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The Caliph's House

Fed up with London’s dreary weather and frenetic pace, British travel writer Tahir Shah packs up his family and moves to Casablanca, where he’s bought a run-down, termite-infested mansion just waiting to be restored to its mid-20th century glory. Reminscent of Peter Mayle’s A Year in Provence, this is a fixer-upper expat tale populated by eccentric locals through whom Shah attempts to decipher Moroccan culture. He meets a carpenter, ”aged and crooked, like a warped old post of pine,” a trio of house guardians who communicate with nefarious spirits called jinns, and exorcists who slurp goat’s blood to drive those jinns away. Though Shah writes with an easy and at times witty style, The Caliph’s House can feel simplistic, short on introspection that would add texture to the colorful mosaic of his Moroccan experience.

The Caliph's House
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