Turbulence

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 16 Jul 2019

Member Reviews

I decided to lie down on the couch and start reading "Turbulence" one afternoon last week. I was finished before I got up for anything. This short book of twelve vignettes slipped by, and when I thought about taking a break, this is a book that I said, "Just one more page" and then read several more before the cycle started again. I enjoyed the book, from beginning to end, and how the setup is so simple yet so well executed that it feels like it is a reinvention of the wheel. We have all read books like this, where the end of one story starts the next and the next story triggers the next, and it is like traveling around the world, visiting each destination for a short period of time before moving on to the next part of the trip. The nice thing that happens is that David Szalay gets us back home as well. That this is a round trip, but there are many stops along the way. 

All of the stops in the book, every story, also accentuates the title of the book. Each person that we meet in each new vignette is in the midst of their own turbulence, not a crisis that will not eventually work itself out, but definitely a moment where the main character's life are thrown around, if not changed forever. Turbulence can be seen as a theme through all of these stories, and if really shows the skills that David Szalay has in his writing and construction. I really enjoyed the journey, and I have been recommending this to everyone I know who reads.

I received this as an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Thank you Netgalley for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of Turbulence by David Szalay. 
This is a very short book about twelve people who are strangers to each other. The stories involve airlines and each chapters is named after the call letters of cities where the airline flies. It shows how one action can have a ripple effect on the lives and families of others. Each chapter is about a particular person and their relationship to the chapter before. It felt like twelve short stories. Because each chapter was so short, the character development never really took off and I could never really get into the book or care much about the characters.
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This beautiful sequence of stories follows the journeys of twelve people as they fly from one destination to the next, from London to Madrid, from Dakar to Sao Paolo, to Toronto, to Delhi, to Doha. Along the way, we get a brief glimpse into their lives, each connected to the next, portraying  the ripple effect that each person has on those around them.

I really loved the concept of this book, and I’ve always been fascinated by airports and how it puts so many different people with different life stories into one space. This book is short and it almost read like a sequence of short stories. I think Szalay did a great job of creating such different characters within each short story. I loved his ability to transport you to all these different cities, and it’s clear that Szalay is well traveled and has a good understanding of the places he writes about. However, sometimes the stories almost felt too short, the characters not as well developed as I would have liked.

Overall, it was an easy, short and fascinating read that gets you thinking about the interconnectedness of our lives with others. Also the book cover design is stunning. I just really wish it were longer!
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The description of this book captured my attention.  I quote from Netgalley on the premise of this book Turbulence.

“In this wondrous, profoundly moving novel, Szalay’s diverse protagonists circumnavigate the planet in twelve flights, from London to Madrid, from Dakar to Sao Paulo, to Toronto, to Delhi, to Doha, en route to see lovers or estranged siblings, aging parents, baby grandchildren, or nobody at all. Along the way, they experience the full range of human emotions from loneliness to love and, knowingly or otherwise, change each other in one brief, electrifying interaction after the next.”

Maybe I’m thick but I didn’t see the connection with interactions of people on each flight.  Clearly the airlines and flights are the focus and each character is supposed to be touched by a person they meet in flight, or about to take a flight. Each mini story is separated by airport codes.

The first story was fairly easy to connect, as was a pilot hooking up with a journalist.  The stories are very short, not a properly long novel at all which is what I was expecting.  You didn’t have a chance to get to know the characters very well therefore I couldn’t sympathize with them.

When I opened this book on my Kindle the time at the bottom stated one hour and thirty minutes to the end of the book.  Easy to read but I couldn’t engage with any of the characters.  Not enough development.

This is a short review for a short book. Some people found this very engaging; I did not. It was touted as “written with magic and economy” and I can say they got the economy correctly described.

Much thanks to NetGalley for the advance copy of this book.  It was worth a try! Opinions are all mine and I was clearly not compensated for the review.
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This book was a gift from Netgalley.com for an honest review.

Minor spoilers **

I read "All That Man Is" and loved it. He's just a masterful writer with an eye for detail.

This is a set of short stories, each connected to the last through a character, forming a chain of life circumstances and crises. Each story revolves around air travel and the chapters are labeled by airport codes.

My complaint about this book is that it's too short! I could have contiued reading these stories for another 200 pages!!

Highly recommend. Four stars
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I enjoyed the idea behind the book, where each story played off one of the previous chapter's character, but I did not find the characters likable enough that I wanted to know more about them.  Because of the title, I expected something exciting to happen. While I anticipated a riveting story, this seemed to have missed the mark.
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I'm not typically one to read a book of short stories - but oh how I loved this.  I think the concept of it was so creative in the way the characters were linked together and I felt like I was travelling with them.
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This is kind of a fascinating book with interconnected stories, one character connected to another in a very random way, all revolving around airline flights. The writing style was effortless creating a stream of consciousness that flowed easily from one story to another. Rather hard to describe this collection, but nonetheless an interesting read. In a way, it kind of reminded me of the Crash movie from several years ago.
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I received a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This book is basically 12 short stories, each story with a new main character that has at some point crossed paths with the main character from the previous chapter. In the end, it all goes full circle.

I didn't think I would like this book so much. Short stories just aren't my thing. I did wish that some of the chapters were longer so we could learn more about the characters, but the whole purpose ( in my opinion) was to give a snapshot of their lives, just a few moments were you get to learn about them.

Would recommend it, it's easy to read and though provoking
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Was really looking forward to this one, but very disappointed.  Dialogue didn't flow, and it felt so disjointed. 

Thanks to author, publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book. While I got the book for free, it had no bearing on the rating I gave it.
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This book left me wanting so much more. It reads like a collection of short stories, each one an introduction to the next. And when it’s done, you’re left wondering why! I wish I knew what happens next!
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A brilliant literary novel.A group of people connected by the thinnest of threads an airplane trip leads to a tragedy leads to a journalist having bar fling with a pilot racing to get to the airport.Twelve stories twelve life connections .An absolute gem of a book the writing the story will stay in my mind artistry at its best,
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Turbulence  By David Szalay

A woman strikes up a conversation with the man sitting next to her on a plane after some turbulence. He returns home to tragic news that has also impacted another stranger, a shaken pilot on his way to another continent who seeks comfort from a journalist he meets that night. Her life shifts subtly as well before she heads to the airport on an assignment that will shift more lives in turn.
In this wondrous, profoundly moving novel, Szalay’s diverse protagonists circumnavigate the planet in twelve flights, from London to Madrid, from Dakar to Sao Paulo, to Toronto, to Delhi, to Doha, en route to see lovers or estranged siblings, aging parents, baby grandchildren, or nobody at all. Along the way, they experience the full range of human emotions from loneliness to love and, knowingly or otherwise, change each other in one brief, electrifying interaction after the next.
Written with magic and economy and beautifully exploring the delicate, crisscrossed nature of relationships today, Turbulence is a dazzling portrait of the interconnectedness of the modern world.

Thank you, NetGalley for the advance copy for an honest review.
The book was brilliantly written. How everyone person connected from all over the world. A wonderful concept. How twelve people flights connect for good and bad.
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"Six degrees of separation is the idea that all living things and everything else in the world are six or fewer steps away from each other so that a chain of "a friend of a friend" statements can be made to connect any two people in a maximum of six steps."

The author demonstrates this idea through the interconnecting contacts between 12 individuals while traveling around the world.

I am usually not a reader of short stories, they seem to always leave me wanting more, as did this very slim novel. And yet, it was perfect! I think I spent as much time thinking about it as I did reading it. 

The writing skill was amazing, conveying all you need to know in as few words as possible heightened the premise of our impact on others in the briefest of interactions.

Highly recommended.

I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher Simon & Schuster in exchange for my honest opinion.
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A really unusual, short, lyrical group of interrelated stories.  

This collection is constructed like a relay, in which the baton is passed from one character to the next as they meet in transit.  We get little slices of their lives, and in some cases the intersections between them.  It is the kind of writing that leaves you wishing for more, and pondering the author's choices.

With thanks to Scribner and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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The concept of interconnectivity has often been utilized in narration, but (for me at least) it seems to have always been more of a cinematic affair. Turbulence, though, does it in book form and oh so well. This tiny book of tangentially connected stories, each jetting off (literally since as the title might have given away they are all tied together by plane flights) where the last one left off until coming around in a circle to where it began, takes the readers all over the world and is positively enchanting with its quiet beauty of observational character driven narratives. The stories themselves are sometimes barely more than sketches, but they seem to do such a great job of representing each individual character at their present location and state of mind. This is purely credit to the author’s talent. Actually I haven’t read him before of even heard of him, but he’s been shortlisted for Man Booker among other prizes and based on this book alone it’s easy to recognize why. I’d be very interested in reading more of his work. So yeah, there’s interconnectivity all over this book in every meaning of the word, global citizenry being such a modern thing, one short (or long) flight and you’re in another world, but there seems to always be turbulence (another theme utilized literally and otherwise) along the way. Lovely collection, such an enjoyable read. Recommended. Thanks Netgalley.
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This is an intense, short, book about characters not connected to each other except by various legs of an airplane trip around the world. One character in one journey somehow connects to a character in the next chapter, with each chapter representing one part of the journey. The book starts with a woman taking her middle aged son home from the hospital, where he had been treated for prostate cancer, and ends in the same place from which she had embarked, London, with her granddaughter visiting this same man, her father, as he awaits his latest set of scans.

It is difficult to describe this book well; it has to be read to experience it. The chapters are short but complex, with interesting characters, all struggling with some kind of conflict or internal struggle. We only get glimpses of who these people are but there is sufficient detail to draw one's own inferences. The book's title refers to an incident of flight turbulence in the first chapter, but I think the title alludes to the turbulence in the character's lives, and, by extension, to the turbulence in our own lives, whether or not we are aware of it.

David Szalay is a brilliant writer. I look forward to other works by him.

I received this book as an ARC from the publisher and NetGalley.
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Turbulence consists of twelve connected stories, each of them giving a brief look into the life of a solitary air traveller. The characters brush past one another, as their stories overlap.
Turbulence gives us a number of lives, making unhappy compromises, at home neither here nor there. We meet a lazy freight pilot, a gardener carrying a secret guilt, a girl, trying to manage her relationships with her difficult parents, one of them dying. We meet a Hong Kong housewife, and much more. 
Each character seems utterly lost, profoundly alone. This is a very interesting book, nothing like I’ve ever read before. I liked it and will recommend it. I would like to thank Netgalley, the publisher and the author for providing me with a review copy in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion of this book.
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I gave up on this after reading only about 10% of it. It just didn't seem to be going anywhere and so it didn't hold my attention.
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