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Warlight

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From the internationally acclaimed, best-selling author of The English Patient: a mesmerizing new novel that tells a dramatic story set in the decade after World War II through the lives of a small group of unexpected characters and two teenagers whose lives are indelibly shaped by their unwitting involvement.


In a narrative as beguiling and mysterious as memory itself--shadowed and luminous at once--we read the story of fourteen-year-old Nathaniel, and his older sister, Rachel. In 1945, just after World War II, they stay behind in London when their parents move to Singapore, leaving them in the care of a mysterious figure named The Moth. They suspect he might be a criminal, and they grow both more convinced and less concerned as they come to know his eccentric crew of friends: men and women joined by a shared history of unspecified service during the war, all of whom seem, in some way, determined now to protect, and educate (in rather unusual ways) Rachel and Nathaniel. But are they really what and who they claim to be? And what does it mean when the siblings' mother returns after months of silence without their father, explaining nothing, excusing nothing? A dozen years later, Nathaniel begins to uncover all that he didn't know and understand in that time, and it is this journey--through facts, recollection, and imagination--that he narrates in this masterwork from one of the great writers of our time.
Rezension
"Warlight is a quiet new masterpiece from Michael Ondaatje...An elegiac thriller [with] the immediate allure of a dark fairy tale. In Warlight, all is illuminated, at first dimly then starkly, but always brilliantly." -Anna Mundow, The Washington Post

"If writers are cartographers of the heart, Michael Ondaatje's oeuvre could fill an atlas. . . [he] evokes a kaleidoscope of ideas and moods with exquisite lyricism...Warlight is an intricate ballet of longing and deception, and a singular ode to the mother-child bond." -Hamilton Cain, O Magazine

"[Ondaatje] casts a magical spell, as he takes you into his half-lit world of war and love, death and loss, and the dark waterways of the past." -Hermione Lee, New York Review of Books

"Mr. Ondaatje has stepped into John de la Carré's world of spies and criminals...his novel views history as a child would, in ignorance but also innocence and wonder." -Sam Sacks, WSJ

"[An] intricate and absorbing novel. . . . This is a book rich with detail. The reader is bound to be conscious of a hidden ballast of research, the seven-eighths of the iceberg without which the thing would founder, but so deft is the writing that you forget this, simply appreciating the meticulous background that brings alive a time and a place. -Penelope Lively, The New York Times Book Review

"A tender coming of age story so warmly delivered you almost forget how much of its plot involves smuggling, spycraft, and assassins...the novel becomes at once a mystery tale and an exploration into how much of our lives are out of our control, especially in wartime." -Mark Athitakis, The Minneapolis Star Tribune

"Michael Ondaatje's novel Warlight is a masterpiece of shifting memory... a book made lush through layers of experience instead of description." -Bethanne Patrick, The San Diego Union-Tribune

"[A] haunting, brilliant novel from Ondaatje...Mesmerizing from the first sentence, rife with poignant insights and satisfying subplots, this novel about secrets and loss may be Ondaatje's best work yet." -Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"A lyrical mystery that plays out in the shadow of World War II...Ondaatje's shrewd character study plays out in a smart, sophisticated drama, one worth the long wait for fans of wartime intrigue." -Kirkus Review (starred review)

Portrait
MICHAEL ONDAATJE is the author of several award-winning novels, as well as a memoir, a nonfiction book on film, and several books of poetry. Among other accolades, his novel The English Patient won the Booker Prize, and Anil's Ghost won the Irish Times International Fiction Prize, the Giller prize, and the Prix Médicis. Born in Sri Lanka, Michael Ondaatje lives in Toronto, Canada.
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  • Excerpted from Chapter 1

    In 1945 our parents went away and left us in the care of two men who may have been criminals. We were living on a street in London called Ruvigny Gardens, and one morning either our mother or our father suggested that after breakfast the family have a talk, and they told us that they would be leaving us and going to Singapore for a year. Not too long, they said, but it would not be a brief trip either. We would of course be well cared for in their absence. I remember our father was sitting on one of those uncomfortable iron garden chairs as he broke the news, while our mother, in a summer dress just behind his shoulder, watched how we responded. After a while she took my sister Rachel's hand and held it against her waist, as if she could give it warmth.

    Neither Rachel nor I said a word. We stared at our father, who was expanding on the details of their flight on the new Avro Tudor I, a descendant of the Lancaster bomber, which could cruise at more than three hundred miles an hour. They would have to land and change planes at least twice before arriving at their destination. He explained he had been promoted to take over the Unilever office in Asia, a step up in his career. It would be good for us all. He spoke seriously and our mother turned away at some point to look at her August garden. After my father had finished talking, seeing that I was confused, she came over to me and ran her fingers like a comb through my hair.

    I was fourteen at the time, and Rachel nearly sixteen, and they told us we would be looked after in the holidays by a guardian, as our mother called him. They referred to him as a colleague. We had already met him-we used to call him "The Moth," a name we had invented. Ours was a family with a habit for nicknames, which meant it was also a family of disguises. Rachel had already told me she suspected he worked as a criminal.

    The arrangement appeared strange, but life still was haphazard and confusing during that period after the war; so what had been suggested did not feel unusual. We accepted the decision, as children do, and The Moth, who had recently become our third-floor lodger, a humble man, large but moth-like in his shy movements, was to be the solution. Our parents must have assumed he was reliable. As to whether The Moth's criminality was evident to them, we were not sure.

    I suppose there had once been an attempt to make us a tightly knit family. Now and then my father let me accompany him to the Unilever offices, which were deserted during weekends and bank holidays, and while he was busy I'd wander through what seemed an abandoned world on the twelfth floor of the building. I discovered all the office drawers were locked. There was nothing in the wastepaper baskets, no pictures on the walls, although one wall in his office held a large relief map depicting the company's foreign locations. Mombasa, the Cocos Islands, Indonesia. And nearer to home, Trieste, Heliopolis, Benghazi, Alexandria, cities that cordoned o the Mediterranean, locations I assumed were under my father's authority. Here was where they booked holds on the hundreds of ships that travelled back and forth to the East. The lights on the map that identified those cities and ports were unlit during the weekends, in darkness much like those far outposts.

    At the last moment it was decided our mother would remain behind for the final weeks of the summer to oversee the arrangements for the lodger's care over us, and ready us for our new boarding schools. On the Saturday before he flew alone towards that distant world, I accompanied my father once more to the office near Curzon Street. He had suggested a long walk, since, he said, for the next few days his body would be humbled on a plane. So we caught a bus to the Natural History Museum, then walked up through Hyde Park into Mayfair. He was unusually eager and cheerful, singing the lines Homespun collars, homespun hear
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Beschreibung

Produktdetails

Einband Taschenbuch
Seitenzahl 304
Erscheinungsdatum 02.04.2019
Sprache Englisch
ISBN 978-0-525-56686-1
Verlag Random House LCC US
Maße (L/B/H) 17.5/11.2/2.5 cm
Gewicht 152 g
Verkaufsrang 6855
Buch (Taschenbuch, Englisch)
Buch (Taschenbuch, Englisch)
Fr. 11.90
Fr. 11.90
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inkl. gesetzl. MwSt.
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Kostenlose Lieferung ab Fr.  30 i
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This dramatic Family novel plays shortly after World War II... Two teenagers are left behind by their parents. Later, as adults, they begin to understand what happend back then...