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Warlight
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August 2018: Espionage > Warlight - Ondaatje - 5 stars

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Jgrace | 3112 comments Warlight - Ondaatje
5 stars

As we all know, this one is on the Booker long list. It is also one of the books that President Obama had on his summer reading list. As part of his Facebook recommendation, the President says Warlight is "a meditation on the lingering effects of war on family". Yes, that sums it up. I’m having a hard time thinking of anything else that I could say about it.

“ In 1945 our parents went away and left us in the care of two men who may have been criminals.”

That first line reminded me of the first line in Richard Ford’s Canada. For a while, it set me up to compare the two books. There are some similarities; abandoned teenage siblings placed in the questionable care of questionable adults. The comparison dropped away as I became immersed in Nathaniel’s thoughts and distorted memories as he tried to uncover his mother’s secret past.

Nathaniel knows he’s an unreliable narrator. “We order our lives with barely held stories. As if we have been lost in a confusing landscape, gathering what was invisible and unspoken -”
The storytelling is disjointed. It takes some effort to put the pieces together. But, the language if beautiful. I love the way Ondaatje writes. It’s like listening to music.


Jeremiah Cunningham | 717 comments Wonderful review.


Michael (mike999) | 569 comments Yeah, nice review, with its laser light on a few critical angles.


Jgrace | 3112 comments :) Thank you, gentlemen. I might have had more to say if you both hadn't already said it better.


Booknblues | 6893 comments I love that you were able to capture some of the essence of the book that I missed.

It seems that with each new review, I learn more about this book.


Jgrace | 3112 comments With so many people reading this book this month, I stopped reading reviews until I finished it. ( Hard to do. I felt I was locking myself out of PBT) First thing I did after the last page was to read all the reviews and comments. Then I had to go back and reread big chunks of the book.


KateNZ | 2677 comments Lovely review


Susie | 4488 comments Great review.


message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

Good review. This book seems to be loved by many. I've seen some great reviews.


message 10: by Sue (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sue | 1404 comments This one is on my To Read list. Thanks for the review. I may need to move this up.


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