Article first published as Book Review: ‘Vicious Circles’ by Ayman Farouk Taha on Blogcritics.
“Vicious Circles” by Ayman Farouk Taha is a collection of short stories that show different characters discovering their flaws or recognizing their vicious circles in life. This book was translated from Arabic into the English language. I personally don’t speak any other languages; however the translation is clear and precise. The overall editing of this book is flawless.
It is hard for me to describe the stories as they are short and I wouldn’t want to give away any of them. I will say that each character has an Arabic name, which is explained as a reference or footnote at the bottom of the first page of each story. This gave me insight into the meaning of the Arabic names. I personally have always loved learning the meaning of various names so this was a bonus for me.
Another thing that I noticed about this collection is how the names of the characters and their meaning somehow tied into the lesson that character needed to learn. I only have one piece of criticism for this book: I noticed throughout the book that there is an over use of conjunctive adverbs such as ‘moreover’ and ‘additionally.’ After several pages, I realized that almost every single page has them. I can even say that some pages have these words multiple times.
When I removed these conjunctive adverbs from the sentences, I felt they ran smoother and were more inviting. This could have something to do with the translation, I am not sure. It seems like such a silly thing to mention but after seeing it so many times, it kind of annoyed me. I found myself starting to skim to see if the next page had ‘moreover’ written.
Overall, I loved each of the stories and can identify with each and every challenge. Not every story was the same and each character did not have a ‘happy ending’ but as a reader, I could recognize some of the vicious circles I have been caught in myself and some that I can recognize in others that I know.
Excellent collection of short stories! I highly recommend “Vicious Circles” by Ayman Farouk Taha.