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The Evolution of Shadows

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  46 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
In July of 1995, the news photographer Gray Banick disappeared into the Bosnian war zone and doing so took away pieces of the hearts of three people who loved him: Emil Todorovic, his interpreter and friend; Jack MacKenzie, his mentor who taught Gray to hold his camera steady between himself and the worst that war presents; and Lian Zhao, who didn’t have the strength to lo ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published October 20th 2009 by Unbridled Books (first published October 8th 2009)
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Kelsie
Jan 29, 2012 Kelsie rated it really liked it
In a mere 160 pages, Malott drew me into a war I, and many Americans, know little about and creates a passion between two characters through memories alone. He leaves me longing to know more about both the Bosnian war and Chinese-American culture. Looking forward to reading more by this gumptious author in the future!
Kristi (Books and Needlepoint)
This novel is about the coming together of 3 unrelated people to search for Gray Banick, a news photographer who disappeared 5 years earlier in the Bosnian war zone. Lian was his girlfriend - and also the reason he went to Bosnia; Emil was the interpreter he met while on assignment, and Jack was a fellow news photographer who was Gray's mentor.

These three people come together to try to search for Gray, or Gray's remains, as a way to put an end to that chapter in their lives. Emil is still trying
...more
Jennifer
Mar 24, 2010 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
From My Blog....[return][return]The Evolution of Shadows by Jason Quinn Malott takes the reader on an emotional ride as three of Gray Banick's friends, a veteran photojournalist, a translator, and an ex-lover return to Gray Banick's last known whereabouts in hopes of finding some evidence of what became of him. In 2000, Jack Mackenzie and Lian Zhao travel to war-torn Bosnia to meet up with Emil Todorović to search for their mutual friend, photojournalist Gray Banick who was last seen in July 199 ...more
Gaby
Oct 01, 2009 Gaby rated it really liked it
Synopsis:

In 1999 Lian Jiang is surprised by a letter from Emil Todorovic in Bosnia-Herzegovina about Gray Banick who disappeared in July 1995. Emil has custody of Gray's remaining possessions and since he had spoken of her and written her over the years, Emil considered her his next-of-kin contact. The news comes as a shock. Though she is now married to an up-and-coming Chinese surgeon, Lian is driven to find Gray. She flies to Bosnia and meets up with two other people whose lives Gray Banick ha
...more
Lisa
Oct 19, 2009 Lisa rated it liked it
War is gritty and messy, rarely as glorious as it is in the movies or as sanitized as it can seem from a distance. The Balkan wars in the 1990s — particularly the Serbian “ethnic cleansing” in Bosnia — reached a level of horror Europe hadn’t witnessed in decades. Those horrors reach out and punch readers of “The Evolution of Shadows” right in the gut.
This debut novel by Jason Quinn Malott doesn’t dwell on the fighting, or the mass executions, or the wanton rapes; rather, it intersperses swift, s
...more
Jackie
Oct 19, 2009 Jackie rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jackie by: Caitlin Hamilton Summie
The title phrase comes up as one of the characters describes a sleepless night where "the evolution of shadows" keeps him from knowing what was truly there in the room with him
and what was not. The whisper of that phrase wafts in and out of the narrative of the main characters as they move back and forth in time, experiencing the things that become their shadows, their haunts, their memories. Gray Banick is photographer who plunges into the Bosnian war zone after his heart is broken--and complet
...more
Tattered Cover Book Store
Jackie says:

The title phrase comes up as one of the characters describes a sleepless night where "the evolution of shadows" keeps him from knowing what was truly there in the room with him
and what was not. The whisper of that phrase wafts in and out of the narrative of the main characters as they move back and forth in time, experiencing the things that become their shadows, their haunts, their memories. Gray Banick is photographer who plunges into the Bosnian war zone after his heart is broken-
...more
Sue
Dec 16, 2009 Sue rated it really liked it
After having his heart broken, American photographer Gray Banick travels to Bosnia and into a war zone. Gray’s interpreter Emil, and his mentor Jack, often question Gray about the girl in the picture he carries with him. They know she is the reason he is here, but do not know the story behind his heartbreak. Her name is Lian Zhao and she and Gray were very much in love. Lian, however, wasn’t strong enough to face her parent’s disapproval of Gray so she chose to marry another man. Gray has travel ...more
Chelsea
Jan 16, 2010 Chelsea rated it really liked it
Emil, Jack, and Lian are three very different people who come together with one thing in common: their love of a former lover and colleague named Gray. As a group, they return to Sarajevo to track him down and bring him home. The plot takes place from within war-torn land, thick with the memories of when all three were last there. This setting provides a dark and heavy feel that comes across as oddly refreshing.

Malott has written an engaging and beautiful book that is gripping and yet gentle wit
...more
Linda
Interesting book set in post-war Bosnia. It was an important book for me to have read because it opened my eyes to the reality of the suffering the Bosnians experienced during their war. I was ashamed to admit that I managed to "miss" that conflict in the 1990's, considering it, as I've since learned many others did as well, a local ethnic disagreement.

My book group had the pleasure of talking with the talented young author by conference phone call when we met to discuss the book and his insigh
...more
Rebekah
Jun 03, 2010 Rebekah rated it it was amazing
The story in this debut novel is a trio of people going back to Bosnia after the war to look for their lost, or perhaps dead, colleague/friend/ex-lover). We get cinema-style flashes of everyone’s history, lingering focus on sensual details, and ultimately a completed puzzle of how each character arrived at this point in their life. The book never shies from the brutal realities of both war and love, while masterfully avoiding the maudlin and treacle.
Francis
Sep 03, 2012 Francis rated it really liked it
A well told tale of love, war, separation, death and it's human toll. A story repeatedly told, in many ways and in many times, elegantly recounted, once again. Another war, another story, more tears, more anger, more sins waiting to be avenged.

Just another lesson, ..waiting to be learned.
Jennifer
Jan 25, 2011 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
This was one book I had trouble putting down. It is a love story and a war story. The Bosnian War/Genocide. Parts are very disturbingly graphic and others hauntingly beautiful. A first novel well worth reading.
Sarah Nosworthy
Dec 01, 2015 Sarah Nosworthy rated it liked it
From a young male writer, it shows great research into the 'other' concept for second generation Chinese in the US. It also depicts horrific (fictional but undoubtedly similar happened) rapes and killing fields in Bosnia.
Kara
Aug 01, 2010 Kara rated it really liked it
I found myself falling into this story. I liked that the story being told switches back and forth between the characters.
Lisa
Sep 02, 2009 Lisa rated it really liked it
I couldn't put this one down; I had to find out what happened to these characters. At times the back and forth in time business got confusing but the writing about the war in Bosnia was so haunting.
Autumn
May 02, 2010 Autumn rated it liked it
Three and a half stars, really. The time line jumps around a LOT. Not impossible to follow, but slightly annoying. I did enjoy it overall though.
Kym
Jan 22, 2010 Kym rated it really liked it
The non-linear multi-voice narration made me love this book. It's an incredibly haunting story -- would make a great movie.
Judy
May 22, 2012 Judy rated it liked it
Haunting story encompassing the aftermath of the Bosnian conflict. A bit fractured at times due to the many voices, but a very good read overall. Actually would give it three & a half stars.
Morgan
Morgan rated it really liked it
Apr 04, 2012
Trisha
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Aug 26, 2011
Racine Zackula
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Sep 20, 2011
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Suzanne
Suzanne rated it it was amazing
Sep 26, 2014
Genisee
Genisee rated it really liked it
Jun 29, 2011
Dan
Dan rated it really liked it
Jul 21, 2011
David Gutowski
David Gutowski rated it really liked it
Jul 29, 2009
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