Cover Image: Leave the World Behind

Leave the World Behind

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Member Reviews

I was so excited about this one, but I just didn't liked as much. At times the book was good, but other times a lot of it didn't make us much sense. Good read for the pandemic though.
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This book was not for me. I had such high hopes and the suspense in the beginning was amazing, but ultimately it fell flat.

The writing style was confusing and I sometimes had a hard time figuring out who was talking. None of the characters were very developed and the focus was definitely plot heavy, yet even that was lacking.

I would have liked to see more out of this.
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The good: Leave the World Behind makes a great book club book. It spurs so many discussions – not necessarily about the book itself, but some of the more significant topics it touches on.
The not great: I honestly don't know if I liked it?
I started off reading the book but was so annoyed by the try-hard writing that I stopped after a few chapters. Since I needed to read it for book club, I switched to the audiobook (If not for book club, I think it would have been a DNF). Marin Ireland does a splendid job narrating, and I enjoyed her performance. It made it easier to overlook the aspects that I was hung up on while reading.
One of our group's main discussions was about the genre of the book. We felt like the book had been misrepresented as a thriller but did not feel like one. It was much more about introspection, character relations - there's a lot of nothing happening while also having a lot of stuff happening?
So, I'd recommend Leave The World Behind if you're looking for a book to discuss. It is sure to spark conversations and polarize your book group!
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Loved it! Unpredictable, eerie and easy to read. I couldn't predict what was going to happen at any point and I loved it.
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This was an engaging read with an eerie feeling. The ending however felt rushed and unresolved. There were not much of an explanation as to what was going on and I wanted more.
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This book! So divisive. People love it, people hate it, but everyone was talking about it. I’ve had a hard time articulating my feelings on it. One thing that really annoyed me was that it was billed as a thriller and I’m sorry, it is not. It has a simmering tension under the surface for sure, but then for me, that tension just…died. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, and it didn’t. So I felt anti-climactic and dissatisfying in that regard. I do think he’s a really good writer but that he writes books where nothing happens. However, months later this book has stuck with me so credit where credit is due! He really created a certain atmosphere that was in a way hyper-realistic while also feeling somehow haunting. It's a memorable book.
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Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam is an apocalyptic novel. I found the idea for the novel fascinating, but it was honestly more disturbing than interesting. The writing is choppy and does not flow well. The ending?? Oh my. Not at all what I expected, sadly. I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher with no obligations. These opinions are entirely my own.
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This was a quick read, only 241 pages. 
A family is vacationing in a exclusive, remote neighborhood tucked away in the woods, when someone knocks on the door in the middle of the night! they all freak out --so would I in the middle of nowhere. . My curiosity was piqued from there and I was anxious to find out what happened next. The story kept me on the edge of my seat.
Crazy things begin to happen. that bordered on the bizarre; like the television beeping and making hissing sounds, animals acting wild, uninvited guests stopping over and the weird sounds. seeping into the house.

All I can say is, this is worth the read, but it doesn't end well. I would still recommend it.
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Six people give each other a lot of side eye and have dull inner monologues while waiting for the world to end. 

There, now you can skip this one.

The end of the world trope isn’t new, but I was interested in this one both because Alam is a gifted writer and because this was a new spin on the topic. Mostly when we see this trope, we get the perspective of either the people trying to end the world or the people trying to save it. 

Here, we get a group of people who are just there as it happens, who have no role in either starting or preventing the apocalypse. Generally we only see this perspective in dystopias, which take place after the cataclysmic event rather than during its occurrence.

Unfortunately, the characters are the most passive of passive observers. For the first 80% of the book they do nothing but sit around, ignoring what’s happening and fussing about their own shortcomings inside their own heads. Then they all panic at the end, which is probably the best part of the book, because at least they’re finally doing something meaningful, if futile.

The constant inner monologuing is even more irritating because the characters aren’t interesting. I can see what Alam was trying to do (these are your Everyperson folks reacting to an abnormal event), but they aren’t likable enough to be Regular Guy heroes and they aren’t interesting enough for their likability to become irrelevant.

I’m also not crazy about books that obsessively fixate on graphic bodily functions. A little of this is fine to make a point, but this felt like incessant, like the author is striving for an “ugliness of real life!” feel but mostly it just seems gross and contributes nothing to the narrative.

I likely could have gotten past most of the above at least in part had this book had a great ending, but it doesn’t have an ending at all. I don’t care for open-ended books, especially when the subject is one like this one, where the open ending is even more problematic and feels like a cop out. 

Alam is a very capable writer and I respect what he was trying to do here, but the book just wasn’t a success for me.
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Although the suspense had me reading, the story line is lacking in substance.  What actually caused the disaster is fuzzy as is the future story.  Not my favorite.
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4.5 rounded up!

I was incredibly nervous to read this one, because it seems to be quite polarizing among readers I trust. I went in knowing that many people were disappointed with the ending, so I prepared myself appropriately and went in with lowered expectations.

Honestly, I couldn't put this down. I found this book to be terrifying and am extremely relieved that I didn't read it earlier on in the pandemic. There isn't a whole lot that happens in the plot and it leaves the readers with so many questions. It reminded me of The Road in that way, except it has the glimmer of hope and possibility that The Road didn't really have. If you don't mind a whole lot of ambiguity, then you'll likely enjoy Leave the World Behind.
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This book was astonishing. The quiet dread that crept upon you. The uneasiness you felt while reading. This was such a good reading experience. This may not be a book that people can handle right now but I could not put it down. It is so good.
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Well, this one totally lived up to, and maybe exceeded it as well. I didn't know who to trust, just like the characters, and the book often left me with an anxious feeling wondering what would happen next. And that's a good thing. I was obsessed and will be telling anyone who will listen about how great a read this is! Five stars!!
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Okay, I expected this book to be a bit of a thriller and suspenseful. What I did not expect is for this book to be one of the most bizarre books I have ever read. Amanda and Clay, along with their two young teens ar eager to leave their hectic daily lives in Brooklyn for a week long respite at a lavish rental home on a remote corner of Long Island. They have only been there for one day and then there is a knock on the door, A man and a woman in their sixties who claim to be the homeowners. Do they invite them in? If they do, are they putting themselves in harms way? This couple tell them that a blackout has taken over NYC and they just needed to get out. Suddenly, there is no internet and no working TV working in the LI home but somehow the lights are still on. From the start of the book, it felt as if the characters were looking at themselves from afar. It was difficult to care much for any of them as they almost didn't seem real. It felt like things were happening around and to them, yet they were passive participants. There is a sense of foreboding throughout the entire book and not enough explanation. There is much symbolism embodied throughout the book in the form of nature and animals. Strange things occur and they just keep getting stranger. Is this a national disaster? Is it terrorism? I was tempted to DNF this book several time. I stuck with it, hoping it would all somehow make sense in the end. This reader was left sorely disappointed. #netgalley #bookstagrammer #bookreviewer #leavetheworldbehind #booksandmrdarcy #withhernosestuckinabook❤️📚
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The book on everyone’s top ten list just made it into mine.  Can’t recommend it enough.  Truly an exceptional novel that is both literary yet accessible, loving yet explosive, one of those you read fast, put it on a shelf close to you so you can pick it up and read it again at your leisure and discover more truths.
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A mighty fine book. The writing in this novel is superb. The witty comments ofthe characters are quite hilarious. I often found myself shouting out loud with laughter at their foolishnesses,These are "lost" people, ones who lose the world they have known. A very enjoyable read.
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Everybody just wants a nice, quiet, relaxing vacation.  Especially when you live in the busiest city that never sleeps, New York City.  Amanda and Clay just want to escape the hectic city life and simply get away.  Spend some much deserved quality time with their teenage kids and dip their toes into the expensive lifestyle for a week.

This tranquil silence is shattered when they are confronted by the homeowners of the vacation getaway, informing them of a blackout that has crippled the whole city.  Due to where they are located, this holds much more sinister news.

Is this couple trustworthy, or are they really after something more?  Or will this family stay in the dark, forever.
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What the heck did I just read? This is the strangest book. I do think I picked up some of what Alam was aiming for, but I didn’t like the book overall. It’s far too quirky and unrealistic for my taste. Normally, I would’ve just DNF’d it. However, I’m giving Leave the World Behind 2 stars for the vivid imagery and impending sense of doom throughout the book. That hits. It’s successfully propulsive and I wanted to find out what happened. Ultimately, I was disappointed in the ending and feel like my efforts to push through were wasted.
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I read this as part of the Barnes and Noble bookclub pick. It provided a lively discussion. I didn't know what was going on at first and I loved all the relationships between two families. How would any of us react to the scenario presented to us in this book. I highly recommend the book.
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"I've read Leave the World Behind three times and each time I love it more. 

It took me a while to get used to its voice--it’s outrageously, unapologetically omniscient, a voice that I've more or less been schooled to distrust in this postmodern world. Once I tuned myself to this novel's unique rhythms, though, both the story and the storytelling became explosively alive for me. 

I needed to learn how to read this novel. I needed to overcome my built-in likes and dislikes to fully appreciate its genius. For example, one thing I typically don't have patience for in novels is long lists of stuff. Authors seem to like lists a lot but usually they seem kind of lazy and unnecessary to me. Alam uses this technique to perfection in chapter 3, though, when he lists all the things Amanda puts in her grocery cart. It’s riveting. Each item Amanda chooses off the shelves gives me one more angle to view her character, and by the end I understand her limitations, and her self-image, and the ways she feels most vulnerable. All from a bunch of food items. It's extraordinary writing.

This may be my favorite novel published in 2020. It has won me over. It snuck up on me.
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