Turbulence
From the acclaimed, Man Booker Prize-shortlisted author of All That Man Is, a stunning, virtuosic novel about twelve people, mostly strangers, and the surprising ripple effect each one has on the life of the next as they cross paths while in transit around the world.A woman strikes up a conversation with the man sitting next to her on a plane after some turbulence. He returns home to tragic news that has also impacted another stranger, a shaken pilot on his way to another continent who seeks comfort from a journalist he meets that night. Her life shifts subtly as well, before she heads to the airport on an assignment that will shift more lives in turn.In this wondrous, profoundly moving novel, Szalay's diverse protagonists circumnavigate the planet in twelve flights, from London to Madrid, from Dakar to Sao Paulo, to Toronto, to Delhi, to Doha, en route to see lovers or estranged siblings, aging parents, baby grandchildren, or nobody at all. Along the way, they experience the full range of human emotions from loneliness to love and, knowingly or otherwise, change each other in one brief, electrifying interaction after the next.Written with magic and economy and beautifully exploring the delicate, crisscrossed nature of relationships today, Turbulence is a dazzling portrait of the interconnectedness of the modern world.

Turbulence Details

TitleTurbulence
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 16th, 2019
PublisherScribner
ISBN-139781982122737
Rating
GenreFiction, Short Stories, Contemporary

Turbulence Review

  • Angela M
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 rounded up There’s a lot of turbulence in the lives of the characters in this collection of connected stories, not just the turbulence in the plane ride in the first chapter. The stories are too short for me to have felt any emotional connection to any of the characters, but the emotions and issues touched on here were recognizable and in some cases relatable, if that makes any sense. This is a skillfully written book with each story usually about two main characters, followed by another sto 3.5 rounded up There’s a lot of turbulence in the lives of the characters in this collection of connected stories, not just the turbulence in the plane ride in the first chapter. The stories are too short for me to have felt any emotional connection to any of the characters, but the emotions and issues touched on here were recognizable and in some cases relatable, if that makes any sense. This is a skillfully written book with each story usually about two main characters, followed by another story of two characters, one of whom was in the previous story. This mechanism goes on taking us from London to Madrid to Dakar to São Paulo to Toronto to Seattle to Hong Kong to Ho Chi Minh City to Delhi to Kerala to Qatar to Budapest and full circle back to London and one of the characters from the first story. The titles do not reflect the names of the cities, but the airport codes. This is a cleverly written story collection of how people connect, and how everyone has at least one thing in common, they all carry a burden of some sort. Illness, death, infidelity, prejudice, fear, broken relationships between mother and daughter, husband and wife are some of the things found here. Something a little different and thought provoking.I received an advanced copy of this book from Scribner through Edelweiss.
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  • marilyn
    January 1, 1970
    I wasn't sure how I would like a book had us meeting people for only a short time, before sending us off with another person for a short time, over and over again. But I really liked this book despite not getting to know more about each person and what would happen in their life after our brief meeting. I became so used to the structure of the book that I didn't want it to be over and wondered how I would feel when we'd come to end of our journey. The author did a good job of circling us to a co I wasn't sure how I would like a book had us meeting people for only a short time, before sending us off with another person for a short time, over and over again. But I really liked this book despite not getting to know more about each person and what would happen in their life after our brief meeting. I became so used to the structure of the book that I didn't want it to be over and wondered how I would feel when we'd come to end of our journey. The author did a good job of circling us to a conclusion that I felt gave me closure, despite there not being a real ending to the story. It continues on, with some likeable characters and some unlikeable characters, giving us just a glimpse into the life of each traveler. I plan to read the author's earlier book, All That is Man because I enjoyed how he dealt with the characters in this book, so much. Thank you to Scribner and NetGalley for this ARC.
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  • Gumble's Yard
    January 1, 1970
    BDP-LHR: David Szalay, who lives in Budapest, was shortlisted for the London based 2014 Booker prize for his book “All That Man Is” – a collection of short stories, examining the crisis of masculinity, and which the judges felt to be eligible as a novel and fulfilling the “unified and substantive work” criteria.LHR-LAX: The winner of the Booker Prize that year was “Sellout” – a novel set in Los Angeles and which has been criticised as an attempt at stand up comedy masquerading as a novel.LAX-TLV BDP-LHR: David Szalay, who lives in Budapest, was shortlisted for the London based 2014 Booker prize for his book “All That Man Is” – a collection of short stories, examining the crisis of masculinity, and which the judges felt to be eligible as a novel and fulfilling the “unified and substantive work” criteria.LHR-LAX: The winner of the Booker Prize that year was “Sellout” – a novel set in Los Angeles and which has been criticised as an attempt at stand up comedy masquerading as a novel.LAX-TLV: A few months later, the 2017 Man Booker International Prize was won by David Grossman for “A Horse Walks into a Bar” – a novel about a stand-up comedian, giving a routine in portentous circumstances, in a small Israeli costal town.TLV-DBV: The Man Booker International Prize was won this year by Olga Tokarczuk for “Flights” which among much, much else both good and bad including a vignette on a Croatian Island, was a linked collection of vignettes, with a focus on travel, particularly 21st Century air travel.DVB-LHR: A little like “Turbulence” by David Szalay.
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  • Kathleen
    January 1, 1970
    Szalay’s twelve short vignettes circle the globe and feature people that are experiencing some turbulence in their lives. The chapters cite international airport codes, so LGW-MAD covers a flight from London to Madrid. This flight actually does suffer severe turbulence and causes a woman to fall ill while sitting next to a man from Senegal. The next chapter follows the Senegalese man to Dakar where he learns that his son has been hit by a taxi. The narrative baton then moves to the man riding in Szalay’s twelve short vignettes circle the globe and feature people that are experiencing some turbulence in their lives. The chapters cite international airport codes, so LGW-MAD covers a flight from London to Madrid. This flight actually does suffer severe turbulence and causes a woman to fall ill while sitting next to a man from Senegal. The next chapter follows the Senegalese man to Dakar where he learns that his son has been hit by a taxi. The narrative baton then moves to the man riding in the taxi on his way to the airport to pilot a plane to Sao Paulo. And so it goes until we are back in London once again. Amazingly, Szalay captures the essence of these people's lives in just a few pages.
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  • Sue
    January 1, 1970
    Turbulence has proven to be an interesting concept, well executed. While I did not find that every story had identical power, most made me think afterward or caused me to consider something in my own life. This collection of linked stories takes an unusual point for connection: characters either meet while traveling by plane or meet a character from one story who has traveled to the next destination/story.These men and women are linked as parents and children, as lovers or the spurned, as siblin Turbulence has proven to be an interesting concept, well executed. While I did not find that every story had identical power, most made me think afterward or caused me to consider something in my own life. This collection of linked stories takes an unusual point for connection: characters either meet while traveling by plane or meet a character from one story who has traveled to the next destination/story.These men and women are linked as parents and children, as lovers or the spurned, as siblings, as bosses and employees, as friends, etc. The stories relate sadness, fear, hopefulness, tragedy, secrets, much of the gamut of the human condition. Some of the tales really drew me in emotionally and I was sorry these ended so quickly. Turbulence is a quick read, definitely a one day book unless you spread it out as I did. It moves at the pace of modern life I’d say, with a population on the move across countries and continents, with families and friends widely separated often seeing each other infrequently. The more I think about it, the more I see in this book. Recommended.A copy of this book was provided by the publisher through NetGalley in return for an honest review.
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  • Donna
    January 1, 1970
    "So kiss me and smile for meTell me that you'll wait for meHold me like you'll never let me go'Cause I'm leavin' on a jet planeDon't know when I'll be back againOh babe, I hate to go" - John DenverTurbulence is a group of situational vignettes, each story grabbing the hand of the preceding one through a common character, until at last the book circles round back to the first. The stories span the globe, as one person in each flies to another country to weather bits of the human turbulence we exp "So kiss me and smile for meTell me that you'll wait for meHold me like you'll never let me go'Cause I'm leavin' on a jet planeDon't know when I'll be back againOh babe, I hate to go" - John DenverTurbulence is a group of situational vignettes, each story grabbing the hand of the preceding one through a common character, until at last the book circles round back to the first. The stories span the globe, as one person in each flies to another country to weather bits of the human turbulence we experience in our lives. I thought this was a lovely book, cleverly written, but not in a flippant way. I liked the chapter titles; they were simply arrival and destination airport codes, showing locations where the characters began and where they went. The book was short; I finished it easily in a couple of hours, and I want to re-read it to uncover the nuances that I may have missed, and also just to absorb the characters a little more fully. I was taken by how much of life the author, David Szalay, was able to put into such a spare novel. The first and final chapters were even more intricate than I realized as I now think more about them, with the child-parent-child relationships the author ties together. Yes, I definitely will re-read this! Many thanks to NetGalley and Scribner for an ARC of the book in exchange for my honest review.5 stars
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  • Rebecca
    January 1, 1970
    (3.5) These 12 linked short stories, commissioned for BBC Radio 4, focus on travel and interconnectedness. Each is headed by a shorthand route from one airport to another, and at the destination we set out with a new main character who has crossed paths with the previous one. For instance, in “YYZ – SEA” the writer Marion Mackenzie has to cancel a scheduled interview when her daughter Annie goes into labor. There’s bad news about the baby, and when Marion steps away from the hospital to get Anni (3.5) These 12 linked short stories, commissioned for BBC Radio 4, focus on travel and interconnectedness. Each is headed by a shorthand route from one airport to another, and at the destination we set out with a new main character who has crossed paths with the previous one. For instance, in “YYZ – SEA” the writer Marion Mackenzie has to cancel a scheduled interview when her daughter Annie goes into labor. There’s bad news about the baby, and when Marion steps away from the hospital to get Annie a few necessaries from a supermarket and is approached by a pair of kind fans, one of whom teaches Marion’s work back in Hong Kong, she’s overcome at the moment of grace-filled connection. In the next story we journey back to Hong Kong with the teacher, Jackie, and enter into her dilemma over whether to stay with her husband or leave him for the doctor she’s been having an affair with.As he ushers readers around the world, Szalay invites us to marvel at how quickly life changes and how – improbable as it may seem – we can have a real impact on people we may only meet once. There’s a strong contrast between impersonal and intimate spaces: airplane cabins and hotel rooms versus the private places where relationships start or end. The title applies to the characters’ tumultuous lives as much as to the flight conditions. They experience illness, infidelity, domestic violence, homophobia and more, but they don’t stay mired in their situations; there’s always a sense of motion and possibility, that things will change one way or another.My favorite story was “DOH – BUD,” in which Ursula goes to visit her daughter Miri and gains a new appreciation for Miri’s fiancé, Moussa, a Syrian refugee. I also liked how the book goes full circle, with the family from the final story overlapping with that of the first. Though a few of the individual stories are forgettable, I enjoyed this more than Szalay’s Booker-shortlisted All that Man Is, another globe-trotting set of linked stories.A favorite line: “In fact it was hard to understand quite what an insignificant speck this aeroplane was, in terms of the size of the ocean it was flying over, in terms of the quantity of emptiness which surrounded it on all sides.”Originally published on my blog, Bookish Beck.
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  • The Artisan Geek
    January 1, 1970
    14/5/19My review is up on my Youtube channel: Turbulence Review1/5/19Loved it!! Such an beautiful display of humanity, how we in emotional situations are most vulnerable and open to others! Such a great read! This is going on my crushing pile of books to review on my Youtube channel!! :D30/4/19A sincere thank you to Scribner for sending over this book! I know I say this all the time, but I LOVE short stories!!! :DYou can find me onYoutube | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Website
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  • Krista
    January 1, 1970
    What she hated about even mild turbulence was the way it ended the illusion of security, the way that it made it impossible to pretend that she was somewhere safe. She managed, thanks to the vodka, more or less to ignore the first wobble. The next was less easy to ignore, and the one after that was violent enough to throw her neighbour's Coke into his lap. And then the pilot's voice, suddenly there again, and saying, in a tone of terrifying seriousness, “Cabin crew, take your seats.” I read Dav What she hated about even mild turbulence was the way it ended the illusion of security, the way that it made it impossible to pretend that she was somewhere safe. She managed, thanks to the vodka, more or less to ignore the first wobble. The next was less easy to ignore, and the one after that was violent enough to throw her neighbour's Coke into his lap. And then the pilot's voice, suddenly there again, and saying, in a tone of terrifying seriousness, “Cabin crew, take your seats.” I read David Szalay's Man Booker-nominated All That Man Is (a collection of tenuously linked short stories that didn't quite qualify as a novel in my mind), and his latest, Turbulence, is sort of the same: consisting of very brief sketches of (mostly) unrelated character's lives, the actions of each ripple into the next story (each set in a different country), and on and on, like a shockwave of turbulence jolting its way through the entirety of the human narrative. Each chapter may be brief, but Szalay captures a moment of something very true and real in each; the line-by-line writing is precise and flawless. As characters fly around the world, Szalay believably switches up settings and cultures; but as different as these societies are, people are people everywhere. On the one hand, this message is demonstrated well, and on the other, sometimes Szalay's “message” became too overt for me. Overall: a brief read that packs a punch. (Note: I read an ARC and passages quoted may not be in their final forms.)Despite the book eventually travelling all around the world, there is one British family that ties it all together – and their diaspora says something interesting about modern life. In the opening piece (and opening quote), an elderly woman is flying home to Madrid after spending some weeks with her middle-age son as he went through radiation treatments for prostate cancer. Eventually, we meet this man's ex-wife – who initially plays a minor role in a chapter set in Qatar – as she visits her adult daughter in Budapest, and in the final chapter, this daughter visits her father at his home in London. Nothing is explained about why this family lives so far apart from one another, but the ways in which they're shown to live their lives speaks volumes about the types of people they are. And if, by the end, the reader doesn't get Szalay's point about how interconnected we all are, he shows the daughter reading the framed JFK quote that her father has always had in his flat: For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's future. And we are all mortal. Those particular concerns – the welfare of our children and our own mortality – recur throughout the stories, so it felt a little heavy-handed to me to have this stated so pointedly near the end of the book. I also didn't believe the following, an interaction between two lower-classed sisters in India after one discovers the other's husband has hit her: She said, leaning towards her sister so that their noses were almost touching, “There's a phrase for this now. It's 'toxic masculinity'.” She said the words in English, and Nalini didn't understand them, so she tried to find a Malayalam equivalent. “That's what they call it now. And you can't just take it,” she said. “You can't. Okay?” I did like that Ursula (the ex-wife of the British man, above) enjoys showing off her liberal bona-fides to her friends by talking about the fact that her daughter was dating a Syrian refugee (especially ironic in light of the ways that she treats her servants at home in the emirate), and I liked the turn that her attitude took when she discovered that her daughter intended to marry the man: Ursula wanted to ask her daughter how she could be sure he didn't have a family back in Syria – a wife, kids, whatever. There was no way of knowing. Ursula had thought about it just that morning on the plane from Doha. There used to be a time when flights from the Gulf to Europe flew over Iraq and Syria – that was the shortest way – only now they had to avoid the sky over those places and fly over Iran and Turkey instead. She had watched, on the seatback screen, her own flight do just that this morning, divert around Syria and Iraq, and she had thought of Moussa, of course, and of his unknown life down there, in that secret place – a place so secret it wasn't even possible to fly over it and look at it from ten thousand metres up. What had he left behind there? What ties did he still have? Impossible to say. As much as I liked the subtle shift in Ursula's attitude when she learns her daughter has become more serious about her Syrian boyfriend, I don't know if I believed that the girl's father, upon hearing the news of the impending nuptials, would blurt out, “He's not some nutcase is he? ...some Islamic nutter?” (Although we are told that he's frightened of his cancer and not quite himself.) So overall: Where Szalay was showing me people living incredibly well-drawn scenes from their lives, I totally got his message about the interconnectedness of the human family – and especially in these days of rapid intercontinental travel. But I didn't need the message stated overtly, and that detracted from my overall enjoyment. Still a four star read.
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  • Annette
    January 1, 1970
    Not bad, it held my attention and is nicely written but the whole thing is slight. Not even really a collection of short stories though the connections are skilfully made, each story is too short and the whole isn't saying much other than lots of people lots of connections. Another offering by an author who is very talented but has probably been pushed into publication with 'something' to keep their publisher happy.
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  • Jaclyn Crupi
    January 1, 1970
    Szalay has always propelled his characters into motion and here he takes his approach to storytelling to its natural place: twelve linked people flying from place to place. Each of them is in turmoil and disrupted. The common (unfair in my opinion) criticisms of his incredible book All That Man Is may well have weighed on him and here he has a much broader cast of characters. But toxic masculinity is still his target and he delves with a lovely light touch.
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  • Emily
    January 1, 1970
    Turbulence can either be read as a novel, or a set of short stories. Each story has to do with a plane flight, and each new main character is someone who was in the previous story. It was a great setup, but since this book was novella-length, I felt like I didn't have enough time to get to know any of the characters. A lot of them were going through big things, but you only spent a few pages with each of them. Every time I would start to get invested, the focus would switch to someone else.
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  • Bandit
    January 1, 1970
    The concept of interconnectivity has often been utilized in narration, but (for me at least) it seems to have always been more of a cinematic affair. Turbulence, though, does it in book form and oh so well. This slim volume of tangentially connected stories, each jetting off (literally since as the title might have given away they are all tied together by plane flights) where the last one left off until coming around in a circle to where it began, takes the readers all over the world and is posi The concept of interconnectivity has often been utilized in narration, but (for me at least) it seems to have always been more of a cinematic affair. Turbulence, though, does it in book form and oh so well. This slim volume of tangentially connected stories, each jetting off (literally since as the title might have given away they are all tied together by plane flights) where the last one left off until coming around in a circle to where it began, takes the readers all over the world and is positively enchanting with its quiet beauty of observational character driven narratives. The stories themselves are sometimes barely more than sketches, but they seem to do such a great job of representing each individual character at their present location and state of mind. This is purely credit to the author’s talent. Actually I haven’t read him before of even heard of him, but he’s been shortlisted for Man Booker among other prizes and based on this book alone it’s easy to recognize why. I’d be very interested in reading more of his work. So yeah, there’s interconnectivity all over this book in every meaning of the word, global citizenry being such a modern thing, one short (or long) flight and you’re in another world, but there seems to always be turbulence (another theme utilized literally and otherwise) along the way. Lovely collection, such an enjoyable read. Recommended. Thanks Netgalley.
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  • Petra
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.This book is basically 12 short stories, each story with a new main character that has at some point crossed paths with the main character from the previous chapter. In the end, it all goes full circle.I didn't think I would like this book so much. Short stories just aren't my thing. I did wish that some of the chapters were longer so we could learn more about the characters, but the whole purpose ( in my opinion) was I received a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.This book is basically 12 short stories, each story with a new main character that has at some point crossed paths with the main character from the previous chapter. In the end, it all goes full circle.I didn't think I would like this book so much. Short stories just aren't my thing. I did wish that some of the chapters were longer so we could learn more about the characters, but the whole purpose ( in my opinion) was to give a snapshot of their lives, just a few moments were you get to learn about them.Would recommend it, it's easy to read and though provoking
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  • Kasa Cotugno
    January 1, 1970
    Turbulence is a masterful string of pearls, each story connected to the former until they come full circle. Identified by the airport designation code as the chain makes its way around the world. Near the center, there is a profound sentence that encapsulates the entire sense of each story: "It was one of those events ... that make us what we are, for ourselves and for other people. They just seem to happen, and then they're there forever, and slowly we understand that we're stuck with them, tha Turbulence is a masterful string of pearls, each story connected to the former until they come full circle. Identified by the airport designation code as the chain makes its way around the world. Near the center, there is a profound sentence that encapsulates the entire sense of each story: "It was one of those events ... that make us what we are, for ourselves and for other people. They just seem to happen, and then they're there forever, and slowly we understand that we're stuck with them, that nothing will ever be the same again."
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  • Joseph
    January 1, 1970
    Really easy read. Read it throughout one day. I felt like there were so many things missing. It didn’t flow. I kept going back and saying to myself “are there pages missing? am i missing something? what?” I didn’t get it. The first chapter leading into the second made sense. Then it got messy. And didn’t flow. His characters repeated themselves so many times. I assume that was to fill the pages up?
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  • Linda Crossman
    January 1, 1970
    Meaningful vignettes beautifully woven togetherTurbulence takes a series of brief passing moments between relative strangers and weaves them together into short glimpses into wildly varying but somehow interconnected lives.The individual stories are simply snapshots of the characters lives but tell a good deal in a few, well written words.The author does an excellent job seamlessly moving from one voice to another. It was an engrossing, quick read hat left me wanting more.
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  • Toni
    January 1, 1970
    This lovely, aptly titled short story collection reminded me of a video about compassion often shown to new healthcare professionals where random people walk in, out, and around a hospital and the captions above their heads read “found something on her mammogram”, “wife’s surgery went well”, “scared about his appointment”, “waiting three hours to be seen”, etc. In a similar vein, the loosely linked stories in this book follow random people, some related and some not, during flights or travel to This lovely, aptly titled short story collection reminded me of a video about compassion often shown to new healthcare professionals where random people walk in, out, and around a hospital and the captions above their heads read “found something on her mammogram”, “wife’s surgery went well”, “scared about his appointment”, “waiting three hours to be seen”, etc. In a similar vein, the loosely linked stories in this book follow random people, some related and some not, during flights or travel to various places around the world. They are fleeting glimpses at singular moments of those people’s lives that feel like mere snapshots and leave the rest to the imagination.I travel by air several times a year and spend the requisite amount of time at airports accordingly. I am also a people watcher and during longer layovers, enjoy sitting with a glass of beer and observing those around me. I have often wondered what goes on in people’s lives at any given time and what their thoughts are preoccupied with. This slim volume does exactly that. The stories are very short and almost read like flash fiction, but they are by no means simple. Somehow, in barely a few pages, the author effortlessly portrays complex lives and emotions and how (something I’ve always believed) we are all connected to the rest of the world and likely frequently cross paths with people who are suffering greatly or going through challenges that we couldn’t begin to imagine. Like the health care video, these stories remind us to be kinder, more patient, more compassionate, and less judgmental. I loved every single one of them and once I caught up with the structure of the book, it was fairly easy to figure out who the next story would feature and I couldn’t wait to find out what their story would be. Highly recommended, especially to those who enjoy short story collections.Many thanks to Scribner and Netgalley for providing a review copy of the book.
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  • Beth M.
    January 1, 1970
    What an enthralling quick little read! Coming in at 160 pages and only a dozen chapters, I flew through my first experience with Szalay. As indicated by the title, the first chapter of the book starts with two characters experiencing severe turbulence while in mid-air on a flight. This mode of transport works as a chain link throughout the book as characters literally travel around the globe by plane. What is unique, however, is the way the Szalay uses each chapter as a hand-off to a new charact What an enthralling quick little read! Coming in at 160 pages and only a dozen chapters, I flew through my first experience with Szalay. As indicated by the title, the first chapter of the book starts with two characters experiencing severe turbulence while in mid-air on a flight. This mode of transport works as a chain link throughout the book as characters literally travel around the globe by plane. What is unique, however, is the way the Szalay uses each chapter as a hand-off to a new character’s story. In this way every chapter reads almost like a short story, connected to the previous chapter by a common character but also extending out in its own new direction.Let’s move past the literal presence of turbulence in this book, though. What really grabbed me is not just the turbulence on the plane or even the turbulent life events that each of the characters are facing ... it is the focus on relationships, on the ways in which people enter each other’s lives and connect and struggle with one another. My main take-away is this: Life is turbulent. We all have struggles that we must face and try to overcome. Yet we are all alike in that way, no matter who we are or where we are in the world.Szalay’s writing is focused, genuine, and relatable. He does not amplify or overplay the characters for the sake of the story. Rather, each vignette works as an authentic study of the character(s) in a moment in time - facing a diagnosis of cancer, the loss of a child, the birth of a child, a marital affair, and much more. I definitely recommend Turbulence if you are looking for an understated read with crisp prose and layers of underlying meaning.Many thanks to Scribner Books and NetGalley for the free advance copy of this book! All opinions expressed here are my own.
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  • Madeleine (Top Shelf Text)
    January 1, 1970
    [Thank you to Scribner for providing me with a free copy for review. All opinions are my own.]This slim collection surprised me with how much I loved it. I can't say what compelled me to pluck Turbulence from my shelf (likely, it was the vibrant colors of the cover) but I'm glad I picked it up. At under 200 pages, this is the perfect book to read in one sitting, whether you're enjoying a quiet weekend morning or sitting on the beach.Turbulence is a collection of 12 short stories, which feel more [Thank you to Scribner for providing me with a free copy for review. All opinions are my own.]This slim collection surprised me with how much I loved it. I can't say what compelled me to pluck Turbulence from my shelf (likely, it was the vibrant colors of the cover) but I'm glad I picked it up. At under 200 pages, this is the perfect book to read in one sitting, whether you're enjoying a quiet weekend morning or sitting on the beach.Turbulence is a collection of 12 short stories, which feel more like single moments in the lives of 12 individuals. What makes the collection feel unique is that each story is intertwined with the one before it, and all 12 characters are connected by mere degrees of separation. If that formatting sounds confusing, think of the movie Love Actually -- it's a similar set up. The stories are structured by flights paths around the globe; they are quiet and feel rather passive, but I truly loved reading each one and seeing the threads of connectivity throughout the book. I felt rather thoughtful after finishing Turbulence and would recommend it to readers who are interested in reading a short story collection but aren't sure where to start, as this one feels like a stepping stone between the literary fiction novel and short story genres.
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  • Lolly K Dandeneau
    January 1, 1970
    via my blog: https://bookstalkerblog.wordpress.com/'She was very aware of her failure to be equal to the needs of this moment. 'In these connected stories each character is on a journey, be it on an airplane, within memories, or flying to their future. The title isn’t lost on readers, what is life but an irregular motion disturbed not by currents but by every experience, however great or small, one encounters? Human beings, despite their location on the planet, confront joy, sorrow, fear, hope, via my blog: https://bookstalkerblog.wordpress.com/'She was very aware of her failure to be equal to the needs of this moment. 'In these connected stories each character is on a journey, be it on an airplane, within memories, or flying to their future. The title isn’t lost on readers, what is life but an irregular motion disturbed not by currents but by every experience, however great or small, one encounters? Human beings, despite their location on the planet, confront joy, sorrow, fear, hope, love, loss and death. Every story is not the same, that’s the gift of being human. We glimpse moments here, but we don’t stay long. In one story an accident resulting in the death of a young man causes Werner , on his way to the airport, to be late for work, setting off memories of his tragic past and the death of a sister. This story was as heartbreaking as Marion’s, desperate to catch a flight to Seattle where her daughter has just gone into labor. In a moment when her daughter needs her most, all Marion feels is ‘her own insufficiency as a human being’. Despite being a famous author whose writing is meaningful enough to be taught in classes as far away as Hong Kong, she doesn’t have the right words to ease her daughter’s devastating reality. It’s easy to relate to those pauses in time, when what is asked of us is impossible to translate. We sometimes fail, because we don’t know what is required, or how to give it.There are love affairs, and the struggle of ‘do I stay or do I go?’ The kernel of truth that maybe it doesn’t make a difference, that either choice is neither solution nor problem. In DEL-COK sisterhood is interrupted by domestic violence, despite a husband who is distant, working in Qatar. The frustration that is born out of caring, the cracks that could be fixed if only others would make the effort, the right choices depresses Anita. The many ways we are tied to each other, for better or worse. We all take flight for different reasons, not all lead to happy reunions. When Shamgar lands in Doha, we learn what it means to have a ‘sponsor’, which for all intents and purposes is really an owner. Yet even here, working a garden that will never be his, something else claims his longings. The story of Ursula, and her daughter Miri’s choice of partner with Mousa (a Muslim man) explores love with an asylum-seeker, the mistrust and suspicion that arises, warranted or not. This collection is about people around the globe, our commonalities, our differences. In the end, aren’t we all sharing the human experience? Haunted by the same things, filled with new beginnings and endings, longings, grief… just trying to make sense of the world and our own confused hearts?Death hovers in BUD-LGW, when a young woman comes home to visit her sick father in London, accompanying him for his scans at St. Mary’s hospital. She has news of her own to share, and her father can only hope he lives long enough to see it happen. It’s a fast read but meaningful despite the slim pages. This is my first read by David Szalay, Man Booker Prize-shortlisted author of All That Man Is. It’s evident that Szalay is able to get to the heart of his characters, regardless of what continent they inhabit, and write of experiences we can all easily relate to. The stories don’t have an ending, they are as open to the characters as your own life remains until your last breath.Publication Date: July 16, 2019Scribner
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  • Mark Joyce
    January 1, 1970
    I got very excited about London and the Southeast and All That Man Is and maintain that David Szalay is the potential laureate of the undistinguished twenty first century British everyman, should he wish to be such a thing. Some of his other stuff, and particularly that dealing with characters of other nationalities and women, I’ve found less compelling and in places a bit boring. This collection, written to a commission from BBC Radio 4, unfortunately fell into that category. It wasn’t all bad I got very excited about London and the Southeast and All That Man Is and maintain that David Szalay is the potential laureate of the undistinguished twenty first century British everyman, should he wish to be such a thing. Some of his other stuff, and particularly that dealing with characters of other nationalities and women, I’ve found less compelling and in places a bit boring. This collection, written to a commission from BBC Radio 4, unfortunately fell into that category. It wasn’t all bad by any means, and Szalay is such a good writer that each of the instalments had at least a couple of high points. But for me it’s a long way from his finest work and I hope he returns soon to writing full length novels about sweaty, overweight advertising executives grappling with professional and spiritual disappointment in places like Bexleyheath.
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  • ns510
    January 1, 1970
    “What she hated about even mild turbulence was the way it ended the illusion of security, the way that it made it impossible to pretend that she was somewhere safe.”(⬆ also how I feel about in-flight turbulence ugh)✈ From London to Madrid to Doha to Seattle et al. This is a fantastic, cohesive collection of twelve interconnected short stories about people in transit between various points in their lives. These moments may appear deceptively calm on the exterior, not belying the turbulence and t “What she hated about even mild turbulence was the way it ended the illusion of security, the way that it made it impossible to pretend that she was somewhere safe.”(⬆️ also how I feel about in-flight turbulence ugh)✈️ From London to Madrid to Doha to Seattle et al. This is a fantastic, cohesive collection of twelve interconnected short stories about people in transit between various points in their lives. These moments may appear deceptively calm on the exterior, not belying the turbulence and turmoil within. All over the world, at any given time, you have no idea what your fellow traveller/human is going through in their rich and complex lives, and I love that this book is a reminder of that.
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  • Andrienne
    January 1, 1970
    Interesting characters stitched together by their various travel destinations. There’s a mom whose son is dying of cancer, a gardener who beats his long-distance wife, a woman planning to leave her husband for a fling with her primary care doctor, a man pondering how to ask his brother to repay a loan...too many stories that seem mundane at first glance but are really lovely vignettes on life.
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  • Steph
    January 1, 1970
    A wonderful and lovely read that was way too short. But what a great idea. I'm definitely gonna check out other books by this author.
  • Flow
    January 1, 1970
    The book has a rigid construction principle (which in itself does not say anything about quality). Its short stories, and protagonists' lifes, are interlinked by international flights. Each life thus connected has its "turbulence" ... death, infidelity, family conflicts. The first three are great, and devastating, but soon the surprising ideas give way to "hot topics": a secretly gay guy in an arabic country, rich daughter marrying a Syrian refugee, and a few I've already forgotten. It's easily The book has a rigid construction principle (which in itself does not say anything about quality). Its short stories, and protagonists' lifes, are interlinked by international flights. Each life thus connected has its "turbulence" ... death, infidelity, family conflicts. The first three are great, and devastating, but soon the surprising ideas give way to "hot topics": a secretly gay guy in an arabic country, rich daughter marrying a Syrian refugee, and a few I've already forgotten. It's easily consumable and topical, so it could be a Hollywood movie at some point. This too does not say anything about quality.
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  • Jay
    January 1, 1970
    I'm a fan of David Szalay’s works. I read All That a Man is and left mesmerized. In the wake of that reading, I digested his other, earlier, novels.His newest work, Turbulence, is, in the words of one reviewer, “a chilling achievement”. Twelve linked stories—a kind of relay race with one story beginning in London and ten others passing thru 10 international cities, before ending with the 12th story back in London.Actually, calling them “linked stories” is probably misleading because they are att I'm a fan of David Szalay’s works. I read All That a Man is and left mesmerized. In the wake of that reading, I digested his other, earlier, novels.His newest work, Turbulence, is, in the words of one reviewer, “a chilling achievement”. Twelve linked stories—a kind of relay race with one story beginning in London and ten others passing thru 10 international cities, before ending with the 12th story back in London.Actually, calling them “linked stories” is probably misleading because they are attributes of the same story played out over a month’s time. The entire work is a haunting evocation of a humanity in constant movement thru life’s ongoing turbulence. The people who move through the work’s 136 pages—who move through turbulence-- leave the reader with a profound sense of rootlessness and uncertainty.
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  • Deborah Stevens
    January 1, 1970
    A really unusual, short, lyrical group of interrelated stories. This collection is constructed like a relay, in which the baton is passed from one character to the next as they meet in transit. We get little slices of their lives, and in some cases the intersections between them. It is the kind of writing that leaves you wishing for more, and pondering the author's choices.With thanks to Scribner and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Mary Beth Keane
    January 1, 1970
    “Strangely, their life went on outwardly as normal for a while after that, though with a kind of silence at the heart of it.”
  • Cindy H.
    January 1, 1970
    Thank You to NetGalley and Scribner Publishing for gifting me with an ARC of David Szalay’s new book Turbulence. In exchange for the ARC I offer my unbiased review. Right from takeoff, I knew this book was going to be something special. Using International airport codes as chapter headings, Szalay cleverly laid out our travel plans. From London to Madrid, Dakar to Portugal, Toronto to Seattle and so forth, all these stops included a brief glimpse of everyday life filled with fragility and humani Thank You to NetGalley and Scribner Publishing for gifting me with an ARC of David Szalay’s new book Turbulence. In exchange for the ARC I offer my unbiased review. Right from takeoff, I knew this book was going to be something special. Using International airport codes as chapter headings, Szalay cleverly laid out our travel plans. From London to Madrid, Dakar to Portugal, Toronto to Seattle and so forth, all these stops included a brief glimpse of everyday life filled with fragility and humanity. The beauty in these vignettes is that a character from the previous leg is interconnected to a character in the next segment, ultimately crossing the globe to come full circle. I absolutely adored this book. My only quibble was that it wasn’t longer. I could have kept on traveling with David Szalay for another 100 pages. For me, this was a five star read.
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