Warlight (Paperback)
  • Warlight (Paperback)
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Warlight (Paperback)

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£9.99
Paperback 304 Pages
Published: 04/04/2019
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Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2018.

In his first novel since The Cat’s Table, Michael Ondaatje relates a story of lives built and undone in the closing hours and long aftermath of the Second World War.

‘The ending of wars is always kind of a treacherous time… all these deals are being made, contracts are being signed… all those hidden things that go on.’ – Michael Ondaatje, Interviewed in The Toronto Star.

In a narrative as mysterious as memory itself - at once both shadowed and luminous - Warlight is a vivid, thrilling novel of violence and love, intrigue and desire.

It is 1945, and London is still reeling from the Blitz and years of war. 14-year-old Nathaniel and his sister, Rachel, are apparently abandoned by their parents, left in the care of an enigmatic figure named The Moth.

They suspect he might be a criminal, and grow both more convinced and less concerned as they get to know his eccentric crew of friends: men and women with a shared history, all of whom seem determined now to protect, and educate (in rather unusual ways) Rachel and Nathaniel. But are they really what and who they claim to be?

A dozen years later, Nathaniel begins to uncover all he didn't know or understand in that time, and it is this journey - through reality, recollection, and imagination - that is told in this magnificent novel.

Dickensian in its scope and ambition Warlight returns to many of the themes that inhabited Michael Ondaatje’s Man Booker Prize-winning novel The English Patient. The result is an intensely affecting novel of memory and fragmented identity set at a pivotal historic moment of flux.

Publisher: Vintage Publishing
ISBN: 9781784708344
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 213 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 19 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

Our book of the year – and maybe of Ondaatje's career. - Daily Telegraph Books of the Year**

Michael Ondaatje’s Warlight is a rare and beautiful thing – a deeply retrospective novel about war secrets that feels neither overstated nor overly ethereal. In sumptuous prose, Ondaatje limns the psyche of a man still trying to make sense of his complicated relationships and the mysteries surrounding his absent parents. One of the most absorbing books I’ve read all year. - Esi Edugyan, Times Literary Supplement Books of the Year 2018**

Warlight sucked me in deeper than any novel I can remember… fiction as rich, as beautiful, as melancholy as life itself. - Alex Preston, Observer

From the very first sentence you’re desperate to find out what happens next… All is slowly, tantalisingly revealed, in flashbacks, fragments, digressions and stories within stories, narrated in majestic Ondaatjean style. - Ian Sansom, New Statesman

In Warlight we have a writer who knows exactly what he’s doing – 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. - Sam Leith, Daily Telegraph

The latest novel from the author of The English Patient is just glorious... rendered with Dickensian verve. My hot tip for the Booker Prize. - Allison Pearson, Harpers Bazaar

Ondaatje’s first novel in seven years mesmerizes from start to finish. - Hephzibah Anderson, Mail on Sunday

I spend the months before the publication of a new Michael Ondaatje novel trying to keep my expectations in check, telling myself it's simply unfair to expect as much of any writer as I expect from Ondaatje. Then he pulls off a Warlight, and I'm embarrassed by my own lack of faith... [Warlight] is surprising, delightful, heartbreaking and written as only Ondaatje could write it. - Kamila Shamsie, Observer

Compulsively and grippingly readable. In fact I read it first at a gallop, enthralled by the image of a city and a world distorted and all but destroyed by war, and then again slowly, determined to savour the details and extract as much as I could from it. Much remained puzzling on this second reading, but two things are clear: Michael Ondaatje is a marvellous writer, and Warlight is a novel which will continue to play in the reader’s imagination. - Allan Massie, Scotsman

Ondaatje [is] such a thrilling writer… I loved [Warlight]. - Johanna Thomas-Corr, Evening Standard

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“A truly marvellous book...”

I loved the opening line of this book, “ In 1945 our parents went away and left us in the care of two men who may have been criminals. “

The world “warlight” means murky shrouded light and it is the perfect title for... More

Hardback edition
3 similar books recommended
Helpful? Upvote 95
miss.mesmerized

“Warlight”

Rachel and Nathaniel were still teenagers when immediately after WW II their parents packed to leave the country. The kids were supposed to attend boarding school after summer break, but only a few days after the... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 47

“Intriguing and shifting in the shadows”

I had read reviews of this book that were less than enthusiastic, however I was soon drawn into the shadow of this story.

Two children are left by their parents when they allegedly travel to Asia post war in 1945.... More

Hardback edition
6 similar books recommended
Helpful? Upvote 46

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