Turbulence

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 16 Jul 2019

Member Reviews

This novel is a collection of character stories linked by airline flights, each story passing the baton to the next. The whole speaks to the interconnectedness of life and the flights (which, no matter the distance take up a small portion of the reliefs) and the title reference the global nature of modern life and the turbulence that can cause. A quick read which would make a good book discussion.
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An interesting take on the lives of individuals linked through their flight paths. Reads like separate short stories, strung like beads, with connections big and slight. The butterfly effect through actual flights.
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She was very aware of her failure to be equal to the needs of this moment. 

In these connected stories each character is on a journey, be it on an airplane, within memories, or flying to their future. The title isn’t lost on readers, what is life but an irregular motion disturbed not by currents but by every experience, however great or small,  one encounters? Human beings, despite their location on the planet, confront joy, sorrow, fear, hope, love, loss and death. Every story is not the same, that’s the gift of being human. We glimpse moments here, but we don’t stay long. In one story an accident resulting in the death of a young man causes Werner , on his way to the airport, to be late for work, setting off memories of his tragic past and the death of a sister. This story was as heartbreaking as Marion’s, desperate to catch a flight to Seattle where her daughter has just gone into labor. In a moment when her daughter needs her most, all Marion feels is ‘her own insufficiency as a human being’. Despite being a famous author whose writing is meaningful enough to be taught in classes as far away as Hong Kong, she doesn’t have the right words to ease her daughter’s devastating reality. It’s easy to relate to those pauses in time, when what is asked of us is impossible to translate. We sometimes fail, because we don’t know what is required, or how to give it.

There are love affairs, and the struggle of ‘do I stay or do I go?’ The kernel of truth that maybe it doesn’t make a difference, that either choice is neither solution nor problem. In DEL-COK sisterhood is interrupted by domestic violence, despite a husband who is distant, working in Qatar. The frustration that is born out of caring, the cracks that could be fixed if only others would make the effort, the right choices depresses Anita. The many ways we are tied to each other, for better or worse. We all take flight for different reasons, not all lead to happy reunions. When Shamgar lands in Doha, we learn what it means to have a ‘sponsor’, which for all intents and purposes is really an owner. Yet even here, working a garden that will never be his, something else claims his longings. The story of Ursula, and her daughter Miri’s choice of  partner with Mousa (a Muslim man) explores love with an asylum-seeker, the mistrust and suspicion that arises, warranted or not. This collection is about people around the globe, our commonalities, our differences. In the end, aren’t we all sharing the human experience? Haunted by the same things, filled with new beginnings and endings, longings, grief… just trying to make sense of the world and our own confused hearts?

Death hovers in BUD-LGW, when a young woman comes home to visit her sick father in London, accompanying him for his scans at St. Mary’s hospital. She has news of her own to share, and her father can only hope he lives long enough to see it happen. It’s a fast read but meaningful despite the slim pages. This is my first read by David Szalay, Man Booker Prize-shortlisted author of All That Man Is. It’s evident that Szalay is able to get to the heart of his characters, regardless of what continent they inhabit, and write of experiences we can all easily relate to. The stories don’t have an ending, they are as open to the characters as your own life remains until your last breath.

Publication Date: July 16, 2019

Scribner
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This was a good read that I needed right after a long novel. It almost reads like a culmination of essays or one novella.
I enjoyed this book and would love to read it as a novel. The characters were very well developed.
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Turbulence is a group of situational vignettes, each story grabbing the hand of the preceding one through a common character, until at last the book circles round back to the first. The stories span the globe, as one person in each flies to another country to weather bits of the human turbulence we experience in our lives. 

I thought this was a lovely book, cleverly written, but not in a flippant way. I liked the chapter titles; they were simply arrival and destination airport codes, showing locations where the characters began and where they went. The book was short; I finished it easily in a couple of hours, and I want to re-read it to uncover the nuances that I may have missed, and also just to absorb the characters a little more fully. 

I was taken by how much of life the author, David Szalay, was able to put into such a spare novel. The first and final chapters were even more intricate than I realized as I now think more about them, with the child-parent-child relationships the author ties together. Yes, I definitely will re-read this! 

Many thanks to NetGalley and Scribner for an ARC of the book in exchange for my honest review.

5 stars
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When you're looking for a quick read, possibly on a short plane ride, Turbulence is interesting and chaotic. I enjoyed the pacing and thought it was perfect as a palate cleanser between longer novels.
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A woman in her seventies takes a plane ride from London home to Madrid after visiting her son who is being treated for prostate cancer. Normally reticent on flights, the woman, terrified of flying, drinks bloody marys and keeps to herself. However, after ten minutes of extreme turbulence, she and her row mate begin to talk. When she passes out, he quickly goes to the flight attendant who calls for a doctor’s help. 

The unexpected turbulence that causes the woman and her row mate, Cheikh, to interact creates ripples that initiate what amounts to a literary relay race as readers follow a figurative baton around the world. Emphasizing the connectedness of today’s society, the book is structured around flights. Whereas the first chapter ended in Madrid, the second picks up there following a character that somehow had contact with whomever enjoyed the point of view of the previous chapter in a type of benign contagion. In some author’s hands, organizing around flights might be gimmicky, but here, it feels a natural reflection of how accessible travel has become.

Crossing the globe as it does, Turbulence contains a diversity of characters in different settings, socioeconomic conditions, and internal and external conflicts. Although characters come from a range of countries and within those countries live in different environments, to my mind, the prose rang authentic and often eye-opening.

Personally, I love books that have seperate but slightly connected chapters so I was biased towards the book, but as with all books of this structure some characters are so interesting they seem short-changed and as if their story is incomplete and some characters aren’t as interesting or as well-developed as others.

While most of the characters are named, a few aren’t, and I’m not sure there is a significance to that if any, and what is says about these characters, both women, regardless. Also, throughout the book, the impact of privilege born of wealth weaves into each chapter. Although not all of the wealthy are white, all of the poor are people of color.

A quick but impactful read with an interesting structure, Turbulence should be on the reading list of any fan of literary fiction.
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a Kindle ARC of Turbulence.

This is a short novella of short stories connecting a series of travelers on their way to various destinations. The author brings it full circle by ending the story where it started, which was a nice touch.

I enjoyed the short stories, a brief foray into each individual's life as they travel to and from a particular country to visit someone important in their lives. 

The author writes well and is adept at drawing the reader into the life of each person and their individual drama for a quick moment before ending the story, unfortunately leaving you wanting more.

I definitely wanted to learn more about each person, their drama, their lives, why they ended up the way they did at that particular point in their life, but I understand these short stories are too short to warrant character development.

This was a good, though short read. I will look for more books written by this author.
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Rating: 4.5/5

Thank you, NetGalley and Scribner, for the advanced review copy of this book. It will be published on July 16th, 2019.

This book was creative, and gripping, and just plain great writing. It’s not long; I read it in one evening. I hadn’t planned to, and it kept me up about two hours past my bedtime to do it. But I couldn’t resist. I felt like I got pulled into something that would break if I stopped in the middle.

Turbulence is made up of 12 chapters — you might even see them as individual short stories — about 12 different characters and their ordinary, emotional lives. We start with a woman on a plane who is afraid to fly. She speaks to a man who heads home to some bad news. That bad news implicated the next man, a troubled pilot. And so on and so forth.

Until we come — unbelievably, and yet how could it be any different — full circle. All the way around the world (literally) in 12 stories. In 12 people.

The effect is this: We are all enduring something. You are never as far as you think from another person in this world, whether in connections, or in space, or in experience. We are all doing our best to live a life we love, alone and together.

This one needs to rumble around in my brain a little more, I think. But it is welcome to do so.
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This was a very fast read- more like a novella.  Beautifully written with interesting, engaging characters... I just wanted more - more about them, more about their lives and destinies.
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Turbulence is collection of short stories that focuses on traveling.  David Szalay gives his readers a glimps into the lives of people as they travel. I love how this book really gets to the particulars of how one gets to where they are, I don’t mean just their location but their state of mind. 
I was able to devolve this book in a day and like I said before I love how this book was a collection of short stories sometimes I need short stories!!
I look forward to read more from David!
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Turbulence is a masterful string of pearls, each story connected to the former until they come full circle.  Identified by the airport designation code as the chain makes its way around the world.  Near the center, there is a profound sentence that encapsulates the entire sense of each story:  "It was one of those events ... that make us what we are, for ourselves and for other people.  They just seem to happen, and then they're there forever, and slowly we understand that we're stuck with them, that nothing will ever be the same again."
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There are just books that sometimes resonate with you and this was one of them for me.  The stories in the book tie in with the characters in amazing and beautiful ways.  This was a quick read, however an extremely powerful one.  Thanks for the ARC, Net Galley.  I will definitely be seeking more works from this author.
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David Szalay’s Turbulence is a profound, wonderfully written novella. In only 160 pages, David weaves the story of 12 strangers, linked together by their flights. 

Each character’s story may seem simple or trivial at first, however, many of the characters are troubled, struggling with various critical moments of conflict and strife. They are in turbulent times (see what I did there?)

I enjoyed how each new chapter (new flight!) linked a character from the previous chapter. In addition, I sympathized with the fear of flying. 

The beginning few stories touch on death, illness, infidelity and various conflicts within families. Also, as the stories progress, we see conflicts evolve to more modern day “ripped from the headlines” type conversations. For example, one story focuses on the love between a rich daughter and Syrian refugee, another about whose gay affair must be kept secret for fear of persecution in his country. 

I applaud David’s concise writing with strong protagonists, however, I wanted these stories to keep going! I’ve been switching my reading between long novels and short novellas like Turbulence. They are a much needed piece of fiction writing!
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This book was so well written I kept wishing each story was longer, why weren't they longer?  Composed of multiple short stories of how strangers lives become intertwined flying from location to location. If you have ever glimpsed at the Missed Connections page on Craigslist that is exactly how this book felt to me. I enjoyed getting the small glimpse into the lives of strangers and stories that could happen to anyone. 

Thank you NetGalley, Sribner and David Szalay  for this Advanced Reader Copy!
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An enjoyable read that intertwines short stories> I found this book to be both well written and interesting the entire way through.

Recommend!

Many thanks to Scribner and NetGalley for a very worthwhile read.
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Basically: a short series of vignettes that had a connecting thread between them. Apparently this originated as a series in a travel magazine or something, which makes sense - they read as an easy and light window into the lives of people as they travel for different reasons. The characters and situations were not fully developed, but that is to be expected of such short glimpses into their lives. Overall, I enjoyed it. It held my attention and it was written well. However, I would not have complained if some of the stories were a bit longer and more thoroughly developed.
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I adored this super short book of short stories. It was positively addicting. I felt like once I started I need to see it come full circle. Twelve stories start as a conversation with two very different people on a plane who go through very serious turbulence. The connection with each story was amazing. Although I did not get to enjoy the characters for a terribly long time...I felt like the author left the last bit to my imagination.  Adored it. I would highly recommend it.
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The writing of this book isn't revolutionary, but the way the stories are structured and told is what makes this a 4 star review for me.Each chapter is an airport ETA, with characters traveling from London to Bangkok and several cities in between. The book starts of with a woman traveling to meet a family member and becomes sick on a passenger sitting next to her. The subsequent chapter features that passenger she became sick on and thus begins 12 short vignettes that serves as glimpses into various moments, monumental and quiet, into various people's lives

There were some stories that I wish the author would have stayed with longer, but that's the point of the book - every day, we encounter people that we meet in passing or in a brief moment and never learn anything else about them from outside that moment.. And life goes on.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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This story was beautiful, I enjoyed the plot tremendously. I just wish i cared more about the characters.
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