Author: Tahir Shah Release Date: October 18, 2013 Genre: Fiction | Romance Edition: Kindle (mobi) Pages: 4015 Publisher: Secretum Mundi Publishing Source: Publisher Buy it here: Amazon
Blaine Williams lives and breathes Casablanca. He’s trapped in a make-believe world of Bogart and Bergman, smoke-filled cafés, fugitives and hit-men. And he’s having a mid-life crisis. Having lost his girl, his job, and his home, he flees to the one place that’s always provided comfort in times of sorrow and despair: CASABLANCA Diving in at the deep end of Morocco’s most misunderstood city, Blaine is sucked down through the many interwoven layers until he hits its bedrock. And it’s there that he meets Ghita, a fabulously wealthy socialite, who’s got a plan for him – one laced with intrigue and revenge. Through an adventure paid out in twists and turns, Blaine and Ghita find themselves in a storyline straight out of Casablanca the movie. Hilarious, poignant, and shocking at times, CASABLANCA BLUES lifts the veil on modern Morocco and conjures a secret realm hidden from travellers and locals alike.
At first I didn’t like the short chapters and it was a very slow read. From chapter 4 it started to pick up the pace and from that moment on if was a fast paced read and the short chapter really grew on me. I think the author did a wonderful job weaving the story. It has crime, obsession, love, mystery and adventure, the perfect blend for a good plot with a wonderful movie as the background story.
I really loved the main character and I ached for his misfortunes. The author did a great job showing the characters growth throughout the story while learning more about the culture of Morocco through their eyes. Both Ghita and Blaine are well written and thought of characters, I could easily imagine myself there with them.
In this book there is murder and romance. The murders were made in brutal act but no horrid description of that, just the bare minimum and it was great for me. The romance was well plotted, like in the old movies. It was fun and very enjoyable reading how slowly they got closer to each other. At first it might have been from a need, but it turned into a true love story.
It was a very easy read, even though there a few words I didn’t know. The author brings his own experience of living in Casablanca into the story and you could easily imagine yourself at those locations. This made the story and plot move faster without much need to search of the places to know them better.
I have to be honest and say that the first four chapter were a bit slow read for me, but from there on it was a very past read. I loved that we can see what the characters are going through and how their lives are.
The ending for me was perfect. Some you knew was coming, some was a surprise and some you were so happy what had happened. But most of all I love how the author closed the book like in those old movies where you know it’s true love.
The blurb is very well written. I loved that it implied on many things in the book but in a mysterious and vague way that will not show any spoilers.
The cover art is very beautiful and you get the feel of Casablanca and even get a hint for the adventures to come.
Opening Line: The windowless walls at Acme Telesales were painted slate grey. Highlights: I loved the emotions that the author showed through the characters. It was so strong and so instance. Perfect. It was a wonderful adventure to take and reminded me a lot of the movie Casablanca and why I loved it. Lowlights: None. Memorable Quotes:
“You’re following your heart. A man who follows his heart can never go wrong.”
“The greatest thing in life is to get out of your comfort zone.”
“After all, the worst crime is to live a wasted life.”
Final Thoughts: Casablanca Blues is a great read and I heartily recommend it.
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