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Evel Knievel Days

A Novel

Pauls Toutonghi

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

From the critically-acclaimed author of Red Weather comes a heartwarming, witty story of immigration and belonging, false starts and new beginnings, and finding out what home truly means

   Khosi Saqr has always felt a bit out of place in Butte, Montana, hometown of motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel.  Half-Egyptian, full of nervous habits, raised by a single mother, owner of a name that no one can pronounce -- Khosi has never quite managed to fit in. But when a mysterious stranger arrives in town (and Khosi's longtime love uses Butte's annual festival, Evel Knievel Days, as a time to announce her impending marriage to someone else), Khosi takes his first daredevil like risk, and travels to Egypt to find his father -- and a connection to his heritage. 
   What he discovers, in Cairo, is much more startling than he'd imagined it could be. The city is a thrilling mix of contradictions -- and locating his father turns out to be the easy part. Through mistaken identity, delicious food, and near tragedy, Khosi and his parents rediscover what it means to be connected to each other, to a family, and to a culture.
   The timely story of a young man searching for his roots, and along the way finding his identity, Evel Knievel Days is Khosi’s charming and funny journey to learn where he came from, and who he is.

“A funny, heart-warming, compulsively readable novel about the unbreakable bonds of family — and baklava.”    
—Garth Stein, New York Times bestselling author of The Art of Racing in the Rain

Publishers Weekly Review

May 28, 2012 – Butte, Mont., resident, Khosi Saqr, the 20-something son of an Egyptian father who abandoned him at three and an American mother descended from an Irish immigrant, is a mess. Afraid to leave home, he’s obsessed with his work at the local history museum, in love with his best friend (who just got engaged to someone else), and responsible for his sick mother, who doesn’t always take her meds. While Toutonghi’s wry wit combined with his lush descriptions of Egyptian cooking make for a book that reflects the complexity of its main character, the novel is often over-the-top and, as a result, falls frustratingly shy of its potential. Were the variables slightly more plausible—if Khosi weren’t quite so OCD, his mother quite so wacky, his father such a compulsive liar and thief, and his ultimate journey to Egypt so efficiently responsible for every possible means of rebirth and tidy resolve—this could have been a worthwhile tale of self-discovery and the unexpected possibilities of home. Instead, every plot twist and new development feels overwrought, not the least of which is the surprise arrival in Cairo of the ghost of Khosi’s great-great-grandfather, a clairvoyant Montana copper baron with mustache so spectacular it resembles “the tail of a groundhog.”
Evel Knievel Days
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  • $12.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Literary
  • Published: Jul 17, 2012
  • Publisher: Crown/Archetype
  • Seller: Random House, LLC
  • Print Length: 304 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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