Book Review: The Randomist by Ali Al Saeed

April 28, 2015

The Randomist by Ali Al Saeed
Genre: Non-Fiction

The Randomist is a collection of columns, essays and personal writings by Bahrain national best-selling and award-winning author Ali Al Saeed. From everyday life in the tiny Gulf Kingdom of Bahrain as a struggling writer, to the intimate recollections of childhood memories, The Randomist paints a rare portrayal of young modern Arabs trying to find themselves in the world.


When I first picked up this book, I didn't know what I was getting myself into. I have a knack of judging books by their cover – I know that it's ethically wrong to do so, but I somehow find myself doing it anyway. I started this book back in October 2014 and six months later I finally finished it. I am not proud of the time I took to finish this 200-page book, but it happened...

The Randomist is filled with many thought-provoking articles, stories, and Bahrain's history. When I read the first article, and then the next, and the next, I was a little confused. What exactly is the book about? When I read the summary at the back of the book it read:
"The Randomist is Ali Al Saeed....his thoughts scattered, dense and often seemingly incoherent, the author of three critically-acclaimed books believed for many years that no one could possibly know what he is talking about! But surprisingly his non-fiction, essays and columns have not only been praised for their originality but also embraced by many. He often scares himself making sense with his ramblings. Take a look into the mind of a mentally hyperactive dream junkie and see if you can make any sense of it yourself" 
Since the actual summary on Goodreads was nowhere to be found in and on the book, hence my confusion a little bit. I had to read this a couple of times and a few more articles to actually understand what the Randomist was about and when I did my mind was blown.

I stopped treating the Randomist like a regular book that I could finish in a week and began treating it like a book I could turn to for inspiration and motivation. The way Ali puts his thoughts into words is captivating. Some articles are filled with touching and emotional stories of his past, while others were informative and humorous.

The Randomist is a thought-provoking and inspiring book that provides an insight of a writer's mind and tidbits of information about the life he has in Bahrain and all around the world. It was intriguing, captivating, fascinating, and silly.

To those who enjoy reading either inspiring or just random blogs and/or articles, this is the perfect book for you.

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