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The New Odyssey: The Story of Europe's Refugee Crisis

4.43  ·  Rating details ·  969 ratings  ·  156 reviews
Europe is facing a wave of migration unmatched since the end of World War II - and no one has reported on this crisis in more depth or breadth than The Guardian's migration correspondent, Patrick Kingsley. Throughout 2015, Kingsley traveled to 17 countries along the migrant trail, meeting hundreds of refugees making epic odysseys across deserts, seas and mountains to reach ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published May 5th 2016 by Guardian Faber Publishing (first published May 3rd 2016)
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Ron Turner This book focuses on the European angle. Migrants crossing by boat from Libya and Turkey to reach Italy and Greece. Then trying to find their way from…moreThis book focuses on the European angle. Migrants crossing by boat from Libya and Turkey to reach Italy and Greece. Then trying to find their way from there to safe havens in Germany and Sweden. But it IS a global issue. North America, Europe and Australia are all struggling to maintain their borders against an overwhelming tide of refugees. (less)

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Mikey B.
The author gives us a personal story of migrants/refugees from war-torn and severely repressive regimes. By using this individualistic approach we come to realize fully why these people leave their homeland and undertake a hazardous journey. Their homes were destroyed; some were beaten and imprisoned. In Syria, as the author explains, after years of civil war there is little left of infrastructure – no schools and hospitals. Blockades and sectarian violence are growing daily. So, to seek a ...more
Book Riot Community
In The New Odyssey, the Guardian’s first migration correspondent offers a panoramic view of the European refugee crisis. In the course of researching this book he traveled to seventeen countries and spoke with refugees, smugglers, coast guard officials, and ordinary citizens providing aid to migrants in need. Instead of focusing on Syrian refugees alone, Kingsley also looks at the vast numbers of refugees coming from countries like Afghanistan, Eritrea, and Somalia. Thought-provoking and moving ...more
Stella
May 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is too important not to read
Read it for the history, the real lives, the insight into the European refugee crisis. Powerful and informative writing that deserves to win awards.
If you read one book this year, make it this one.
Go on, go and get a copy then pass your copy onto others
Susan
Sep 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the news story that has dominated European news programmes for the last few months; the migrant crisis. I have witnessed endless stories of those attempting to cross the water in flimsy dingies or trudging across Europe to try to get to their final destination – in Hashem’s case, he is making for Sweden. This story has divided people, has been used by political parties and has, ultimately, played a large part in dividing my own country from the EU. Yet, although I have seen so many news ...more
John
May 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Patrick Kingsley is the Guardian’s migration correspondent, who as well as telling the story of recent migration to Europe in the newspaper has now produced an enthralling book, The New Odyssey, which is also bang up to date. Anyone who wants to know why people leave Syria, or Eritrea, or risk the crossing of the Sahara desert, should read it. For most migrants their journeys last months or even years, for others they are shorter; for very few will they be easy and for the majority there will be ...more
Katherine
Definitely one of the most important, best books I've read this year. It is written in a very accessible way (though the content is tough to process sometimes) and the author is obviously speaking from a thoroughly researched position (and from experience, as he has made many treks with refugees). The story of the one specific refugee that is woven through out the entire book was well chosen, I think, because he is a middle-aged male traveling alone, something that many Westerners have put down ...more
Coenraad
Feb 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: boekwurms
Kingsley’s account of the migrant crisis is moving ánd informative. The impact is increased by the focus on individual migrants / refugees: it is true that the fate of thousands is statistics, while the fate of one is (depending on circumstances) a tragedy, or at least a narrative with a character for whom a reader wants to take to heart. The narrative element is constructed well and varied to keep the reader inquisitive. Kingsley is very clear about his view of the best solution under the ...more
Michelle
This is a powerful book. Kingsley, the migration reporter for the Guardian, not only gathers information from 21st century refugees but follows along with them, suffers with them, and then presents this compelling argument--They are going to come. We can do this easier or harder. We can keep refusing to organize and find permanent solutions for the needy around us, or we can stay in crisis mode because THEY ARE GOING TO KEEP COMING. They see themselves as having no other options. This was very ...more
Melissa Fleming
Dec 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Patrick Kingsley knows the Europe refugee crisis like no other journalist. And he takes the time to meet the people who risk their lives on journeys no one would take unless they were desperate. He chronicles their voyages and allows the reader to get to know the characters - the refugees and the unscrupulous smugglers who exploit them, leading far to may to their drowning deaths.
Chris
Oct 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Interesting. Moving. Heartbreaking. Educational. Saddening. Uplifting. What a beautiful and enlightening book, definitely a great way to learn more about the refugee crisis. I might write a full review about this soon.
Koen
Jun 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
So yeah, this one hit a nerve with me. Kingsley is The Guardian's migration correspondent and has been at the front line of the current 'migration crisis' and he has been there since before it became the 'migration crisis' all over Europe somewhere during 2015.

Kingsley gives us a rare up close and personal view of the people, the PEOPLE we all swoop up under collective aliases like 'refugees', 'economic migrants', 'asylum seekers'. (Contradicting the title of the book Kingsley makes a valid
...more
Chris
Aug 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating look at migration crisis in Europe from the first hand perspective of Patrick Kingsley and those with whom he traveled on their journeys from the Middle East and North Africa. The story follows a number of individual accounts of people and families as they navigate deserts, oceans, and eventually the literal and figurative boundaries of southern and Eastern Europe via the help of smugglers and of their own ingenuity.

Kingsley's tone is at time biased in favor of those he is
...more
Mack Hayden
Apr 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: world, politics
What a powerful narrative. The duress so many Middle Eastern refugees are put through to have a chance at a better life is staggering and it's relayed in kaleidoscopic detail here. Not to mention, the whole thing reads as an adventure story; the title makes me think that's intentional. There are people smugglers, shipwrecks, anxious treks through woods and across borders, wartorn homelands and scared European 'villagers'. Kingsley doesn't just want you to think of refugees and migrants as people ...more
Bryn
Jun 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
We should all be reading this book! It shares the human side of the current migration crisis that has hit Europe, by following certain refugees during their journeys from both Africa and Syria/Iraq/Afghanistan; the refugees are from families much like our own, just with the misfortune of being in a different country. These people are risking their lives, fleeing from hardships and oppression and cruelty that we can't even fathom. What really stands out in reading this book is HOW MUCH it costs ...more
JoEllen
Feb 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Everyone should read this book. Period.

With all of the conversations swirling about the refugee crisis, this book paints a vivid picture that few people fully understand. The author gives insight into who these people are, where they are coming from (not just Syria), the situations they are trying so desperately to escape, and their long and risky journeys as they seek safety in Europe. He talks about missed opportunities and missteps by government organizations in Europe, the US and the Middle
...more
Dan R. Celhay
Nov 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Nice read regarding the situation that currently seems not to be getting any better. The journey people make from Syria and other countries like Erythrea is nightmarish, the book focus specially in explaining why they choose to do that, marking the difference between a "refugee" and "economic migrant" the later, is the one with negative connotations.

Since the conflicts the refugees are fleeing from seem not to ever cease, the amount of people crossing to Europe either Hard-Mode: through the
...more
Jonathan
Jan 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
I ordered this book a month or so ago, and it appeared in the library the day of Trump's Muslim ban--quite the coincidence. The book is highly topical to current debates in the US, even if it's focus is on Europe. Kingsley humanizes the people fleeing violence and repression in Syria and other countries in the MENA region, underscoring the dangers they would have to face in order to take the risks that they do. He also enriches the personalized narratives with contextual information about ...more
Rj
Oct 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
An important book for anyone who wants to understand the depth of the refugee crisis in Europe. Kingsley a journalist with The Guardian traces the travels of refugees from the Middle East and Africa following them along their journeys and the hurdles they face to escape death in their home countries. He strips away imagined ideas about these people bringing them to life by using b their stories to show why people tackle such dangerous journeys for a chance to survive in some where safe.
Ray
Jun 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great read on refugee situation

Wow... what a great read on the refugee situation! My heart aches for these people. What I appreciated most about this book is hearing first hand from refugees why they are leaving their home countries. It's very eye opening. Everyone would do go to read this book to get a better and accurate understanding on the refugee situation. Great read and great book!
SpaceBear
A useful primer on the study for those who do not know much about it. Not especially deep or insightful, and the writing is a bit immature at times (e.g. frequently referring to politicians as 'wonks').
Diann
Jul 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, middle-east
A snapshot into the current refugee crisis, told from differing perspectives and participants. It is very well written and easy to understand this very complicated, political situation. A good starting point for anyone wanting to better understand the global Refugee crisis.
Patti
May 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, islam
This was an extremely humane treatment of an inhumane situation. The book goes into details about the atrocities of the countries most of the migrants are fleeing along with the atrocities they must endure along their journey to freedom and peace.
Aneta
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Essential reading for all human beings.
Dogwlkr2
Feb 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book really opened my eyes to the parallels between, not only the exodus from the Holocaust that Kingsley references, but to the current situation in the USA. Trump refers to the refugees from Venezuela as caravans, rapist and murderers. This is the fear tactic that is used to close borders withomut resolving the situation. The US has the resources and principles to absorbs hundreds of thousands of immigrants. Everyone should read this book and be more like the Kempsons who want to help, ...more
Tanya
The refugee crisis in Europe is perhaps the biggest story of the decade, and I've long wanted to find out more details. The difficult part is that this is history in the making, and in just the time it takes to put words to paper, the story is already outdated. Kingsley finished his book in 2016, only 2 years ago, but well over half a million more people have migrated into Europe since publication.

I loved the way The New Odyssey was both exhaustively researched journalistic non-fiction and a
...more
Katie
Nov 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
Let me put it this way: if you read this book and STILL have no empathy for the plight of refugees, you are not a person.
Angela
Jun 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook, italia
Important topic, so-so writing. I read this hoping to get a better understanding of the refugee crisis, and hoping to arm myself for arguments with my Salvini-voting xenophobic Italian fam. Unfortunately, this book certainly panders to me - as someone who believes the European handling of the refugee crisis has been generally terrible, the xenophobia is terrible, and immigrants bring, on average, more benefits than costs - but it didn't give me much new info. And I don't think I have enough info ...more
Christy
Jan 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
The book is divided into alternating chapters: one throughline tells the story of Hashem al-Souki's journey from Syria to Europe while the other half of the book is more big-picture. This half of the book provides a larger context for Hashem’s journey – the political and economic realities that drove the mass migration as well as the decisions and factors that influenced the routes chosen by the refugees. He includes the stories of other refugees – Syrians, Eritreans, Ghanians, Iraqis, and ...more
victor harris
Feb 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Although there are refugees from numerous countries seeing asylum from war-torn or impoverished regions, the largest and biggest headline grabbing group is currently the Syrians. Terminology, or if you prefer, semantics are important. A migrant is of a different status than a refugee. Built on first person accounts, Kingsley analyzes the turmoil as he follows the path of refugees on their harrowing journey into Europe, smugglers from Libya and Egypt who abet them, and humanitarian inclined ...more
Mari LivTollefsonCarlson
Jun 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
In THE NEW ODYSSEY:THE STORY OF THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY REFUGEE CRISIS, journalist Patrick Kingsley follows one Syrian refugee, Hashem Al-Souki, as well as a host of other asylum seekers entering Europe from north Africa, Greece, and Eastern Europe. He highlights both the individual story and the international phenomenon facing us today. Kingsley became the Guardian’s inaugural migration correspondent at a time when the crisis was just reaching its height. He bears witness to the events - ...more
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Patrick Kingsley is a foreign correspondent for the New York Times, and was previously the Guardian’s inaugural migration correspondent. An award-winning journalist, he has reported from more than twenty-five countries and is the author of THE NEW ODYSSEY and HOW TO BE DANISH.
“Europe, he says, is frightened that an influx of foreigners will erode European values. But what values will there to be uphold if we abandon our duty to protect those less fortunate than ourselves? Wat incentive do we give to refugees to maintain the fabric of our society if that fabric is so ragged in the first place? "If Europe is not able to show a better way of life to them, then they will think that their morality is better than ours."

"They need to face some higher standards of morality, " he says. "If not, they will set their own."

[Quoting Serbian priest Tibor Varga]”
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“The choice is not between the current crisis and blissful isolation. The choice is between the current crisis and an orderly, managed system of mass migration. You can have one or the other. There is no easy middle ground” 3 likes
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