Book - 2018
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"From the internationally acclaimed, bestselling 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."--
Publisher: Toronto : McClelland and Stewart, ©2018.
ISBN: 9780771073786
Characteristics: 289 pages ;,22 cm.


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From the internationally acclaimed, bestselling 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... Read More »

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Feb 06, 2019

I loved this book. At one point I realized I didn't want it to end.

Jan 26, 2019

I tried this book twice and just couldn't get into the rhythm of it.

Jan 16, 2019

In Warlight, a man recalls how when he was a teenager, after WWII was over, his parents left him and his sister ostensibly for a year. His father's job was taking him to Singapore, and the kids were to remain in London in boarding school. Their third floor lodger, who Nathaniel and Rachel call "The Moth", is to be their holiday caregiver and point person in London. The parents depart. Nathaniel and his sister hate boarding at school and decide to live with the lodger. Nathaniel finds evidence that maybe their mother didn't go with their father to Singapore. It is very mysterious, and the lodger is somewhat mysterious and his friends are interesting. Slowly it becomes clear that their mother is involved in something or was involved in something during the war. Things come to a head. In the second half of the novel, Nathaniel is an adult trying to find out more about his mother's wartime activities.

Warlight refers to the dim light used to guide traffic in times of war, and is a perfect title for this moodily lit novel. When I first finished this, I was just relieved to be done. It was beautifully written, but left me cold. Over the last couple days though it has grown on me. The prose does seem pretentious at times, but it is wonderfully atmospheric. Its reflections on the nature of memory reminded me of Julian Barnes's The Sense of an Ending. The WWII spy angle reminded me of Transcription by Kate Atkinson.

Dec 30, 2018

Very well written literary book -- the author Ondaatje has deeply gone into the minds of the characters and extreacted their thoughts.
This book can be of use for both "Nasrullah Visiting Queen Victoria" and "Milk for Two"
The writing in both books must extract the realistic thoughts of Amir Abdul Rahman Khan and other characters as how they lived and thought during their day to day lives.
Keep this in shelf for further checkouts.

Dec 29, 2018

One of Obama's Top Books of 2018

ArapahoeAnnaL Dec 03, 2018

I was fascinated by the role of the British Secret Service during and after WWII and by the strong, eccentric characters.

Oct 29, 2018

Brilliant story. Begins with a childhood mystery which resolves in a very satisfactory way. Superb writing. Captures post war UK, where I spent my childhood, very well. Recommended.

Oct 26, 2018

Ondaatje’s opening sentence is one of the outstanding first words of a novel. Being left in the care of strangers after World War II in London, a brother and a sister, lead any unusual life, and it isn’t until their teen and adult lives are the puzzle pieces put together.

DPL_Graham Oct 24, 2018

Have you ever tried to clearly remember your childhood friends and the distinct individuals you saw day-to-day? People who would come and go for reasons that were beyond your understanding? In childhood, the people surrounding us are often painted as caricatures in our mind and it is only later in life that we start to think of them as real people and not puppet moving on a stage around us. Then, we often just remember fleeting stories and moments that stand the test of time and affect us deep into adulthood.

The fog of war drifts in and out during “Warlight”, a masterful piece of almost historical fiction. Lose yourself in dreamy landscapes, darkness, smuggling, mystery and danger that always follows but rarely reveals itself in post-WWII London.

Nathaniel and his sister Rachel find themselves parentless and lost to the traditional world. Their mother packs a trunk to leave for some unknown destination. Mother seems to be there and yet gone, somewhere, with fleeting moving and returning but always at the peripheral. Nathaniel's world is filled with nicknames, "The Moth" and "The Darter." He moves over strange roads and waterways, surrounded by darkness and greyhounds and wondering about his mother's whereabouts. He is guided by criminally interesting individuals instead of parents as he grows.

Everything is cast in dream-like "Warlight" that illuminates sharply but leaves long sections of shadow for every article that has light cast upon it. The beautiful prose and compelling vignettes make Nathaniel’s life as a child, and then as a young man, discovering the truth of his past hard to put down and difficult to stop pondering. Michael Ondaatje shows why he is a master of the literary fiction craft in this beautiful novel.

Oct 23, 2018

I found the novel frustrating to read in that he goes back and forth in time far too often. I know that this format is very trendy now it gets on my nerves! Perhaps it would be easier to understand if he put dates (years) on his chapter titles! I enjoyed the first part of the novel much more than the latter parts (it needs editing).

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Jul 24, 2018

SZorn thinks this title is suitable for 20 years and over


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