Leave the World Behind (Unabridged‪)‬

    • 2.8 • 5 Ratings
    • £8.99

    • £8.99

Publisher Description

Bloomsbury presents Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam, read by Marin Ireland. 

Picked as a book of the autumn by Vogue, Time, Washington Post, Entertainment Weekly, Buzzfeed, Vulture, Newsweek, NY Observer, Refinery29, New York Post, PopSugar and LA Mag.

Longlisted for the National Book Award for Fiction. 

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

Amanda and Clay head to a remote corner of Long Island expecting a holiday: 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 with a late-night knock on the door, the spell is broken. Ruth and G. H., an older couple who claim to own the home, have arrived there in a panic. These strangers say that a sudden power outage has swept the city, and - with nowhere else to turn - they have come to the country in search of shelter. 

But with the TV and internet down, and no phone service, the facts are unknowable. Should Amanda and Clay trust this couple - and vice versa? What has happened back in New York? Is the holiday home, isolated from civilisation, a truly safe place for their families? And are they safe from one another?

An impossibly compelling literary thriller about the world we live in now, Rumaan Alam's novel is keenly attuned to the complexities of parenthood, race and class. Leave the World Behind explores how our closest bonds are reshaped in moments of crisis - and how the most terrifying situations are never far from reality.

Soon to be a major global Netflix adaptation starring Denzel Washington and Julia Roberts. 

Marin Ireland
hr min
12 November
Bloomsbury Publishing Plc

Customer Reviews


A Frustrating read

I’ll keep this as brief as possible. The book has an interesting and unique premise. However there are several issues with this book.
Firstly, the author explicates continuously throughout the book. Using a method of going off on tangents at every turn which made me scream “get on with it” many times. This typically happens when something suspenseful has happened and you’re waiting to find out what has actually occurred. It doesn’t build tension, it irritates terribly. A key example would be when an unexplained, huge noise in the woods scares the characters and as the reader you have to endure line after line of over elaborate conjecture before finally realising the author isn’t going to reveal anything after all. None of the characters are likeable - for much the same reason. Too much time spent on contemplating in unnecessary detail their every foible and flaw to the point where the characters become almost in likeable. Particularly the father who we are repeatedly told is very flawed is so many minor ways. It somehow feels unnecessary. The ending doesn’t just creep up on you, it just appears and is gone. There is no satisfactory conclusion whatsoever. One of my favourite books is The Road - where I loved how the open ended ness of the book felt apt and fitting. Not here, the one point where the reader could do with some explanation, some pulling together of loose ends after all the over conjecture, hints and suggestions as to “what will they do” “what has really happened”. It really felt like the someone had said to the author; “that’s enough - not one more word!” and I felt quite frankly robbed after enduring the endless, painstaking prose. Very disappointed I’m afraid.

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