Naguib Mahfouz is not only Egypt's most respected writer. He is also the most influential novelist in the history of Arabic literature. More than any other author, Mahfouz found innovative ways to make the novel, a primarily Western form, relevant to Arabic experience. His many novels and short stories cover almost every literary genre, but none is more exciting or original than The Thief and the Dogs. Spanning the wealthy suburbs and crowded slums of Cairo, this thrilling crime story combines stream of consciousness technique with the hard-boiled style of detective fiction to create a harrowing account of crime and punishment.