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Rumaan Alam – LEAVE THE WORLD BEHIND : A Novel


Rumaan Alam


A Thought-Provoking & Suspenseful Work of Fiction That Explores Themes of Family, Race, And Class In A Time of Crisis

Remarks Free Cover-Pages Wrapping
ISBN 9780062667632
Book Condition LIGHTLY USED
Publisher Ecco
Publication Date 06 October 2020
Pages 256
Weight 0.49 kg
Dimension 23.5 × 16 × 2.5 cm
Retail Price RM141.42
Availability: Out of stock

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  • Detail Description


★★ Instant New York Times Bestseller ★★
★★ A Read with Jenna Today Show Book Club Pick! ★★
★★ Finalist for the 2020 National Book Award (Fiction) ★★
★★ One of Barack Obama’s Summer Favorites ★★
★★ A Best Book of the Year From: The Washington Post * Time * NPR * Elle * Esquire * Kirkus * Library Journal * The Chicago Public Library * The New York Public Library * BookPage * The Globe and Mail * * The LA Times * USA Today * InStyle * The New Yorker * AARP * Publisher’s Lunch * LitHub * Book Marks * Electric Literature * Brooklyn Based * The Boston Globe ★★

A magnetic novel about two families, strangers to each other, who are forced together on a long weekend gone terribly wrong.
From the bestselling author of Rich and Pretty comes a suspenseful and provocative novel keenly attuned to the complexities of parenthood, race, and class. Leave the World Behind explores how our closest bonds are reshaped—and unexpected new ones are forged—in moments of crisis.
Amanda and Clay head out to a remote corner of Long Island expecting a vacation: 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 a late-night knock on the door breaks the spell. Ruth and G. H. are an older couple—it’s their house, and they’ve arrived in a panic. They bring the news that a sudden blackout has swept the city. But in this rural area—with the TV and internet now down, and no cell phone service—it’s hard to know what to believe.
Should Amanda and Clay trust this couple—and vice versa? What happened back in New York? Is the vacation home, isolated from civilization, a truly safe place for their families? And are they safe from one other?
The story revolves around two families who are brought together in an unexpected and tense situation. Amanda and Clay, a middle-class white couple from New York City, rent a luxurious vacation home in a remote area for a relaxing getaway with their teenage children. However, their peace is disrupted when the owners of the house, a wealthy Black couple named G.H. and Ruth, arrive unexpectedly, seeking refuge from a mysterious and catastrophic event that has occurred in the outside world.

Amanda and Clay drive out to a remote luxury Airbnb on Long Island for a vacation, along with their kids Archie, 15, and Rose, 13. They are a middle-to-upper-middle class family who live in Brooklyn. It’s an idyllic and peaceful vacation until an older Black couple shows up at night, identifying themselves as the house’s owners, G.H. (or George) and Ruth. They explain that there’s been a blackout.
Amanda is initially suspicious of them and is surprised that they could own a home such as this one. But it turns out George and Ruth are a wealthy and highly educated couple. Their main home is in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, but they drove back to their vacation home to wait out the blackout. It’s arranged that they will stay in the in-law unit in the basement until things get sorted. At the house, the wi-fi is out, along with the landline, TV and cell service. But they have power. Amanda also catches a news alert on her phone confirming a large-scale blackout across the east coast.
The next morning, Rose notices a herd of a few dozen deer outside (what she doesn’t see is that there are actually thousands of them). Clay heads to town to assess the situation, but gets lost. He runs into a scared woman, but she only speaks Spanish and so he leaves her. Meanwhile, Rose and Archie go exploring in the woods. They find a shack and a house in a clearing, and Archie gets bitten by a tick. Then, a thunderous noise is heard, loud enough to crack the glass on some doors, which scares everyone. (Unknown to them, not too far away, the deer are scared and trampling everything in their wake.) Clay eventually finds his way home, but doesn’t mention getting lost or the woman.
The adults try to prepare for an extended blackout, filling a tub with water in case the water stops running and checking on the food stores. But soon, Archie is sick with a fever. Amanda and Clay decide they need to leave to get him to a doctor the next morning. That night, a flock of wild flamingos appear on the lawn. Then, a few more loud noises sound out, breaking more glass and scaring them all. Amanda starts to think it would be better to stay here, where they have power, food and water, but in the morning a number of Archie’s teeth have fallen out. They all also notice that Rose is missing.
Alarmed, Clay and George plan to drive immediately to a nearby hospital with Archie. Amanda will stay behind with Ruth to look for Rose. On the way, Clay finally admits to getting lost the day before, and he says that he did see a woman, but left her despite knowing she needed help.
George decides to make a stop to talk to Danny, his contractor, who he thinks can help them. However, Danny views George as merely someone he’s done some work for in the past (as opposed to a friend) and greets them stiffly. He tells them what he knows, he says that there’s a mass migration of deer going on which is a bad sign, and he advises that they go home and hunker down. George, Archie and Clay decide to just head back to the house.
Elsewhere, states of emergency have been declared, and the U.S. President is stowed away in a bunker. The world is falling apart. Levees have broken, resulting in floods. Some people worry about food. In the woods, Rose has made her way to the house she’d located the day before. The occupants are not home (they are stuck in San Diego and will never see their home again). She makes note of the useful things, grabs various supplies and heads back to inform the others of her findings.
“Leave the World Behind” delves into themes of privilege, race, and the fragility of societal structures. It raises questions about human nature, our reliance on technology, and the complexities of human relationships. The novel offers a captivating and atmospheric exploration of a world turned upside down and the profound impact it has on individuals and their perceptions of themselves and others.
Through his storytelling, Rumaan Alam crafts a gripping narrative that prompts readers to reflect on societal issues and the ways in which we respond to and connect with one another in times of crisis.
About the Author :
Rumaan Alam is the author of the novels Rich and Pretty, That Kind of Mother, and the instant New York Times bestseller Leave the World Behind. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, New York Magazine, The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, Bookforum, and the New Republic, where he is a contributing editor. He studied writing at Oberlin College and lives in New York with his family.

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