Childhood best friends Bassam and George have grown to be men in war-ravaged Beirut. Now they must choose between the only two futures available to them: to stay in the devastated city and consolidate power through crime or to go into exile abroad, alienated from the only existence they have ever known.
Told in a distinctive, captivating voice that fuses vivid cinematic imagery, a page-turning plot, and exquisite, dark poetry, De Niro's Game is an explosive portrait of life in a war zone and a powerful meditation on what comes after. It won the prestigious International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award in 2008.
De Niro's Game,…presents a portrait of two childhood friends living in war-torn Beirut during the early 1980s. Juxtaposing edgy imagery with the repetitive calm of beautiful Arabic poetry, the novel explores the lives of Bassam and George, young men who must choose either to stay in Beirut relying on stealth and violence or live in alienation abroad. Bassam dreams of escaping, and to make money for this he schemes with George to skim proceeds from poker arcades and smuggle bottles of counterfeit whiskey. George, on the other hand, chooses to stay and is forced into military service. He maneuvers his way through the ranks and lives a mad-dog life of sanctioned crime. Hundreds of thousands of bombs fall in this book as the boys maraud and chase women. It's a hallucinatory vision of how war corrupts even friendship. Written in English and calling upon Arabic poetry and French philosophy, De Niro's Game forms an intriguing trilingual hybrid that should cement its appeal worldwide.