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4.24  ·  Rating details ·  1,086 ratings  ·  298 reviews
From the National Book Award-winning and bestselling author of Let the Great World Spin comes an epic novel rooted in the real-life friendship between two men united by loss.

Colum McCann's most ambitious work to date, Apeirogon--named for a shape with a countably infinite number of sides--is a tour de force concerning friendship, love, loss, and belonging.

Bassam Aramin is
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Published February 25th 2020 by Random House Audio Publishing Group
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Mike The structure allows the narrative of each of the two key characters to be exposed a bit at a time. In addition, the fragmentary nature of the novel…moreThe structure allows the narrative of each of the two key characters to be exposed a bit at a time. In addition, the fragmentary nature of the novel mimics the fragmentary nature of memory, and memory/remembrance is a key theme. I found it extremely effective and moving. (less)
Kjersten Hi! Unfortunately, this book has not been released yet! I believe it should be out sometime in late February. I know some people may have it already…moreHi! Unfortunately, this book has not been released yet! I believe it should be out sometime in late February. I know some people may have it already if they have the advanced reader's copy, which is not for public sale.(less)

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 ·  1,086 ratings  ·  298 reviews

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Angela M
Oct 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Everything about this book is extraordinary. I was not surprised since Colum McCann is one of my favorite writers. Ive read all of his published books. This book though, is different from anything Ive read by him. McCanns words best describe it : This is a hybrid novel with invention at its core, a work of storytelling which, like all storytelling, weaves together elements of speculation, memory, fact, and imagination.... The heart of the book is the real story of Rami Elhanan, an Israeli whose ...more
Feb 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An eye opening epic blend of fact and fiction from Colum McCann, ambitiously structured with its echoes and inspirations of 1001 nights and by the Apeirogon, a shape with a countably infinite number of sides. The non-linear narrative interweaves the tragedies that befall two fathers on different sides of the Israeli-Palestine conflict, and the endless cycle of the horrors and terrors of history repeating itself. Rami Elhanan, an Israeli, lost his daughter, 13 year old Smadar, killed by a suicide ...more
Mar 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Borges said that his despair as a writer came when he was unable to translate the limitless nature of the aleph: that point in space which contained all other points. While some fell back on birds and spheres and angels, he himself was unable to find the metaphor for this timeless repository of everything. Language was successive: it could not, by its nature, be frozen in one place and therefore couldnt catch the sheer simultaneity of all things.
Nevertheless, said Borges, he would recollect
Elyse  Walters
Jan 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not sure yet how to frame my thoughts - but I honestly almost stopped reading completely at 13%!
Until then - I was reading this book diligently- closely - learning and FASCINATED about the migration of birds.
But then... that 13% period came. I actually felt PHYSICALLY SICK with bile in my throat. I thought I was going to vomit. - my body reacted THAT much....

Not sure how to rate it - 5 stars in parts
3 stars in other parts ...

Im left thinking there ARE some books best NOT read - books DEFINITELY
Mar 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Grief is grief. It cannot be measured or weighted, or argued.
Two fathers, two daughters killed by the opposite side, two families shattered, and still the same grief.
'Apeirogon' was a demanding novel for me due to several reasons, the first one being that I had a general understanding of the conflict between Israel and Palestine. Do I know more now? Yes, and not only about the decades of fight, but about life in that region and its history. Mr McCann provides in his unusual narration both the
Feb 11, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I apologize to the people who loved and raved about this book!
It is a first read for me by this author.
Many parts I was very taken with the writing, but the format, and the seemingly random streams of thought..I know they all connected in ways, but damn my head hurts.
I appreciated the story and the sadness of the loss these two men endured, tragically losing both their daughters.. and I also love reading about this part of the world, I just wish it had been in a regular novel type format.
"They seemed the most unlikely of friends, even beyond the obvious, one being Israeli, the other Palestinian."

Rami and Bassam's story is humbling. Centered around the Israeli-Palestine conflict, Rami and Bassam relive the day that each of their daughters died at the hands of a oppressive barrier that has effected more than just a perimeter. After each lose a daughter to violence, they learn to find solace in their grief and overcome the boundaries defined by their government.

Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First 5 star read of 2020!

Perhaps not perfect, but certainly brilliant, thought provoking, emotionally charged and timely.

Apeirogon is not a linear narrative. Told in 1000 short segments, it tells the story of two men who have lost daughters to violence one is Israeli and the other is Palestinian. This is based on a true story. Rami and Bassam are joined together in their grief and through the united project of finding a road to peace. The fragments of McCanns brilliant narrative go back and
Roman Clodia
Feb 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What could cause someone to be that angry, that mad, that desperate, that hopeless, that stupid, that pathetic, that he is willing to blow himself up alongside a girl, not even fourteen years old? How can you possibly understand that instinct? To tear his own body apart? To walk down a busy street and pull the cord on a belt that rips him asunder? How can he think that way? What made him? Where in the world was he created? How did he get that way? Where did he come from? Who taught him this?
Gumble's Yard
Feb 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
Once upon a time . Rami Elhanan, a Jew, a graphic artist father too of the late Smadar, travelled on his motorbike from the suburbs of Jerusalem to the Cremesian monastry in the mainly Christian town of Beit Jala, near Bethlehem, to meet with Bassam Aramin, a Palestinian, a Muslim . father too of the late Abir, ten years old, shot dead by an unnamed Israeli border guard in East Jerusalem, almost a decade after Ramis daughter Smadar, two weeks away from fourteen, was killed in the western part
Feb 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I will start with a disclosure - the edition I read was an uncorrected proof courtesy of my friends at Five Leaves bookshop. Gumble's Yard and Neil have already written excellent detailed reviews so I will try to keep this one short.

This is a book that fully deserves the hype - McCann has dared to write this collage of fact and fiction that challenges all sides in the conflict in Palestine to explore their common humanity.

The book is written in 1001 sections, counting from 1 to 500, 1001 and

4.5 Stars

Apeirogon a shape with a countably infinite number of sides shares the stories of those living through the conflict between Palestine and Israel, through two families whose outlooks and lives were changed when the lives of their two daughters were taken on what began as ordinary days, and ended with two families grieving their loss. The journey that brought them together through their grieving was not an immediate one, or an easy one, but a worthwhile one in the
Mar 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book examines the relationship between the Israelis and the Palestinians through the stories of two fathers. Rami Elhanan is an Israeli whose 13 year old daughter Smadar was murdered by suicide bombers. Bassam Aramin is a Palestinian whose 10 year old daughter Abir was murdered by an Israeli soldier. Both men join a Parents Council of similarly devastated parents. To read this book is to listen to the stories of Bassam and Rami, and to find within their stories another story, a song of ...more
Joy D
I love the fact that our stories can cross all sorts of borders and boundaries. Colum McCann

Set in Jerusalem and surrounding area, each of two fathers, a Palestinian and an Israeli, has lost a daughter to radical violence. United in loss, they become friends and join Combatants for Peace, a bi-national, volunteer based, movement working throughout Palestine and Israel to promote peace. Their friendship is grounded in fact. This book provides insight into how their daily lives are impacted by
Feb 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Before I start this review, I have a confession to make. Other than, Dancer, which I loved, I havent read anything else by Colum McCann. When I came across this on NetGalley, I almost didnt think of requesting it. I have too many books to read and review it was due out fairly soon. I couldnt fit it in. However, when a book calls to you, it calls and, with a lack of self-control which I am prone to, when it comes to the written word, I clicked the button. So, I almost came to miss this book, ...more
Jan 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Diane S ☔
Mar 29, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
DNF at 40%. I tried, I tried more than once, starting over each time. Maybe it is that right now my mind is so scattered that the scattered presentation if this book, made it frustrating. I usually love this author and I understand what he was trying to do with this book, but I finally have thrown in the towel. The repetition, the back and forth narrative, did me in.
Feb 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-stars, 2020
From the acknowledgements:

This is a hybrid novel with invention at its core, a work of storytelling which, like all storytelling, weaves together elements of speculation, memory, fact, and imagination

There is a core story being told in Apeirogon. On 4 September 1997, Smadar Elhanan was killed by a suicide bomber in Jerusalem. On 16 January 2007, Abir Aramin was leaving school with friends in Anata when she was hit in the head by a rubber bullet. She died in hospital. The fathers of these two
Elle Rudy
Nov 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, 2020
Theres an old saying, he said, about how the foreign journalist who travels to the Middle East and stays a week goes home to write a book in which he provides a pat solution to all of its problems. If he stays a month, he writes a magazine or newspaper article filled with ifs, buts and on the other hands. If he stays a year he writes nothing at all. -Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday

No, thats not a quote from Colum McCann, but I came across it on Twitter in the midst of reading Apeirogon and couldnt
I personally do not like this book, so I am giving it one star. This is upsetting to me. In the past I have always relied on good books from Colum McCann.

The story circles around two men, two fathers, Bassam Aramin (a Muslim Arab) and Rami Elhanan (a seventh generation Israeli Jew). Each has lost a daughter to the Israeli Palestinian conflict. Bassam lost his ten-year-old Abir to a rubber bullet fired by an Israeli soldier shooting from the back of a jeep. Rami lost his thirteen-year-old Smadar
Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, 2020
95. Apeirogon: a shape with a countably infinite number of sides.

94. From the Greek,
apeiron: to be boundless, to be endless. Alongside the Indo-European root of per: to try, to risk.

93. As a whole, an apeirogon approaches the shape of a circle, but a magnified view of a small piece appears to be a straight line. One can finally arrive at any point within the whole. Anywhere is reachable. Anything is possible. At the same time, the entirety of the shape is complicit.

Sometimes it feels like
An unique presentation of a heartbreaking story, with the Israeli/Palestinian conflict as a backdrop, that will open your eyes and touch your heart.

These two men are the most unlikely of friends. Rami Elhanan is Israeli, a Jew and the father of a thirteen-year-old daughter. Bassam Aramin is Palestinian, a Muslin, an Arab and the father of a ten-year-old daughter. These two fathers lives intersect when they became members of the Parents Circle, the kind of club no parent wants to be a
I chose to listen to Colum McCanns Apeirogon which is narrated by him. I felt that I wanted to get his voice interpretation of his own work. The narrator always adds a layer to a story and McCanns voice is melodic at times, emotional, and captivating.

This will be on many Best of 2020 lists. This is a 1001 chapter novel that centers around the organization Combatants for Peace which is an organization for peace in the occupation of Palestine and The Parents Circle-Families Forum which is a
Kasa Cotugno
Israeli Rami Elhanan and Palestinian Bassam Aramin have both lost their beloved daughters in the seemingly unending warzone of disputed land in Israel. Colum McCann takes his title, Apeirogon, from a multifaceted shape of countable infinite sides, which still makes my brain hurt just thinking about. But repeatedly it reverts to the day in 1997 when Rami's daughter 13-year-old Smadar is killed by suicide (or homicide if you will) bombers, and 10 years later when 10-year-old Abir is felled by a ...more
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing

Apeirogon is a shape with infinite sides and angles to it. Thus is the endless conflict that takes place between Israel and Palestine for as long as I can remember. In this stunning story that is both multifaceted drawn from both fiction and facts comes an unlikely friendship between two friends from opposite countries rooted together drawn by love, unimaginable loss and the desire to spread their commonalities as often as they can to try to spread peace wherever they
Tom Mooney
Feb 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a tremendous work of art, an original feat of storytelling, a tome to admire, a humbling reading experience. Colum McCann has created something new by recreating lots of old things.

This is a novel in name only (in fact, the addition of A Novel to the title is in itself tongue in cheek.) It is novel, history, politics, reportage, short story, nature writing, memoir, biography and more. It is glorious. And yet it is flawed. It's too long by 1/3 at least.

The story, in some ways, is simple.
Mar 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Apeirogon: a countably infinite number of sides."

Apeirogon is not only the title of Colum McCanns latest masterpiece, it also describes the intricate subject of the book and is an apt description of the book itself. Im not even sure where or how to begin describing this book, other than by its title.

Its a novel, but not in any form thats easily recognizable; its a story broken into over 1000 (theyre numbered) moments which vary from a single line or image to multi-page single paragraphs.
Susan Johnson
Feb 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: net-galley
This was a difficult read for me in many ways. It is hard to read for both subject matter and the style of reading. The writing is a stream of conscious that flits around. Some chapters are extremely short and some aren't. The chapters shift from an Israeli who has lost his young daughter to senseless violence to a Palestine who lost his young daughter to senseless violence to a support group they both belong to. If that's not confusing enough there are chapters about birds thrown in.

Melodie Pennington
*I received an advance copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review*

Sometimes you open a book, and at first you don't feel like you 'get' it. But there's a nagging feeling that you really should continue. And it becomes one of the books you think everyone should read in your life.

Aperiogon is a complex read. It requires a lot of background knowledge regarding the conflict in Palestine. I learned a LOT through reading this book and through searching the internet for
Mar 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It will not be over until we talk

What a beautiful book. I was captivated by this story and the real-life characters: a Palestinian studying the Holocaust and an Israeli protesting the Occupation. Gives you hope....especially in times like today.

I know some wont like the style of delivery but I loved the non-linear nature and the short, almost staccato, random pieces of information and delivery.

Highly recommended.
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Colum McCann is the author of three collections of short stories and six novels, including "Apeirogon," due to be published in Spring 2020. His other books include "TransAtlantic," "Let the Great World Spin," "This Side of Brightness,""Dancer" and Zoli, all of which were international best-sellers.

Let the Great World Spin won the National

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