The Pequod Review:
Narrated by a terminally ill musicologist floating in and out of sleep, Compass is a mix of recollections, philosophical observations, political views, and romantic memories — many of them dealing with his cultural experiences in the “Oriental” countries of the Middle East. (Edward Said, while only mentioned once, is an constant presence throughout.) The book is engaging, with a structure that holds together better than Zone, and a number of sharp observations and one-liners. However, Michel Houellebecq wrote a better version of this book with Submission.