Warlight

Warlight

A Novel

Book - 2018
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Decades after World War II, Nathaniel Williams reflects on his experiences in 1945, when his parents left him and his sister in the care of a mysterious neighbor.
Just after World War II, Nathaniel and his older sister Rachel stay behind in London when their parents move to Singapore, leaving them in the care of a mysterious figure named The Moth and his eccentric crew of friends. These friends are 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 Rachel and Nathaniel. Their mother returns after months of silence-- without their father, explaining nothing. A dozen years later, Nathaniel begins to uncover all that he didn't know and understand in that time.
Publisher: New York :, Alfred A. Knopf,, 2018
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9780525521198
0525521194
Characteristics: 289 pages ; 22 cm

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n
nalahblueberry5
Apr 05, 2019

Gives you a good feel for living in a time of war where things are not real cut and dried. Some beautiful imagery. I like Ondaatje.

p
poodlegirl
Mar 04, 2019

This might be the only book I've ever given 2 stars to. It was excruciatingly SLOW! Not a spoiler but only the ending was interesting to me...and, not that much.

j
jeanie123
Feb 21, 2019

I have always loved Michael Ondaatje's beautiful style and the rolling rhythm of his poetry and prose. This book certainly did not fall short of the mastery I expect from him. The story is intriguing and heartbreaking in turns and it reveals itself like eating an artichoke; layer after layer of toughness and tenderness. The titular theme of warlight is pervasive throughout the book and the imagery of misty, foggy London in the blackout of the war is such a great mirror for the underbelly worlds of crime and espionage.

p
psharpe
Feb 06, 2019

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

2
21221018293347
Jan 26, 2019

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

b
booknrrd
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.

k
KhalilNouri
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.

j
jmreid1220
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.

p
PeterWMC
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.

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SZorn
Jul 24, 2018

SZorn thinks this title is suitable for 20 years and over

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