The Thief and the Dogs is a novel written by Naguib Mahfouz. The novel was published in 1961, which gave Mahfouz the perfect opportunity to make a political statement about the revolution and the disappointment he and many others felt. Such disappointment is a reflection of the Egyptian people’s dissatisfaction with the new government in Egypt after the revolution. Mahfouz is an Egyptian author who commonly uses a stream-of-consciousness and surrealist type of narration to emphasize his theme of existentialism. In addition, Mahfouz’s style of writing is emphasized by the seventeen-day-long plot of the novel.
In The Thief and the Dogs, the protagonist is named Said Mahran, who is a thief that has been released from jail and desperately wants revenge on the people who put him there. In the beginning, Said is walking home to Cairo from his prison. While he is walking, he is thinking and contemplating his actions and how he will justify himself. He knows that he wants his books and his daughter, Sana, back. However, he can’t exactly get revenge on Ilish Sidra, who turned Said in, and his books are ruined. Even worse, Sana doesn’t accept him as his father, and that saddens Said. Seventeen days after he returns home, the novel ends with Said’s death.