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Summary

Winner of the Man Booker International Prize 2018

Flights, a novel about travel in the 21st century and human anatomy, is Olga Tokarczuk’s most ambitious to date. It interweaves travel narratives and reflections on travel with an in-depth exploration of the human body, broaching life, death, motion and migration. 

From the 17th century, we have the story of the Dutch anatomist Philip Verheyen, who dissected and drew pictures of his own amputated leg. From the 18th century, we have the story of a North African-born slave turned Austrian courtier stuffed and put on display after his death. In the 19th century, we follow Chopin’s heart as it makes the covert journey from Paris to Warsaw. In the present we have the trials of a wife accompanying her much older husband as he teaches a course on a cruise ship in the Greek islands, and the harrowing story of a young husband whose wife and child mysteriously vanish on a holiday on a Croatian island. 

With her signature grace and insight, Olga Tokarczuk guides the listener beyond the surface layer of modernity and towards the core of the very nature of humankind.

©2017 Olga Tokarczuk (P)2019 Audible, Ltd

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Pointless

I have to admit to enduring only 3 hours before giving up and skipping through. This is not a novel but a vignette off various unconnected bits of travel related stories.... Some might find it dreamy but I found it dull, pointless, irritating and jarring...I rarely don't finish a book, but this I could not figure on for more than five minutes. Maybe it's a better read than a listen although I am a touch bemused b as to how's it won the booker prize...

3 people found this helpful

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Gave up

Maybe audio is not the best format for this chaotic, confusing & frustrating book. Was it supposed to be funny? Was the narrator supposed to be so smug & mocking? Reminded me of Olivia Laing’s work, which I would listen to again. But not this. Gave up after 90 mins.

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Confused portrayal

The light tone of the narrator seemed incongruous with the narrative. A voice more matched to less brittle literature. Consequently, I couldn’t get past two hours of listening.

7 people found this helpful

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waste of 12hours of audio time

bought the book on audible reco as a winner of 2018 man Booker prize. however I am totally disappointed and feel I have wasted around 15hours of my time enduring the insipid book. it's not even a book, just a collection of discrete notes jumping from one topic to other, some short and some sizeable but with no interweaving thread. wondering what judges found in it that I couldn't. though Olga's imagination and texts sometimes show spark of brilliance but overall it's a torture to go thru till end. voice and diction of Jennifer is good but she also could not cope up with the ever Changing topics, some intense and others frivolous. this requires regular change in tone and pitch from one note to other and Jennifer couldn't do justice here, not her fault though. just a putdownable book.

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Vague and unfulfilling

Was very much hoping for a hard-to-define, engaging and thought-provoking listen like Maria Popova's Figuring, but this was rambling and whimsical without ever seeming to arrive at a point, or a point of interest.

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Brilliant writing but not a novel

The writing and some of the stories in this collection are mesmerising but be aware that this is not a novel. Included in the series of stories ranging from vignettes to novellas are some haunting tales; a Polish man on holiday in Croatia whose wife and child disappear, a Russian woman with an urge to escape a life dictated by love for her disabled child. Loosely linked by themes of flight and the cage that is the body, the stories build in power. Stick with it and you won't be disappointed.

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Unusual and peaceful

I loved the way Olga took us on the traveling board of different personalities. Genius

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  • Leonor Cárdenas
  • 22-08-20

Really good but sometimes hard to follow the story

The narrative makes it difficult to follow without the traditional book marker. Otherwise amazing. yeah