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31 Hours Hardcover – September 8, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Riveting . a potent psychological analysis on the true meaning of loyalty -- to friends, family members and country -- and what any of us, given the chance, would to do to uphold it.”The Minneapolis Star-Tribune
Highly readable keeps us engaged most with the desire to answer the standard thriller question: Can the killer be stopped?...Hamilton arrays her characters smartly, then points them toward the subway Women, in particular, will inhale this book.”Cleveland Plain Dealer
One of the best novels I’ve read this year.”Carol Fitzgerald, founder, BookReporter.com
Gorgeous and complex .a very tense narrative, vividly imagined and eerily plausible.”Publishers Weekly
"How much can we ever know the ones we truly love? So asks Masha Hamilton in her riveting new novel, 31 HOURS. It kept me up all night, and left me in tears."Amanda Eyre Ward, author of Sleep Toward Heaven, Love Stories In This Town
A literary novel that is also as suspenseful as a thriller. "31 Hours" is Hamilton's third book, and while the phrase "break-out book" is often bandied about too easily, Hamilton has written something singular Masha Hamilton’s new book has the pace of the most entertaining thriller, the information of an educational documentary, the compassion of an enlightening text, and the coherence of an artwork.”The Book Studio
Asks questions that have plagued our nation since the 2001 terrorist attacks.”Cleveland Scene
You don’t just read this gut-wrenching book; you become part of it in a deep, primal way. Hamilton’s story is so real and so raw, it takes over your thoughts and feelings and never lets go. We need to start a global book club and make this its first selection.” Lois Alter Mark, StyleSubstanceSoul.com
"Masha Hamilton uncovers the complex humanity behind the horror of terrorism. Read it for the exquisite craft, but also for the entry into a world that’s often splashed in the headlines, but seldom so brilliantly revealed." Caroline Leavitt, author of Girls in Trouble and Coming Back to Me
"A book of hope, despair and yearning that stays with you far beyond the final page. This book is poetic, frightening, and absolutely impossible to put down. Masha Hamilton is one of my very favorite writers, and stories like this are the reason why." Laura Fitzgerald, author of Veil of Roses and One True Theory of Love
Equal parts thriller and poetry, Masha Hamilton’s 31 Hours had me turning pages late into the night and thinking about its startling conclusion long after I’d read the last page. In compelling readers to reconsider how we think about terrorism, this beautiful novel will provoke understanding, and perhaps even inspire us toward much-needed change.”Meg Waite Clayton, author of The Wednesday Sisters
In 31 Hours, Masha Hamilton tells the poignant story of mothering a misguided, idealistic, puzzling yet familiar young man in today's alarming political climate. It is a deep meditation on the roots of terrorism and how closely related they can be to one's own family and home. The title is straightforward yet fraught with meaning; the gorgeous prose that follows wastes neither a phrase nor a sigh.”Barbara Fischkin, author of Muddy Cup and Confidential Sources
Hamilton’s novel raises many thought-provoking questions, which makes it a strong choice for book clubs and for readers who enjoy character-driven fiction with contemporary political relevance.”Library Journal
Without giving anything away, the ending can, and certainly may, spark discussion. (I can picture this book being discussed in a classroom setting.) Hamilton masterfully sets up the tension until you, as a reader, get to the point of finishing a chapter and looking at your watch to see if you have time to fit in another. It’s like every character is a grain of sand spiraling down an hour glass. They slowly come closer and closer together until they all meet in the middle Hamilton’s mastery of words will pull you in and not let you go.”minnesotareads.com
Brilliantly understated...as stark and quietly terrifying as anything I have read recently....A thriller in every sense of the word, it is also a work of literary fiction, a cautionary tale for the times taking place somewhere at this moment and for the foreseeable future.”bookreporter.com
Sometimes, even after the last word is read and the final page turned, a book is so full of unique and deftly drawn characters that they seem to continue living, free of the pages, ink, and binding that contained them. Masha Hamilton’s 31 Hours is such a book, and each character, no matter how brief the appearance, is so vibrant and fascinating that the idea of the end of the book, the end of the reader’s ability to follow them as they live their lives, feels like a deep and tragic loss.” Bookgeeks.co.uk
I highly recommend 31 Hours I’m still thinking about this haunting novel. Hamilton makes astute observations about human nature, the current political and social climate in the U.S., and she does this through characters that I truly came to care for and worry about.” Julie McGuire, fiction editor, Internet Review of Books
Gripping I read with an increasing sense of urgency as the clock ticked down the thirty-one hours to the story's climax.”Food for Thought
Perceptive and cohesive throughout, 31 Hours makes for tautly-building suspense.”Blogcritics.com
More About the Author
Her previous novels include Staircase of a Thousand Steps (2001), a Booksense pick by independent booksellers and a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection; The Distance Between Us (Unbridled Books, 2004), named one of the best books of the year by Library Journal; and The Camel Bookmobile (2007), also a Booksense pick. Booksense called it an excellent book club selection, and the New York Times said: "Hamilton makes us see how much is really at stake in a poverty-stricken place where every possession carries the weight of significance."
She worked as a foreign correspondent for The Associated Press for five years in the Middle East, where she covered the intefadeh, the peace process and the partial Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon. Then she spent five years in Moscow, where she was a correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, wrote a newspaper column, Postcard from Moscow, and reported for NBC/Mutual Radio. She wrote about Kremlin politics as well as life for average Russians under Gorbachev and Yeltsin during the coup and collapse of the Soviet Union. She reported from Afghanistan in 2004, and returned in 2008. In 2006, she traveled in Kenya to research The Camel Bookmobile and to interview street kids in Nairobi and drought and famine victims in the isolated northeast.
A Brown University graduate, she has been awarded fiction fellowships from Yaddo, Blue Mountain Center, Squaw Valley Community of Writers and the Arizona Commission on the Arts. She teaches for Gotham Writers' Workshop and has also taught at the 92nd Street Y in New York City and at a number of writers' workshops around the country. She is a licensed shiatsu practitioner and lives with her family in Brooklyn.
Top Customer Reviews
Jonas Meitzner is the prototype useful idiot of 31 HOURS. Hamilton creates a picture of this twenty-something disaffected youth perfectly, without resorting to caricature. One cannot read a paragraph or two about Jonas without immediately recognizing him as one of the many graduate students who one will trip over when walking more than 20 feet in any direction. As the book opens, Jonas's mother, Carol, realizes she hasn't spoken to her son for a while and senses something is wrong. Anyone who is the parent of an emancipated offspring will know this feeling immediately; one either gets it or doesn't, and as painted by Hamilton, it is entirely believable. Carol stews for a bit, and then turns to Vic, Jonas's longtime friend who has recently become his lover. Vic, wrapped up in preparation for her debut as a classical dancer, realizes even before Carol contacts her that she also hasn't seen Jonas lately.
It turns out that Jonas has deserted his own apartment for an Islamist safe-house apartment.Read more ›
I know the ending is going to haunt me.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Young man who becomes influenced by Islamic terrorists and persuade d to commit suicide as a protest to society inequalities. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Joy Hunger
I was really excited to read this book when I heard what it was about -- a young, privileged would-be suicide bomber in New York City. Read morePublished 7 months ago by The Horla
Book ends with no resolution of any of the several concurrent story lines. Very disappointing. It's like watching a movie in a theatre and the projector breaks in the middle. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Jill
As I delved into Ms. Hamilton's artfully paced tale of a young man's descent into an abyss of loneliness, grudges and misguided religious lunacy, I pondered her method of character... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Lea H. Becker
This book is unlike many I read. I most related to Carol, the mother of Jonas. Her gut instinct and "mother's intuition" are things I have experienced many times over the years of... Read morePublished 22 months ago by dinct
Well written but Rather pointless. Eighteen more words required to submit a review of something that was not worth reading.Published on January 30, 2014 by Lee Sattler
This book was chosen by someone else for our book club.... I was alittle skeptical of the subject matter.... but I read anyway. Read morePublished on October 28, 2013 by Amazon Customer
Many that was Hamilton's goal, but I would have preferred an ending. Doesn't have to be a happy ending tied with a bow, but an ending to the plotline.Published on August 25, 2013 by ABC