Le rocher de Tanios - Prix Goncourt 1993

by Amin Maalouf

Other, 1993



Call number




Grasset (1993), 277 pages


In the 19th Century, a sheik's son is forced to flee Lebanon because of a power struggle. He finds refuge in Cyprus and plots against his enemies with the aid of the French and the British. A tale of palace intrigues by the author of Leo Africanus.

User reviews

LibraryThing member Smiler69
As our narrator informs us, the Rock of Tanios, which sits outside his village of Kfaryabda in the Lebanese mountains, was believed for two centuries to bring bad luck, since the local villager after whom it was named was last seen sitting on it before his mysterious disappearance in the year 1840. Tanios, born to Lamia, the beauty of the village, may or may not have been the son of the local Sheikh, and Tanios' life, intimately linked to the the fate of his village, was shaped by a series of momentous events, even as the mountain was being disputed between the Egyptian, Turkish, French and English powers. Maalouf is an outstanding raconteur and the pleasure I had of reading him in the original French language can't be overstated.

I read the excellent Baldassare's Odyssey almost a decade ago while on a trip to France, and based on that book alone decided that Maalouf was one of my favourite writers of all time. My only regret when it comes to Tanios is that I didn't read this book when I first heard about it around 1993, when it won the prestigious French Goncourt prize, but I have every intention of catching up on lost time and reading everything by Maalouf I can get my hands on in near future.
… (more)
LibraryThing member Paulagraph
A good tale in the tried and true storytelling mode of narrator telling a story told to him, one that took place several generations ago (1830s-1840s Lebanon). The Great Game is in full swing as well as rivalries between the Ottoman Empire(The Divine Port) and the Pasha of Egypt as represented by the local Emir. Mix in religion (Catholic, Druze, Muslim, English Protestant), local and personal vendettas & one thing leads inevitably to another.… (more)


Original publication date


Physical description

277 p.; 8.86 inches


2246462711 / 9782246462712
Page: 0.1578 seconds