Wednesday, November 11, 2020

First Wednesday Book Review Club: LEAVE THE WORLD BEHIND, Rumaan Alam

 Short Stories to follow later...


A family of four has rented an Air BNB for a week on the beach. They've barely settled in when a knock comes on the door and an older Black man introduces himself as their landlord. The Brooklyn family of four does not know whether to believe him, being skeptical a Black family could own such a sumptuous home. And why would he turn up? The Black man and his wife are fleeing some sort of blackout that occurred in the Manhattan as they left the theater. They lived on a high floor in the City so were fearful the elevator wouldn't work. This Long Island beach house is their second home.

And so begins the story of six people trying to negotiate life together and trying to figure out what happened and if it was contained to the New York area. They are not able to reach anyone by phone and radios and tv are out. Car trips to neighboring towns prove unfruitful. Several astounding things happen, which signal this is more than just a blackout.

Now this is not the sort of book for people that need every question answered. That's not what it's about. It's about the stress of living through a  possible apocalypse.  Also you may wonder why they didn't do certain things. It's from their point of view so the author does not have to provide us with all the answers. If they can't solve the problems, they don't get solved. 

I think it is the best book I have read in 2020. It is frightening, yes. But we have been prepared for that. 

For more book reviews, see Barrie Summy.

14 comments:

Mathew Paust said...

Sounds like my kind of book, Sort of a John Prine/Spanish Pipe Dream existence with a twist or three.

pattinase (abbott) said...

It is well done.

Margot Kinberg said...

Oh, that sounds absolutely fabulous, Patti. An interesting premise and setup for the plot, and it sounds as though it raises some interesting questions.

Jeff Meyerson said...

It does sound good, though I am not sure if I want to read it now, at least until 1/20.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Wow, quite a range of reviews on Amazon. Someone called it "a Marmite book - you either love it or hate it." And a bunch of people really hated it.

George said...

Like Jeff, I've encountered mixed reviews for LEAVE THE WORLD BEHIND. But, I'm intrigued...

pattinase (abbott) said...

Most professional reviewers have liked it.

Phyllis Wheeler said...

Yikes!!!! Books like this are pretty scary!

pattinase (abbott) said...

Yes, it was pretty scary.

Barrie said...

The best book you've read in 2020?! I'm in! Do you think it would translate well to audio? I'm looking for a book to listen to.
Thank you for reviewing!

Powell River Books said...

This looks like a book that would interest me. Thanks for the review. - Margy

Linda McLaughlin said...

Sounds interesting, Patti. Glad you enjoyed the book.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I do think it would work well as audio. Thanks, guys. Will visit you all tomorrow. Laid up with a back injury today and hard to sit here.

Jenn Jilks said...

Great review. I think it good to read books like this. It could get worse!!!