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Leave the World Behind: A Novel de Rumaan…

Leave the World Behind: A Novel (original: 2020; edição: 2020)

de Rumaan Alam (Autor)

MembrosResenhasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
9156117,531 (3.57)67
Título:Leave the World Behind: A Novel
Autores:Rumaan Alam (Autor)
Informação:Ecco (2020), Edition: 1st Edition, 256 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca

Detalhes da Obra

Leave the World Behind de Rumaan Alam (2020)

  1. 00
    A Children's Bible de Lydia Millet (sturlington)
    sturlington: Well-off people on vacation when disaster hits.

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» Veja também 67 menções

Mostrando 1-5 de 59 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
I liked the set up here, and the characters were all interesting people, but I felt like the story didn't go anywhere interesting, and I disliked the ambiguity of the ending. ( )
  duchessjlh | Jul 22, 2021 |
JFC!!!! This book had me on the edge of my seat! Best mail biter since Bird Box. Some people complained about the nonstop inner thoughts and dialogue of the characters but for me that helped make it even more suspenseful. I liked all the crazy tangents their minds wandered off to.

Best book of the year so far! ( )
  Jinjer | Jul 19, 2021 |
“There was no real structure to prevent chaos, there was only a collective faith in order.” The novel “Leave the World Behind” is scarily prescient in looking at a world where the order is falling apart because of something external. I was fascinated, enthralled, and totally engrossed in this book. From word one it all felt very real, and by that I mean the people in the book acted and thought like real people. This was especially true for little things, it was so effective I really felt like I was reading a non-fiction book at times. The basic story is that a family of four goes off for a much longed for vacation at a rental that is listed as being so away from everything you can “leave the world behind.” The story unfolds very organically and Mr. Alam does a great job of letting us in on developments in the same time frame as our protagonists. Unlike gimmicky thrillers that use silly feints to try and scare you, this book really delivers the kind of fear we all know too well from the past year. There are observations that feel like something I might have thought, like “They couldn’t know that the silence that seemed so relaxing in the country seemed so menacing in the city, which was hot, still, and quiet in a way that made no sense.” I read this book in basically two days and I think that heightened the drama for me. As things go off the rails the characters try to deal with the craziness but still find themselves drawn to the things of their “normal” life, “Business as usual, the business of being alive.” Man does that feel familiar. As strange as it sounds, I enjoyed spending time with everyone in this book, despite it being a rather difficult time. It is wonderfully observed and written. ( )
  MarkMad | Jul 14, 2021 |
There is much about this book that will feel familiar to people living through a pandemic and feeling trapped in a state of continual unease.

Amanda and Clay, a couple from Brooklyn, take their teenaged children, Archie and Rose, to eastern Long Island where they’ve rented a luxurious house for a week’s vacation. All is well until the homeowners, GH and Ruth Washington, arrive with news of a blackout in New York and they ask to take refuge. Though they have electricity, all communication with the outside world is cut off: there is no radio or television and no internet or phone service. Strange and increasingly menacing things happen so they know something devastating has occurred. Then Archie’s health becomes a concern. What happened? How will they cope?

The story is narrated from the third person omniscient point of view; the reader is given access to the thoughts and feelings of the characters as the narrator flits from one person to another. Occasionally, that narrator makes comments about the state of the world or what will happen: “She did not know that the Chinese man who ran [the neighborhood Laundromat], was inside the elevator that carried passengers between the turnstiles and the platform at the R train station in Brooklyn Heights, and he’d been there for hours, and he’d die there, though that was many hours in the future yet” and planes “were off to intercept something that approached the nation’s eastern flank” and “in an old-age home in a coastal town called Port Victory a Vietnam vet named Peter Miller was floating facedown in two feet of water. That Delta had lost a plane travelling between Dallas and Minneapolis during the disruption of the air traffic control system. That a pipeline was spilling crude onto the ground in an unpopulated part of Wyoming. That a major television star had been struck by a car at the intersection of Seventy-Ninth and Amsterdam and died because the ambulances couldn’t get anywhere” and “The next generation of these deer would be born white as the unicorn in those Flemish tapestries” because of “intergenerational trauma.”

We are given only bits of information, not told exactly what happened. Was there a natural disaster or a manmade catastrophe? Was there an accident or did someone carry out an act with malicious intent? Did “the morbidly obese grandson of the Eternal President” send a bomb? The lack of details adds to the sense of menace. The author suggests however, that what happened does not matter: “Did it matter if a storm had metastasized into something for which no noun yet existed? Did it matter if the electrical grid broke apart like something built of Lego? . . . Did it matter if some nation claimed responsibility for the outage, did it matter that it was condemned as an act of war, did it matter if this was pretext for a retaliation long hoped for, did it matter that proving who had done what via wires and networks was actually impossible?”

What the author suggests is important is how people react. It becomes obvious that the adults are not prepared. They seem capable, successful people but their experiences are largely irrelevant in the face of what is happening. They become fearful and spend their time trying to cling to normalcy by eating, drinking, relaxing in the hot tub, and doing laundry. Their conversations are endless loops of indecision and useless conjecture. They really don’t know what to do.

The book suggests that we live irrationally. We tend to focus on financial security. Surely we should know that “life was about change” and “the illness of the planet had never been a secret, the nature of it all had never been in doubt.” After all, “information had always been there waiting for them, in the gradual death of Lebanon’s cedars, in the disappearance of the river dolphin, in the renaissance of cold-war hatred, in the discovery of fission, in the capsizing vessels crowded with Africans. No one could plead ignorance that was not willful.” As the pandemic has shown, we are unprepared for catastrophe despite its increasing likelihood: “Comfort and safety were just an illusion. Money meant nothing. All that meant anything was this – people, in the same place, together. This was what was left to them.” We can’t leave the world behind; we may not have the luxury of clairvoyance, but we should know that reality will always catch up.

The book does not show humans on their best behaviour, suggesting instead that humans often reject others in their time of need. Racism exists, as evidenced in Amanda and Clay’s reactions to learning that the homeowners are black: “those people didn’t look like the sort to own such a beautiful house. They might, though, clean it.” In fact, none of the characters is particularly likeable.

Because of its portrayal of what it’s like to live through an evolving crisis, this novel is not an easy read. It is, however, thought-provoking.

Note: Please check out my reader's blog (https://schatjesshelves.blogspot.com/) and follow me on Twitter (@DCYakabuski). ( )
  Schatje | Jun 26, 2021 |
The story clearly illustrates the horror of the unknown. I really expected the story to progress much like Stephen King’s The Mist but despite some really good leads and almost hints...what happened in the outside world that night is never really explained. Was it a nuclear war? A terrorist attacks?... Who knows? Certainly not the reader. I was also disappointed that the book just ended abruptly and in an unsatisfactory manner...not to mention the entire page devoted to what the wife purchased at the grocery store. It could have been a good story. Actually...it could have been a great story but I felt that I was wandering around in the dark for most of it. ( )
  Carol420 | Jun 12, 2021 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 59 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
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.
adicionado por Lemeritus | editarThe 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.”
adicionado por Lemeritus | editarTIME, 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.
adicionado por Lemeritus | editarThe New York Times, Afia Atakora (Web site pago) (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.”
adicionado por Lemeritus | editarNew 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.
adicionado por Lemeritus | editarWashington Post, Porter Shreve (Web site pago) (Oct 5, 2020)

» Adicionar outros autores (1 possível)

Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Rumaan Alamautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Wood, SaraDesigner da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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