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Warlight: A novel Audiobook, by Michael Ondaatje Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Michael Ondaatje Narrator: Steve West Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2018 ISBN: 9780525627524
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From the bestselling author of The English Patient comes a mesmerizing new novel that tells a dramatic story set in the decade after World War II through the lives of a small group of unexpected characters and two teenagers whose lives are indelibly shaped by their unwitting involvement.

In a narrative as beguiling and mysterious as memory itself—shadowed and luminous at once—we follow the story of fourteen-year-old Nathaniel and his older sister, Rachel. In 1945, just after World War II, they stay behind in London when their parents move to Singapore, leaving them in the care of a mysterious figure named The Moth. They suspect he might be a criminal, and they grow both more convinced and less concerned as they come to know his eccentric crew of friends: men and women joined by a shared history of unspecified service during the war, all of whom seem, in some way, determined now to protect, and educate Rachel and Nathaniel in rather unusual ways.

But are they really what and who they claim to be? And what does it mean when the siblings’ mother returns after months of silence without their father, explaining nothing, excusing nothing? A dozen years later, Nathaniel begins to uncover all that he didn’t know and understand in that time, and it is this journey—through facts, recollection, and imagination.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Warlight is a quiet new masterpiece from Michael Ondaatje…An elegiac thriller [with] the immediate allure of a dark fairy tale. In Warlight, all is illuminated, at first dimly then starkly, but always brilliantly. Anna Mundow, The Washington Post

    If writers are cartographers of the heart, Michael Ondaatje’s oeuvre could fill an atlas. . . [he] evokes a kaleidoscope of ideas and moods with exquisite lyricism…Warlight is an intricate ballet of longing and deception, and a singular ode to the mother-child bond.
  • [Ondaatje] casts a magical spell, as he takes you into his half-lit world of war and love, death and loss, and the dark waterways of the past. Hermione Lee, New York Review of Books
  • Mr. Ondaatje has stepped into John de la Carré’s world of spies and criminals…his novel views history as a child would, in ignorance but also innocence and wonder. Sam Sacks, WSJ 
  • [An] intricate and absorbing novel. . . . This is a book rich with detail. The reader is bound to be conscious of a hidden ballast of research, the seven-eighths of the iceberg without which the thing would founder, but so deft is the writing that you forget this, simply appreciating the meticulous background that brings alive a time and a place. —Penelope Lively, The New York Times Book Review
  • A tender coming of age story so warmly delivered you almost forget how much of its plot involves smuggling, spycraft, and assassins…the novel becomes at once a mystery tale and an exploration into how much of our lives are out of our control, especially in wartime. Mark Athitakis, The Minneapolis Star Tribune
  • Michael Ondaatje’s novel Warlight is a masterpiece of shifting memory… a book made lush through layers of experience instead of description. Bethanne Patrick, The San Diego Union-Tribune
  • [A] haunting, brilliant novel from Ondaatje…Mesmerizing from the first sentence, rife with poignant insights and satisfying subplots, this novel about secrets and loss may be Ondaatje’s best work yet. Publishers Weekly (starred review)
     
  • A lyrical mystery that plays out in the shadow of World War II…Ondaatje’s shrewd character study plays out in a smart, sophisticated drama, one worth the long wait for fans of wartime intrigue. Kirkus Review (starred review)
     
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  • “London-born narrator Steve West effortlessly mixes tones of mystery, uncertain memory, sophistication, and innocence in Ondaatje’s latest novel…A wholly original listening experience. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”

    AudioFile

  • “Evokes a kaleidoscope of ideas and moods with exquisite lyricism…Warlight is an intricate ballet of longing and deception and a singular ode to the mother-child bond.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • Warlight is a quiet new masterpiece from Michael Ondaatje…An elegiac thriller [with] the immediate allure of a dark fairy tale. In Warlight, all is illuminated, at first dimly, then starkly, but always brilliantly.”

    Washington Post

  • A New York Times bestselller
  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month selection
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award

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About the Author

Michael Ondaatje is the New York Times bestselling author of several novels, a memoir, a nonfiction book on film, and eleven books of poetry. The English Patient won the Booker Prize and Anil’s Ghost won the Irish Times International Fiction Prize, the Giller Prize, and the Prix Médicis.

About the Narrator

Steve West, the winner of multiple Earphones Awards for narration, is an international actor who has starred on London’s prestigious West End stage, including productions of Mamma Mia! and Oh, What a Night! He is widely known for his television and film work in both the United States and the UK, and he has performed for Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace. He hosts his own television show for the UK live from Los Angeles.