A review by leahsbooks
Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam

dark mysterious slow-paced
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


I wasn't sure what to expect from this audiobook, but it was available through my library and it seemed intriguing, so I checked it out. And I'm still not sure what to think. On the surface, it seems fairly straightforward. A couple and their two children take a vacation from their lives in New York City and rent a home in the east end of Long Island for a week. It's a fairly quiet area, and they're surprised to find the owners of the home on their doorstep telling them of a massive blackout, and requesting to stay at the house.

Amanda and Clay aren't sure what to think, and they don't know if they can even trust this couple that they've never met in person. The couple doesn't know if they feel comfortable putting their trust in Amanda and Clay and sharing their home with them. Renting a house to someone is very different than living in it with them. 

However, there are bigger issues going on that they aren't aware of. The power outage means that they don't have access to television, telephones, or internet, and can't access any information telling them what is happening outside of the house. So when strange things start happening that they can't explain, they have basically nowhere to turn.

The narrator was fabulous, but the prose was excessively flowery. In addition, there was a strange fixation on sexual content, including a focus on ejaculation, which I found uncomfortable to listen to. The story was a bit meandering, although it showed how quickly things change when catastrophe occurs. 

I was flummoxed and frustrated by the ending, though. I tend to like endings that are clear and concrete, rather than open-ended. They give me a sense of satisfaction, rather than leaving me questioning. Unfortunately, this book left me with more questions than answers, and a feeling that it just wasn't finished.

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