So I started reading Utopia a translated book by Ahmed Khaled Towfik. The book is about a not so distant future that takes place in Egypt, where the rich have alienated themselves from the poor. There is no middle class, only the rich and the poor. When I say alienated from the poor, I mean really alienated from the poor. The rich have built fences around a compound where they have trapped themselves inside and the poor struggle outside to live. In this compound we meet our main character, who remains nameless until further chapters.

The main character lives in Utopia and just seems bored with his everyday life of luxury. Poor guy. Before I got to how he was describing himself, the book was a bit boring. It just sounded like one of those try hard action books where there is only death and destruction. Things get interesting when I finally met the narrator.

Alaa ( spoiler! ) describes himself as a punk rock, kind of, teenager who has a purple mohawk, a fake wound on his forehead, white pupils thanks to contact lenses, and voodoo necklaces. For having a dramatic look one would think his life was filled with excitement. Instead the guy wakes, pees, smokes, drinks coffee, shaves, fixes his wound to make it look worse, has sex with the maid, has breakfast, or attempts to. He tries to make eggs with a splash of milk, it grosses him out and throws it away, then he yawns, laughs, spits, eats meat, then pukes it, and he’s such a nice son that he pukes it all over his mom’s room. He laughs, sticks his finger in his ear, drinks whiskey, dances, staggers, gets up on the couch, falls on the carpet, rads the paper, gets high, laughs, walks naked in the living room, puts his clothes back on, writes a slogan on the wall, puts “orgasmic music,” dances, pukes, and eats again. All of this in an hour and he doesn’t have anything else to do. ( pg. 16-17 )

The maid should hint that this kid has all sorts of luxuries, and yet he’s bored out of his mind. Does that mean that luxury causes boredom? I like to think so, he has everything and can’t seem to find anything to do. It almost dehumanizes him. Would a normal person go out of their way to puke in their mother’s room? The constant movement made me think of a caged animal waiting for something exciting to do. The only thing that seems to excite him, is going out to hunt the Others ( the poor living outside of the compound ) and violence. What an animal.

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