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Summary

Random House presents the audiobook edition of Warlight by Michael Ondaatje, read by George Blagden.    

Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2018.

An elegiac, dreamlike novel set in post-WW2 London about memory, family secrets and lies, from the internationally acclaimed author of The English Patient.

‘The past never remains in the past…’

London, 1945. The capital is still reeling from the war. Fourteen-year-old Nathaniel and his older sister Rachel are abandoned by their parents who leave the country on business, and are left in the dubious care of a mysterious figure named The Moth. Nathaniel is introduced to The Moth’s band of criminal misfits and is caught up in a series of teenage misadventures, from smuggling greyhounds for illegal dog racing to lovers’ trysts in abandoned buildings at night.

But is this eccentric crew really what and who they claim to be? And most importantly, what happened to Nathaniel’s mother? Was her purported reason for leaving true? What secrets did she hide in her past? Years later Nathaniel, now an adult, begins to slowly piece together using the files of intelligence agencies - and through reality, recollection and imagination - the startling truths of puzzles formed decades earlier.
 

©2018 Michael Ondaatje (P)2018 Random House Audiobooks

Critic reviews

"A novel of shadowy brilliance." (The Times)

"Fiction as rich, as beautiful, as melancholy as life itself, written in the visionary language of memory." (Observer)

"Ondaatje brilliantly threads the mysteries and disguises and tangled loyalties and personal yearnings of the secret world...and has constructed something of real emotional and psychological heft, delicate melancholy and yet, frequently, page-turning plottiness. I haven’t read a better novel this year." (Telegraph

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Assembling stories from a grain of sand

An overwhelmingly restrained composition of a book. As close to the manner of creating a painting as I have ever read.
We read not about the exploits of many, many unknowable people in a period of terrible savagery and fear, but instead we feel the disruption in the air or water around us as they pass on by.
Truly. Imagine brush strokes that suggest war light. Negative spaces momentarily filled. The existence of “war/ness” amongst people so unlikely to be recognized, but immeasurably brave.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Oh dear, a tad on the dull side.......

I had great expectations with this being a man booker nominated read. Certain aspects I loved; the historical period, the sublime language. Simply a shame the story is somewhat dull, I only wish the author had written the story from a more interesting characters perspective such as the sister, Rachel.

The audible presentation is faultless and the narrator wonderful.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Quality writing

Oddly intimate and enveloping ,
Drawing the reader into his world with vivid memorable images captured in the mind like old monochrome images.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Sarah
  • Lustleigh
  • 04-07-18

Unsung Heroes

An amazing and enlightening book about a time I had not given enough thought to. Highly recommended.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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4 stars for the good writing, 2 for the story

never really got into the story, only occasionally was I really curious to see what would happen. maybe more of a reading book than a listening one. that being said, there are plenty of beautiful sentences and original images that transport you to the mysterious world of the main character's cloudy recollection of his youth. glad I read something by Ondaatje, but not really hungry for more.