Get a free audiobook

Warlight

A novel
Written by: Michael Ondaatje
Narrated by: Steve West
Length: 8 hrs and 36 mins
4 out of 5 stars (141 ratings)

CDN$ 14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

From the internationally acclaimed, best-selling author of The English Patient: a mesmerizing new novel that tells a dramatic story set in the decade after World War II through the lives of a small group of unexpected characters and two teenagers whose lives are indelibly shaped by their unwitting involvement. 

In a narrative as beguiling and mysterious as memory itself - shadowed and luminous at once - we hear the story of 14-year-old Nathaniel, and his older sister, Rachel. In 1945, just after World War II, they stay behind in London when their parents move to Singapore, leaving them in the care of a mysterious figure named The Moth. They suspect he might be a criminal, and they grow both more convinced and less concerned as they come to know his eccentric crew of friends: men and women joined by a shared history of unspecified service during the war, all of whom seem, in some way, determined now to protect and educate (in rather unusual ways) Rachel and Nathaniel. But are they really what and who they claim to be? And what does it mean when the siblings' mother returns after months of silence without their father, explaining nothing, excusing nothing? 

A dozen years later, Nathaniel begins to uncover all that he didn't know and understand in that time, and it is this journey - through facts, recollection, and imagination - that he narrates in this masterwork from one of the great writers of our time.

©2018 Michael Ondaatje (P)2018 Penguin Random House Canada

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    80
  • 4 Stars
    30
  • 3 Stars
    19
  • 2 Stars
    8
  • 1 Stars
    4

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    90
  • 4 Stars
    28
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    4

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    75
  • 4 Stars
    24
  • 3 Stars
    18
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    6

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Wish I had more understanding.

I’m not sure what this book is about. If it happened in this day and age Rachel (Wren)and Nathaniel (Stitch) would have been in foster care and their mother would have had an awful time getting them back. She would have been charged with child abandonment.
Maybe the book is about the feelings of an abandoned child looking for answers. However, Nathaniel doesn’t seem too surprised when he finds out he has fathered a child. Never offers his guardian help or gratitude that he married Nathaniels pregnant girlfriend and became the child’s father. I guess things were different in the 1940s and 60s.
Warlight is an interesting story and it might have an element of truth. It has wonderful phrasing. Maybe I’m just a dim person who fails to see the point of this story.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Rich and beautiful.

I was wound into this book, each word spooling me onto a dynamo. Magnetized, I felt and heard complex lives spun with vivid language which revealed more saturated characters with each turn. It is just so beautiful scenes replay in my mind's eye.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

tedious, tedious, tedious

couldn't keep focused on it so kept going back to see if I missed anytnhing...I never gad. then I just gave up going back until I just gave up. the narrator was good...read the book in the tone the book was written.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

First Audible book.

First experience with Audible. Good book and narrator. Found Audible a bit frustrating as I wanted to go back in the story sometimes to check on elements of the story , that at the time seemed insignificant.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

#Audible1

Great book, it was worthy of a good night of book club discussions. It was poetic, you felt like you were there watching a movie. Powerful story of how war forces you into tough choices. Are they choices that you can live with.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A captivating read

I enjoyed the story telling narrative written from the boy’s perspective. It left you wanting more, but gave a sense of how many silences there were in the war era. Would recommend this to those who like mistry novels, with an element of psychological drama.
#Audible1

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

war light

I struggled to finish but did finish. very difficult to stay interested or to stay awake.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Best read in ages



Love this latest from one of my favourite authors.

Narration is very good as well.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Engaging insight to a little known facet of WW2

As with many books I have become deeply involved in Warlight starts slowly and pulls you in. this #Audible1 presentation was a joy to lidten as it unfolded.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Hard to follow

This book felt disjointed and hard to follow. It was not gripping so my mind was prone to wander - which may have contributed to my difficulty following along. Would not recommend.

0 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • IAN
  • 2018-06-21

Character fun

I really enjoyed this trip into that place and that time in human history. Complicated history it was, these characters showed the way ahead.