The World and All That It Holds
‘This life-stuffed novel is Aleksandar Hemon’s masterpiece’ – David Mitchell, author of Cloud Atlas
The epic, cross-continental tale of a love so strong it conquers the Great War, revolution, and even death itself.
As the Archduke Franz Ferdinand arrives in Sarajevo one June day in 1914, Rafael Pinto is busy crushing herbs and grinding tablets behind the counter at the pharmacy he inherited from his father. It’s not quite the life he had expected during his poetry-filled student days in libertine Vienna, but it’s nothing a dash of laudanum, a summer stroll and idle fantasies can’t put in perspective.
And then the world explodes. In the trenches in Galicia, fantasies fall flat. Heroism gets a man killed quickly. War devours all that they have known, and the only thing Pinto has to live for are the attentions of Osman, a fellow soldier, a man of action to complement Pinto’s introspective, poetic soul; a charismatic storyteller and Pinto’s protector and lover.
Together, Pinto and Osman will escape the trenches and find themselves entangled with spies and Bolsheviks. As they travel over mountains and across deserts, from one world to another, all the way to Shanghai, it is Pinto’s love for Osman that will truly survive.
A staggering work of beauty and brutality -- Douglas Stuart, Booker Prize winning author of Shuggie Bain A tour de force. Hemon has given us a story of love and war like no other -- Kamila Shamsie, author of Home Fire A twisting, turning epic rooted in love in all its forms; an odyssey of statelessness; a haunted museum of history ranging from Sarajevo to Shanghai and Jerusalem . . . This life-stuffed novel is Aleksandar Hemon's masterpiece -- David Mitchell, author of Cloud Atlas An explosive novel. Bursting with energy, wits, and insights, it's an epic meditation on history, philosophy, and human conditions. Aleksandar Hemon once again proves himself to be one of our most innovative and invigorating novelists -- Yiyun Li, author of A Thousand Years of Good Prayers One of the finest novels I've ever read . . . A feat of unfettered literary bravura. In short, a masterpiece -- Rabih Alameddine An astoundingly expansive new novel from one of my all-time favorite writers . . . heartbreaking, thrilling . . . an amazing accomplishment -- Jesse Eisenberg A potent story of love, war, and displacement... readers will delight in this sweeping epic * Publishers Weekly * Powerful and beautiful... Hemon pulls no punches in his most ambitious novel to date * Kirkus Reviews * "The World and All That It Holds" would be an audacious title for a book by anybody except God - or Aleksandar Hemon. But this Bosnian American author will make you a believer. * The Washington Post * The irrepressible voice of "The World and All That It Holds" glides along a cushion of poignancy buoyed by wry humor. * The Washington Post *
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