree of fascination on Sihem that I've never been able to get to the bottom of.

"You think I can afford it?" I ask.

Ilan Ros utters a brief laugh, and his crimson neck shakes like gelatin. "Amin, you haven't put your hand in your pocket for so long that I figure you must have plenty socked away. Surely enough to make at least half of your dreams come true . . ."

Suddenly, a tremendous explosion shakes the walls of the canteen and sets the glasses tinkling. Everyone in the place looks at one another, puzzled, and then those close to the picture windows get up from their tables and peer out. Kim and I rush to the nearest window. Outside, the people at work in the hospital courtyard are standing still, with their faces turned toward the north. The facades of the buildings across the way prevent us from seeing farther.

"That's got to be a terrorist attack," someone says.

Kim and I run out into the corridor. A group of nurses is already coming up from the basement and racing toward the lobby. Judging from the force of the shock wave, I'd say the explosion couldn't have gone off very far away. A security guard switches on his transceiver to inquire about the situation. The person he's talking to doesn't know any more than he does. We storm the elevator, get out on the top floor, and hurry to the terrace overlooking the south wing of the building. A few curious people are already there, gazing out, with their hands shading their eyes. They're looking in the direction of a cloud of smoke rising about a dozen blocks from the hospital.

A security guard speaks into his radio: "It's coming from the direction of Hakirya," he says. "A bomb, maybe a suicide bomber. Or a booby-trapped vehicle. I have no information. All I can see is smoke coming from whatever the target was."

"We have to go back down," Kim tells me.

"You're right. We have to get ready to receive the first evacuees."

Ten minutes later, bits of information combine to evoke a veritable carnage. Some people say a bus was blown up; others say it was a restaurant. The hospital switchboard is practically smoking. We've got a red alert.

Ezra Benhaim orders the crisis-management team to stand by. Nurses and surgeons go to the emergency room, where stretchers and gurneys are arranged in a frenetic but orderly carousel. This isn't the first time that Tel Aviv's been shaken by a bomb, and after each experience our responders operate with increased efficiency. But an attack remains an attack. It wears you down. You manage it technically, not humanely. Turmoil and terror aren't compatible with sangfroid. When horror strikes, the heart is always its first target.

I reach the emergency room in my turn. Ezra's in command there, his face pallid, his mobile phone glued to his ear. With one hand, he tries to direct the preparations for surgical interventions.

"A suicide bomber blew himself up in a restaurant," he announces. "There are many dead and many more wounded. Evacuate wards three and four, and prepare to receive the first victims. The ambulances are on the way."

Kim, who's been in ...

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2011. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Tel Aviv. A suicide bomber has killed 19 in a packed city centre restaurant. Dr Amin Jaafie, an Israeli Arab, is a surgeon at a nearby hospital. Respected and admired by his colleagues, the doctor represents integration at its most successful. But this night of turmoil and death takes a horrifyingly personal turn as his beloved wife s body is found among the dead.could she have caused the devestation? From the graphic, shocking description of the bombing that opens the novel to its searing conclusion, The Attack portrays the reality of terrorism and its costs. Intense and humane, thoughtful, sensitive and heartfelt, it displays a profound understanding of that which can seem incomprehensible. Bookseller Inventory # AB99780099499275

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Book Description Random House Uk Ltd. Book Condition: New. 2007. First Anchor Books Edition. Paperback. Ammine, a surgeon in a Jerusalem hospital, struggles to cope with the bodies of victims of a suicide bombing in a Jerusalem restaurant. When the police pin responsibility of the suicide attack on Ammine's wife, he is at first baffled and angry. But his feelings turn to confusion and sorrow when he discovers his wife was indeed behind the attack. Num Pages: 272 pages. BIC Classification: FA. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 196 x 129 x 17. Weight in Grams: 224. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780099499275

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Book Description Random House Uk Ltd, 2007. Book Condition: New. 2007. First Anchor Books Edition. Paperback. Ammine, a surgeon in a Jerusalem hospital, struggles to cope with the bodies of victims of a suicide bombing in a Jerusalem restaurant. When the police pin responsibility of the suicide attack on Ammine's wife, he is at first baffled and angry. But his feelings turn to confusion and sorrow when he discovers his wife was indeed behind the attack. Num Pages: 272 pages. BIC Classification: FA. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 196 x 129 x 17. Weight in Grams: 224. . . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780099499275

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Book Description Book Condition: New. Publisher/Verlag: Random House UK | A strikingly powerful novel exploring the motivations of a suicide bomber in Israel, told through the eyes of her husband.Now an award-winning film, winner of the Frankfurt Book Fair prize for best literary film adaptation. | Tel Aviv. A suicide bomber has killed 19 in a packed city centre restaurant. Dr Amin Jaafie, an Israeli Arab, is a surgeon at a nearby hospital. Respected and admired by his colleagues, the doctor represents integration at its most successful. But this night of turmoil and death takes a horrifyingly personal turn as his beloved wife's body is found among the dead. could she have caused the devestation?From the graphic, shocking description of the bombing that opens the novel to its searing conclusion, The Attack portrays the reality of terrorism and its costs. Intense and humane, thoughtful, sensitive and heartfelt, it displays a profound understanding of that which can seem incomprehensible. | Format: Paperback | Language/Sprache: english | 199 gr | 272 pp. Bookseller Inventory # K9780099499275

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