Leave the World Behind

Leave the World Behind

A Novel

Large Print - 2020 | First Harper Large Print edition.
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Apr 16, 2021

I almost DNF'ed this little book because it was so weird. I couldn't tell if it was being ironic or ridiculous or if the odd narrative was a style choice or social commentary. I wasn't even sure what genre it was trying to be. I'm so glad I let go and allowed it to be what it was-- calculated and exceptional and unexpected and comedic and honest. And deeply unsettling and yes, weird. Outstanding.

Apr 11, 2021

I was very disappointed in this book. After reading all the hype about it and hearing an interview with the author, it disappointed me. I finished it because it was short and I hoped that something would happen that would make it meaningful. I found the writing cliched and flat and neither the characters nor the plot had any depth. It's also depressing so not recommended to read during a pandemic.

Apr 08, 2021

I would have liked this book more if not for the abrupt ending.

Apr 05, 2021

I was not a fan of this book, even after reading several reviews to get a better idea of why it was reviewed so well. I didn't feel any of the characters had any depth or even much compassion for each other.

Mar 18, 2021

I'm not sure how this book received such a high rating. You end the book the same as the way you start it. With no clue as to what is happening or who. So if you want to fill sometime with no real place to go then why not.

Mar 17, 2021

Not worth the hype. Disappointed.

Mar 17, 2021

About the strangest book I have ever read and I read a lot. Dont see how this ever became a best seller!

JCLJenV Mar 16, 2021

Very underwhelming, slightly interesting... but not enough for a full novel...

JCLS_Ashland_Kristin Mar 08, 2021

This haunting, character-driven look at the immediate aftermath of a catastrophic world event (the details of which are unknowable because communication channels break down) may be a bit too real during the current pandemic, but has really interesting commentary on race, class, and our expectations that even when things get bad, the world will just keep moving forward approximately the way it did before.

Feb 27, 2021

A suspenseful read with more questions that answers. Don't expect to like the adult characters but they are well thought out and have unique voices. I read it quickly and was often deeply unsettled by all the unknown aspects.

vmeyerson Feb 24, 2021

Wow, some of the comments are pretty harsh... to be honest though, i can not say whether i actually liked this book. The writing style certainly worked for me. The story was gripping and the premise interesting and scary and kept me reading to the very end. The tension between the characters was real and very thought provoking on many levels. But, the ending left me not really wanting more but feeling very sad and deflated. Three stars because it kept me reading.

Feb 20, 2021

I loved this book, and this is from a mostly non fiction reader. Alam is a very different author with a penchant for skewing the white middle class of NYC, and in this work, he continues the theme with Amanda and Clay, but upends the social order with a wealthy black couple. One part Edith Wharton and two parts Asimov, the novel delights, titiilates and provides a never to be forgotten ending. A must read!

JCLBrittanyC Feb 17, 2021

I’m participating in the online book group for this title this month, and let me just say, this book is NOT for me. Goodreads pulls you in with this summary; “A magnetic novel about two families, strangers to each other, who are forced together on a long weekend gone terribly wrong.” Like yeah, I’m in for that. But no, it is much more literary than that. Which though I work for the library, math is my subject, not English (lol). I read several articles about the meaning behind the novel when I finished, which helped me develop some appreciation for it especially during these COVID times. Overall, though, it was overly descriptive to the point it was distracting and left me with so many questions. It is described as a disaster novel, before the disaster, so if that sounds like your thing, go for it! Based on my personal preferences, I won’t be reaching for this book much for reader’s advisory.

Feb 15, 2021

Horrifically bad. Rumaan Alam is a pretentious, talentless hack. He tries way too hard to write "literature," but he comes off like a middle schooler who has just discovered a thesaurus. The 50¢ words are more jarring than erudite. The endless run-on sentences and abysmal writing prove he is no scholar, and neither is his editor (if such a person even exists). For a book about the end of the world, this is surprisingly boring. Unfortunately, it follows the most uninteresting, unlikable people. Are you ready for a two page grocery list? Because you're getting a two page grocery list. Truly a disappointment, because the story could have been interesting if written by a mildly talented author. Rumaan Alam should stick to writing grocery lists, but even that may be above and beyond his talents.

Feb 12, 2021

Very interesting read, especially in COVID times. Gives the reader a lot to think about and would make a great book club discussion.

OPL_ErinD Feb 05, 2021

This book perfectly paces its growing sense of dread as its characters contemplate things like what to eat for dinner against the background of a slowly revealed disaster event along the East coast of the United States.

Feb 04, 2021

Is anybody else worried about Jenna Bush? Her book club recommendations during the pandemic have gotten decidedly darker (at least the ones I have read). This book was initially tedious and my gut instinct told me to stop reading after the first chapter, but it became a compelling, page-turning quick read, although the latter half crippled me with anxiety. Not a book I would recommend and due to the unfinished ending, I am not necessarily glad I finished it, but if you like apocalyptic books, you may enjoy it.

Feb 01, 2021

I read this in one sitting. Totally felt had wasted my time. With our current situation found this book totally depressing. Would not recommend this book to anyone. Never understood the author's purpose!! Very wordy and depressing.

loonylovesgood Jan 30, 2021

I read this book in a day. At first, the overly pretentious writing style was a bit off-putting but I quickly became absorbed in the story. Near the end, it got really hard to read as it gave me severe anxiety. The ending is unsatisfying but in some ways, it works for this book.

Jan 29, 2021

I pretty much read this book in one sitting. I was eight years old during the Cuban missile crisis in 1962. "Leave the World Behind" brought back memories of civil defense drills and makeshift bomb shelters in the basement. Routine air-force maneuvers sent supersonic fighter jets over our house. We would see the jets before we heard their sonic boom giving us time to cover our ears. Windows rattled as the ground shook. We now know that our canned goods in the basement and the planned escape route into the mountains would not have saved us. We can try to imagine what life would be like if we were cut off from the world. I think “Leave the World Behind” is a good portrayal of how most people would transition from denial to acceptance. In the final pages young Rose is the first to take steps toward survival while the adults are clinging to the world they left behind. I would love to see a sequel to this story.

Jan 26, 2021

I try to see the positive in everything I read but unfortunately I cannot write something which will mislead others. This book was written to an audience of producers and movie moguls. I would not recommend to anyone. Don't waste your time there are so many good reads out there but this is not one of them.

Jan 19, 2021

A vivid and compelling story of two families converging in the face of the unknown. Mystery and humanity are skillfully woven together in a compelling and thoughtful way, while topics of race, class, prejudice and family are underlying themes throughout the tale. Some reviewers take umbrage at the author's florid language and writing style, but as an audio reader I found it flowed nicely. This was my kind of mystery tale; I loved it, and I loved the feeling it left me with.

Jan 16, 2021

Mystery recommended by Goodreads editors. 2021

Jan 08, 2021

A very quiet end of the world ... Leave the World Behind is a slow creep of a novel, playing into our fears of isolation and disaster. This book is good, not great, and the author really leans into using $10 words, just for the sake of using them - which I find annoying, mostly. The richest part of the book was the description of the food (a lot of food), which was excellently done and made me hungry. The author also excels at creating a sense of impending doom.

JCLFlanneryC Jan 02, 2021

This is, unfortunately, a tedious and overwritten book that I should have put down when it described the way "the swimsuit outlined the gentle mound of her pudenda" but for some reason (?) kept reading. The white yuppie family at the heart of this story is predictably awful and boring and the black homeowners that arrive halfway through flat and two-dimensional, this is a meaningless allegory and a boring book. Boo!

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