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The World and All That It Holds

Written by: Aleksandar Hemon
Narrated by: Aleksandar Mikic
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Publisher's Summary

From literary powerhouse Aleksandar Hemon, author of The Lazarus Project, comes a big, brilliant, sweeping novel of love, memory, and history-in-the-making.

As the Archduke Franz Ferdinand arrives in Sarajevo on a sunny June day in 1914, Rafael Pinto is busy crushing herbs and grinding tablets behind the counter at the pharmacy he inherited from his estimable father. It’s not quite the life he had expected during his poetry-filled student days in sophisticated, libertine Vienna—but it’s nothing a dash of laudanum from the high shelf, a summer stroll, and idle fantasies about passersby can’t help.

And then the world explodes. War devours all that they have known, and the only thing Pinto has to live for are the attentions and affection of Osman, a fellow soldier, a man of action to complement Pinto’s introspective, poetic soul; a dapper, charismatic storyteller; Pinto’s protector and his lover.

Together, Pinto and Osman will escape the trenches, survive near-certain death and imprisonment, tangle with spies and Bolsheviks. Over mountains and across deserts, from one world to another, it is Pinto’s love for Osman—with the occasional opiatic interlude—that keeps him going.

The World and All That It Holds—in all its hilarious, heartbreaking, erotic, whimsical, philosophical glory—showcases Hemon’s celebrated talent at its pinnacle and cements him as one of the boldest voices of our time.

©2023 Aleksandar Hemon (P)2023 Hamish Hamilton

What the critics say

One of
Lit Hub’s “Most Anticipated Books of 2023”
Esquire’s “Best Books of 2023”

The World And All That It Holds is a masterwork of the epic and the intimate. I lost myself to this tale of Sarajevans drawn into the assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand and their fight to survive in the war that followed. It is a staggering work of beauty and brutality, a testament to love, family, and the ties that call us home.” ―Douglas Stuart, author of Shuggie Bain

The World and All That It Holds would be an audacious title for a book by anybody except God–or Aleksandar Hemon. . . the irrepressible voice of The World and All That It Holds glides along a cushion of poignancy buoyed by wry humor. From start to finish, no matter what else he’s up to, Hemon is telling a tale about the resilience of true love.” The Washington Post

"An astoundingly expansive new novel form one of my all-time favorite writers. The World and All That It Holds is at once a heartbreaking love story and a thrilling history of twentieth-century Eurasia. It's an amazing accomplishment of epic history and personal drama." ―Jesse Eisenberg, actor

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