Listen free for 30 days

£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

Summary

Shortlisted for the Booker Prize 2019

Brought to you by Penguin.

'In the first minute following her death, Leila's consciousness began to ebb, slowly and steadily, like a tide receding from the shore. Her brain cells, having run out of blood, were now completely deprived of oxygen. But they did not shut down. Not right away....'

Our brains stay active for 10 minutes after our heart stops beating. For Leila, each minute brings with it a new memory: growing up with her father and his wives in a grand old house in a quiet Turkish town; watching the women gossip and wax their legs while the men went to mosque; sneaking cigarettes and Western magazines on her way home from school; running away to Istanbul to escape an unwelcome marriage; falling in love with a student who seeks shelter from a riot in the brothel where she works. 

Most importantly, each memory reminds Leila of the five friends she met along the way - friends who are now desperately trying to find her.... 

©2019 Elif Shafak (P)2019 Penguin Books Ltd

What listeners say about 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    324
  • 4 Stars
    124
  • 3 Stars
    37
  • 2 Stars
    13
  • 1 Stars
    7
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    326
  • 4 Stars
    89
  • 3 Stars
    20
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    11
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    284
  • 4 Stars
    107
  • 3 Stars
    41
  • 2 Stars
    11
  • 1 Stars
    7

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Simply outstanding

This book describes Leila and her life in the last 10 minutes 38 seconds, whilst her brain is finally shutting down, after she is murdered, by just being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The descriptions of Istanbul are so full and exotic that you feel immersed in its culture and rhythms. Leila is a nice gentle soul who has had a bit of a poor start in life mainly due to being a girl born into a Muslim family. She made a few poor decisions along the way like we all do, but had to bear the consequences in ways most of us do not. As I mentioned earlier the descriptive narrative of this book is wonderful, some parts are like a diarrhea of adjectives, but not in a way that is trying too hard or spoiling anything the story This book tackles the serious topic of dying, the short but bitter sweet life of Leila, those she comes into contact with who shape her life and theirs with a sensitivity that makes you feel many emotions. However it was the last part of the book that switched the tempo into, I can only say comical proportions and had me giggling like a school girl. I did not think a book so literary in parts could do that, but it did. First class narration by Alix Dunmore to make this a truly 5 star book

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Life of strangers in a strange world

this book depicts the life of outcasts, outposts from their own society. Life to outcasts is significantly more challenging c compared to people who seem to fit in in everyday; hence outcasts find comfort in other outcasts. This book describes the beautiful friendship of people who found it difficult to fit in in their society, and the kind of life they had to live as a consequent to this. Whilst listening to this book, every single character became a friend of mine, I found myself as an observer who wanted to be a part of this story. The story is captivating, the characters true to real life, and the detail in descriptions mesmerising.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Istanbul life

Joy and tragedy interspersed with views of the Bosphorus . For me a helter skelter ride of emotional intensity and bitter truth read perfectly by someone who must have witnessed the events described.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

lovely tale - heartwarming and tragic i

lovely tale of enduring friendship really well narrated couldn't wait for my bus journeys to listen

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Tragic and heartwarming in equal measure

It’s a tale of human cruelty, the perverse nature of religion driven harm but most of all a story of friendship and kindness that can overcome. Loved every minute of it.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Gripping and wonderfully uplifting

Absolutely loved the story, it was gripping, sad and uplifting all at once. Also very much enjoyed the narrator's voice

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Exceptional storytelling and tangible descriptions

An original concept, beautifully told. It's made me want to visit Istanbul, for better or for worse.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Urban Istanbul mystery

Elif Shafak weaves a story through the Turlish countryside to the harsh streets of Istanbul. We experience the struggle to survive and be an individual through the experiences of different characters.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant story

So sad to have finished this book ,it was amazing . A tale of friendship at it’s best and the story of a woman ,Leila who we get to know in flashbacks after her death . It is lyrical and poignant with some comedic turns . Finally I have to mention the excellent narration which capped it all off wonderfully .A must read .

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Strange book

There were so many strange things about this book it's hard to know where to start. But the strangest of all is the concept that the brain lives on when the body dies for up to 10 minutes 38 seconds. It's a unique perspective from which to tell a story. The story itself was dark and twisting with moments of joy.

1 person found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 30-03-20

lovely book

I loved this book, since I love turkey. it is quite dramatic, I actually shed tears over an event that happened. I finished it in three days.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for AnahitaAnahita
  • AnahitaAnahita
  • 28-12-19

To the women of Istanbul and the city of Istanbul

As Shafak herself says, read stories written by women. You'll know when you read it. Highly recommended.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 27-11-19

I keep listening and re-listening!

I am breathless. I have been a fan of Elif Shafak for long, and clearly that's not about to change any time soon. You should buy this. It's worth every dollar! The reading is perfect, the story a sad nectar, and the writing is plainly gorgeous.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Neelam
  • Neelam
  • 03-10-19

A touching story of friendship and belonging

I loved the title of the book and the entire story was remarkable and entertaining.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 11-06-19

Amazing story

Great narrator delivering a breathaking story, I enjoyed very much! Couldn't stop listening to the end

1 person found this helpful