Leave the World Behind

Leave the World Behind

A Novel

Large Print - 2020 | First Harper Large Print edition.
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Amanda and Clay head out to a remote corner of Long Island expecting a vacation: a quiet reprieve from life in New York City, quality time with their teenage son and daughter, and a taste of the good life in the luxurious home they've rented for the week. But a late-night knock on the door breaks the spell. Ruth and G.H. are an older couple, it's their house, and they've arrived in a panic. They bring the news that a sudden blackout has swept the city. But in this rural area, with the TV and internet now down, and no cell phone service, it's hard to know what to believe. Should Amanda and Clay trust this couple, and vice versa? What happened back in New York? Is the vacation home, isolated from civilization, a truly safe place for their families? And are they safe from one other?
Publisher: New York, NY : Harper Large Print, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2020]
Edition: First Harper Large Print edition.
Copyright Date: ♭2020
ISBN: 9780063029224
Characteristics: 325 pages ; 23 cm
large print


From Library Staff

A magnetic novel about two families, strangers to each other, who are forced together on a long weekend gone terribly wrong.

What appears on the surface
to be a simple story of a family
on vacation morphs into a
narrative about humanity,
shared fear, misconceptions of
people, and more. Amanda,
Clay, and their two children
rent an AirBnB. Then
homeowners Ruth and G.H.
appear on the doorstep in a
panic, and suddenly noth... Read More »

From the critics

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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.

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Nov 26, 2020

We're all machines...You get to choose the nature of the machine you are. We're all machines, but some of us are smart enough that we get to determine our programming.

Nov 26, 2020

You never know when a time is the last time, because if you did you could never go on with life.


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