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Leave the World Behind: A Novel av Rumaan…

Leave the World Behind: A Novel (urspr publ 2020; utgåvan 2020)

av Rumaan Alam (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
7334722,577 (3.67)40
Titel:Leave the World Behind: A Novel
Författare:Rumaan Alam (Författare)
Info:Ecco (2020), 256 pages
Samlingar:Read, Ditt bibliotek


Leave the World Behind av Rumaan Alam (2020)


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» Se även 40 omnämnanden

engelska (45)  franska (1)  Alla språk (46)
Visa 1-5 av 46 (nästa | visa alla)
In this story, a rather ordinary family of middle-class white New Yorkers head out to the Hamptons for a late-summer vacation in a rented AirBnB, a lovely and well-appointed house that isn't on the ocean but does have a pool. They spend a couple of days there doing vacation things, spending a lot of money on extravagant and impractical food (the trip to the grocery store is described in much detail), and then there is a knock on the door late at night. An older Black couple is standing on the doorstep. They say they own the house and something bad has happened in New York, so they want to stay.

At first, this story, and this family, were annoying me. The family is so bland, so white-bread, that they didn't seem to be characters so much as caricatures. But when the Black couple shows up, they are completely ordinary as well, boring even. It's not a mystery whether they are truly the house's owners; the omniscient narrator lets us know fairly quickly that they are. The mystery is what is happening out in the world, and how will these people handle it?

It gradually dawned on me that all of these people were so ordinary and indistinguishable because they are meant to be anybody, and everybody. This is, I think, a story that pretty realistically depicts what it might be like if an unthinkable disaster were unfolding and you really had no idea what was going on or what to do. The narrator is godlike in knowing everything that is happening and will happen, and sometimes doles out little bits of information so we, the readers, know slightly more than the characters. But the questions of interest are: What would you do if you had no idea what to do? Would you come together? Or lock the doors? Much has been made of the race-relations aspect of the story, and the white couple are pretty typical in that they hold some fairly stereotypical views of Black and Hispanic people, but I don't think that's the point. I think the point is that these are ordinary people, the world may be ending, and what are they going to do? Anything besides getting drunk?

I don't think it's any accident that climate change is mentioned so frequently. The disaster unfolding, whatever it is, happens more quickly, but there is a point being made: that the world is already ending, and collectively, we're not doing much about it. However, it is interesting to me that there is one character who recognizes what is happening and knows what to do--who that character turns out to be. So although when the book started, it had me rolling my eyes at this Wonderbread family, by the end, it had me thinking about some very interesting questions. Overall, a win. ( )
  sturlington | Mar 30, 2021 |
Well crafted pre apocalyptic literary fiction (as opposed to typical post apocalyptic science fiction). Recommended for all libraries. ( )
  librarianarpita | Mar 25, 2021 |
This book reeled me in with the normal family banter, the normal family activities while on vacation and their thoughts. I couldn’t stop reading.

It was very well written and the story was a slow burn but, the ending left me wanting more. Maybe that was the point though, maybe the author wanted us to use our imaginations and conjure up our own endings to the families stories.

It begins as a normal family vacation to the beach, a town not highly populated. They eat, swim and just enjoy their selves until, the owners of the house they’re renting, arrive on their doorstep. That’s when the uncertainty begins and chaos begins. The days seem to stretch and the fear just intensifies.

I really enjoyed this book and in spite of the ending, I think it’s a definite must read. ( )
  064 | Mar 22, 2021 |
Alam is an amazing writer. His prose is crisp and crystal clear. He creates a world readers sink into immediately. His characters are drawn well--appealing but flawed and unique.

Initially, I really liked this novel's suspense, but that grew too drawn out about 3/4 of the way to the end of the novel. The last 1/3 of the book needed editing to cut redundancies and unnecessary or repeated conversations among characters. The suspense eventually became irritating because it was so prolonged and the actual danger the characters faced remained vague through the end of the book. Readers close the book not knowing what actually happened. I don't need a neatly-tied-up ending from every book--in fact, I prefer endings that are a little messy or unresolved--but this novel offered nothing concrete to indicate what threatened the characters beginning in chapter 3 or 4. The vague danger and lack of explanation about what was happening just beyond the characters' purview seemed like a cop out on Alam's part instead of a strategic choice.

I finished the book and enjoyed most of it, but by its conclusion I'd grown resentful of being strung along and felt let down by the ending. ( )
  LisaIrishWhalen | Mar 8, 2021 |
It took me so long to read this book. I’m not a fan of the end of the world scenarios. This had a little different premise with the vacation, the owners of the rental showing up but most of the characters were unlikeable. ( )
  kayanelson | Mar 5, 2021 |
Visa 1-5 av 46 (nästa | visa alla)
Leave the World Behind was written before the coronavirus crisis and yet it taps brilliantly into the feeling of generalised panic that has attached itself to the virus and seems to mingle fears about the climate, inequality, racism and our over-reliance on technology. As the reader moves through the book, a new voice interjects, an omniscient narrator who begins to allow us gradual access to the terrifying events taking place across America.
tillagd av Lemeritus | ändraThe Guardian, Alex Preston (Nov 9, 2020)
In cutting detail, Alam moves between all the characters’ private thoughts on race, privilege, class and survival, revealing the lies they tell each other both to encourage a sense of calm and to protect their own insecurities.... There’s a dark comfort to engaging with these stories, a sense that living in uncertainty does not necessarily mean we are alone—and that knowing the future won’t help prevent it. I felt a particular isolation in the immediate aftermath of the storm; I feel it every day in the coronavirus era. Resolution will come later. Knowing that is enough for now. “Understanding came after the fact,” Alam writes of his characters. “You had to walk backward and try to make sense. That’s what people did, that’s how people learned.”
tillagd av Lemeritus | ändraTIME, Annabel Gutterman (Oct 6, 2020)
Alam doesn’t dwell in the specificity of apocalypse, which has been the obsession of writers since the Flood. Instead he lobs a prescient accusation: Faced with the end of the world, you wouldn’t do a damn thing... “Leave the World Behind” teeters on that seesaw-edge question in horror fiction: to reveal the monster or not? Ultimately it totters too far to one side, but there is still the primal nail-biting need to know what-the-hell-is-going-on. This propulsion, which drives much of the characters’ decisions, likewise drives the reader onward to a breathless conclusion that, if not altogether satisfying, is undeniably haunting.
tillagd av Lemeritus | ändraThe New York Times, Afia Atakora (betalvägg) (Oct 6, 2020)
Where other practitioners of the genre revel in chaos—the coarse spectacle of society unravelling—Alam keeps close to his characters, who, like insects in acrylic, remain trapped in a state of suspended unease. This, he suggests, is the modern disaster—the precarity of American life, which leaves us unsure, always, if things can get worse.... In the book’s final pages, as the tension suddenly ratchets up, Amanda thinks to herself, “They were equipped to handle certain fears. This was something else. It was hard to remind yourself to be rational in a world where that seemed not to matter as much, but maybe it never had.”
tillagd av Lemeritus | ändraNew Yorker, Hillary Kelly (Oct 5, 2020)
“Leave the World Behind” is the perfect title for a book that opens with the promise of utopia and travels as far from that dream as our worst fears might take us. It is the rarest of books: a genuine thriller, a brilliant distillation of our anxious age, and a work of high literary merit that deserves a place among the classics of dystopian literature.
tillagd av Lemeritus | ändraWashington Post, Porter Shreve (betalvägg) (Oct 5, 2020)

» Lägg till fler författare (1 möjlig)

Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Rumaan Alamprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
Wood, SaraOmslagsformgivaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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As soon as possible after a bomb.

--Bill Callahan, "Angela"
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There was no real structure to prevent chaos, there was only a collective faith in order.
Sometimes distance showed a thing most clearly.
Amanda wasn’t magnanimous. The call was a relief. She wanted her colleagues to need her as God wants people to keep praying.
He sat on the front lawn in the shade of a tree and smoked. He should feel bad about this, but tobacco was the foundation of the nation. Smoking tethered you to history itself! It was a patriotic act, or once had been, anyway, like owning slaves or killing the Cherokee.
Clay was diligent but also (he knew it) a little lazy. He wanted to be asked to write for the New York Times Book Review but didn’t want to actually write anything.
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