The Offering: Critical Reception

“Beautiful and spellbinding in its capacity to shock and seduce at once. The Offering is a triumph of the art of storytelling in an age shaped by digital technology and global cultural exchange…. El Moncef’s psychological thriller is a fine instance of the literature of dissociation, recalling the best of J. G. Ballard’s fiction.”
—Jason Barker

“Here we have a young novelist amazing the world with a mystery novel he should not have reasonably achieved. But genius does not heed reason…. Read this ravishing book and learn how to survive in the face of trying pain and loss. The breadth and depth and poetic power of The Offering will enchant you.”
—Willis Barnstone

“Readers who welcome challenges, I believe, will be captured by The Offering—by its narrator’s intelligence, his fight to surmount his sufferings, and his linguistic magic. You can open this remarkable novel anywhere and find passages, long and short, that are so precise, so evocative, and so polished that the prose sometimes becomes indistinguishable from a particularly controlled, sharp-edged form of poetry.”
—John Glendenning

“An exciting conception of the novel. Rare, these days, to pull off such a trick.”
—Rebecca Gowers

“A highly compelling novel. The Offering is remarkable in the sustained intensity of its poetic sensibility. One is haunted by its capacity to plumb the abyss of loneliness, anguish and horror; enchanted by its power to evoke the magic of love and ‘the mysterious alchemy of people and places.’ A must-read.”
—Gerard Greenway

“A tough, uncompromisingly ambiguous novel. And the sheer beauty of it—loads and loads of breathtaking beauty. This is a magnificent opus by an author whose glorious time has come.”
—Khaled Mattawa

“This book is quite simply excellent! It ends with admirable purpose and finality. All questions resolved in one fell swoop. And yet the ambiguity lingers till the last word and beyond. A brilliantly layered and nuanced story that develops the way any great novel should.”
—Stefan Mattesich

“Salah el Moncef’s postmodern-cum-magical realist fiction reads like Kafka by way of Baudrillard.”
—Philip Metres

“The quest for hope and meaning amid destruction is at the center of Salah el Moncef’s The Offering, a novel that never loses sight of the presence of beauty in this world as a factor that transcends the gloomiest depths of loss. A touching and compelling read.”
—Shakir Mustafa

“Besides the intensity of its esthetic vision, this haunting book presents us with an urgent and novel statement on the fluctuating world in which we live, a world defined by global migration and the digital age. Through The Offering, el Moncef gives us not only a diasporic drama of profound beauty; he also creates a completely new literature of mobility for our digitized epoch, a literary electrokinetics born from the startling encounter between the diaspora experience and the electrifying rhythms of technology.”
—Thomas Nail

“This is a book about the power of beauty as a healing source that allows us to go on in the aftermath of unspeakable pain. The streets and parks of Paris, the Moorish houses and sun-drenched beaches of Tunisia, the fine drizzle and furtive fog of Brittany, the ever-shifting shades, shapes, and tonalities of the ocean. The Offering is filled with mesmerizing visual passages—passages where the reader can lose herself in rapt contemplation of the sheer elegance of expression. El Moncef is endowed with the gift of making the finest, most elusive sensory experiences leap off the page with so much vividness that the reader has the uncanny sense of stepping right into the world of The Offering.”
—Mari Ruti

“What a great novel! The Offering is alternatively painful and exalting, inferno-like and redemptive, traumatic and sublime; but it is consistently beautiful. In this stunning and, finally, shocking novel, el Moncef’s prose rivals that of today’s most poetic wordsmiths. For me, The Offering reaches that horizon of stylistic excellence we find in a writer like John Banville. One is dazzled by the sheer virtuosity of the language, the structure, and the poetic rhythm as the reading experience evolves into a feeling so intense and delectable that one simply must pause to take it all in.”
—Stephen Watt

—The Los Angeles Review of Books


—Marx Reloaded