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In the process, he finds, refreshingly, a reaffirmation of his Islamic faith, some of his past, and a tentative relationship with his mother. I liked Audran establishing his friendships again with the characters who abandoned him in When Gravity Fails. Yasmin, Audran's sex-changed lover, was back as was the stupid comically so -- some of the scenes with him serve no function but humor as was Fuad Il-Manhous; the ferocious, emotional bar tender Chiriga; the perverse, but blackly funny homosexual and lover of young boys , Saied the Half-Hajiz; the sinister, possibly mad and oddly devout Friedlander Bey, Audran's patron.

There were new, interesting characters: Shaknahyi the policeman and his oddly devout, stripper wife Indihar who is so conservative she enjoyed being circumcised ; the humorous, devoted, intelligent Slava Kumuzu; and the monstrous, perverted Abu Adil and his naively ambitous, sex-toy and personal assistant Umar Abdul-Qawy. One of the delightful things about this novel is Effinger's further exploration of his mind-programming moddies showing everything from religious counseling moddies, moddies to do drudge work or feel stupid.

Abu Adil has a truly sick propensity for moddies recorded off terminally ill people and mind-rape moddies recorded off tortured people.

Publisher Description

More sleaze is here -- slavery, child prostitution, torture -- as are references to the Balkanized world of the future as well as Abu Adil and Friedlander Bey's roles as power brokers. I, as in the first book, liked the Arab culture and its idiosyncracies.

It is there, however, the book falls down.

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The novel is a tale of corruption, double-dealing, and power-broking. However, Effinger never really sets up the cultural, legal, and political rules of his world and that definately dulls the edge on a tale of corruption and mystery. Is Audran being corrupt in being on the police payroll as well as Freidlander Bey's? He is very open about it and gets little social sanction and no legal ones.

Just how much influence do Adil and Bey have? Can they buy their way out of anything? If so, why does Adil fear the potential sanction of Islamic clergy? Is there something in Arabic culture that keeps Bey and Adil safe despite their lax security? Is there something in Arabic culture which stops Audran from killing Adil at novel's end? LibraryThing member Shirezu. He's treated like scum by all his old friends for the horrific incident at the end of the last book as well as he's now Friedlander Bey's lieutenant. Not so much a detective book this time Audran is now Papa's official liaison with the police force helping them when suitable.

He's also dealing with his past when he finds his mother for the first time since his youth. And coming up against the only rival Papa has. It's still a fairly dark book but lacks the punch of the first one.

There's nothing really new in the world although there is a mention of a new technology which may pop up later. It was a good book but I was hoping for more. I read this a long time ago, but it and its companion When Gravity Fails feel to me to be a couple of books that helped to define cyber-punk. Awards Hugo Nominee. SF Chronicle Award Nominee. Language English. Original publication date Physical description p.

Budayeen Nights by George Alec Effinger. Hardwired by Walter Jon Williams.

The Exile Kiss: Marid Audran Trilogy, Book 3 (Unabridged)

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