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No Country: A Novel Kindle Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Length: 561 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

Cometh the Hour: A Novel (The Clifton Chronicles) by Jeffrey Archer
"Cometh the Hour" by Jeffrey Archer
Cometh the Hour is the penultimate book in the Clifton Chronicles and, like the five previous novels - all of which hit the New York Times bestseller list - showcases Jeffrey Archer's extraordinary storytelling with his trademark twists. Learn more | See author page

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

This epic novel, spanning three continents and multiple generations, probes the nature of family and home. In Ireland in 1843, country lad Padraig Aherne runs into trouble in Dublin and ends up on a ship sailing to Calcutta, where he will make his fortune in the import business even as he is constantly haunted by his memories of Ireland. He leaves behind his girlfriend, Brigid, unaware that she is pregnant, and his best friend, Brendan. Faced with the deprivations of the potato famine, Brendan takes Padraig’s child to Canada, where, sick of their torturous sea journey, they find peace in the rural countryside and become tenant farmers. As the generations unspool, the novel touches on the Indian Partition, New York City’s Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, and the universal struggle of immigrants to find a home in their new countries. Told from multiple perspectives, this thoughtful novel offers a panoramic view of the way personal and national destinies collide, sometimes ending in tragedy, sometimes in triumph. Historical-fiction fans will find much to savor in this rich portrait of the trials and tribulations of immigrants. --Joanne Wilkinson

Review

“No Country is a rousing adventure made up out of the blood and guts and dreams of people on three continents and nearly 150 years of troubled history.... Kalyan Ray doesn't just think about these matters splashed across three continents, he sharply dramatized them, avoiding kitsch and stock situations, embracing disparate stories to create an epic flow of tribute,celebration and commemoration, making a novel as easy to read as the latest bestseller, with a watermark that announces intelligence and fine prose at your fingertips.” (Alan Cheuse NPR)

This sprawling novel gives new, multilayered meaning to that old cliché, “It's a small world.” Ray’s American debut is all about connections—and disconnections.... The variegated colors, tastes and textures of Ray’s narrative, as it moves through multiple points of view, lends a powerful sense of context to both the most trivial and the most tragic of human circumstances. Ray treads the fine line between coincidence and contrivance with bravado and finesse. (Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review))

"[A] compelling answer to a primal question: where do I come from?... Readers fond of Salman Rushdie’s subcontinental epics should appreciate Ray’s combination of multigenerational saga and historical canvas, taking in the potato famine, the partition of India, and the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. Ray vividly illustrates the sentiment one of his characters puts down in a letter: '“We all stand at the same great isthmus in the geography of time. We are all related: Our mortality is our one common nation.'" (Publishers Weekly)

Told from multiple perspectives, this thoughtful novel offers a panoramic view of the way personal and national destinies collide, sometimes ending in tragedy, sometimes in triumph. Historical fiction fans will find much to savor in this rich portrait of the trials and tribulations of immigrants. (Booklist)

[W]renching... This compelling tale of cultural interconnectedness is highly recommended. (Library Journal (Starred Review))

An unforgettable journey through lives, continents, and history, No Country leaves you deeply moved. Kalyan Ray shows both the thrill and trauma of immigration in a true and powerful way. A wonderful book. (Lara Vapnyar, award-winning author of The Scent of Pine)

In No Country, anambitious, fascinating and suspenseful novel that spans continents andgenerations, Kalyan Ray deftly draws the reader into the lives of an unusualcast of characters who inhabit worlds as diverse as 19th century rural Ireland, colonial India and present day New York. Ray has painted these characters witha loving intricacy that made me truly care about their hopes, dreams, andtragic reversals of fate. (Chitra Divakaruni, author of Oleander Girl)

This beautifully written, intelligent novel probes the nature of family, nation, and home—of the loyalties and allegiances which comprise identity itself. Beginning in a poor Irish village in 1843 and ending in upstate New York in 1989 by way of India, the story spans many generations and three continents to weave a panoramic tapestry, the very fabric of how we are all connected. This is a moving and compelling tale, full of richly satisfying ironies, and driven by a near-cosmic grasp of how fate and free will play out through our lives. (Enid Shomer, author of The Twelve Rooms of the Nile)

Product Details

  • File Size: 6752 KB
  • Print Length: 561 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (June 17, 2014)
  • Publication Date: June 17, 2014
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00GEECHIO
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #679,737 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Here is the recipe for No Country. Take equal parts The Raj Quartet, Trinity and Redemption, blend well. Add a dash of Jhumpa Lahiri, a smidgen of Kipling and a pinch of Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct to finish. Use the rind of one rotten potato for garnish. Read while on a Passage to India.

No County is a tale of post-colonial misery covering two centuries, told through individual character’s voices. No Country is technically well done, as I would expect it to be. Ray does piece the interlocking short stories together in a unique way. And I like that kind of book. The ones that keep you wondering just how it will implode or link up at the end. No Country grabbed me in the first section. And I like epics, but after several of the earlier stories, I started to see the same tale repeated. Dead mothers, absent fathers. Missing people thought dead. So many dead mothers, that I kept thinking about the quote about losing both parents in The Importance of Being Earnest. And I kept predicting the next disaster. Other authors have used so much of this before that I could not stop from naming them. The geographic locations and exact outcomes were different, but Leon Uris did the Triangle Shirtwaist Company fire to maximum effect, albeit Uris set his fire in Londonderry. Ray can’t top Uris’s tragic scene of dead women outside a burning building for an image sticking in one’s head. He tries, but post 911, post World Trade Center, he just can’t.

Sure, the immigrant experience is similar world over and perhaps that is the important message here, but No County did not pay off for me the way I thought it would. Ray took a great big bite into the problems of racial, national, culture identity that came after Empire building and immigration.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I quickly became enraptured by “No Country” and continued to enjoy its lush backdrops and interwoven stories of humanity until the bittersweet ends. The novel is aptly named because at its center the novel is about the human condition of being born, growing up, living, and dying, in various nation states of this Earth that are each indistinguishable in their basic challenges and joys.

Starting in Ireland, the novel follows two young friends that are forced to leave their village and country due to different social and political circumstances, ending up on opposite sides of the world. They struggle to make their journeys, whether alone, or with dear friends. Once at their ‘destination’, immigrants in a new home, they find new challenges including the basic challenge of belonging, but not belonging, as a foreigner in a new homeland. The two Irish founders live in their new homes and give birth to new lines that go through their own struggles as the waves of history carry them to their own procreation and death. As time passes, more and more of the stories of their ancestors, and their traditions, begin to vanish into an amalgam of something new, but always full of hope and desire and dreams. And sometimes ugly tragedy.

The most impressive element of Ray’s novel is its language and tone. Written in the first person throughout (obviously from various viewpoints), the voice changes from section to section based on the characters, as one would like. The early portions of rural Ireland are filled with a vocabulary and syntax that evokes the setting truly. Portions in India or the New World are suitably distinct and true themselves. Whether shifting in space, or in time, the writing shifts as well.
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Format: Hardcover
No Country is one of those rare books that haunts and inspires a reader long after putting it down. Set in Ireland, India, and the United States, the book spans more than two centuries and includes a cast of characters whose stories interweave in beautiful and sometimes heart-rending ways. Along the way there are many surprises, and it all culminates in an ending that will leave you thinking. I bought the book after hearing the author at a reading, and I could hardly put it down until I reached the end. The author captures the voice of each character with a distinct writing style for each. He also must have done a great deal of research to capture the feel of each place that the book visits. The settings are vivid, and the characters are wonderfully portrayed. They feel like people you might meet, and even like people you might laugh or cry with. The story as a whole also explores the experience of the immigrant and the complexities that make up identity. This book will move you and make you think. Highly recommended for anyone looking for a thoughtful, moving journey.
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Format: Hardcover
NO COUNTRY, Kalyan Ray’s second work of fiction, is concerned with family, nationality, assimilation, and a lot of other novel buzzwords. Perhaps most poignantly, though, it will be remembered for the questions it asks about size and scope. How large is the world in which we live? How far do our lives extend? Ray constantly probes the reader with that question in narratives both large and small. The book, which features layered chapters of epic scope that span continents, centuries and generations, always seems as though it is just on the verge of getting ahead of itself. But it succeeds because it masterfully juxtaposes the smallest and the largest of worlds, revealing each one’s perpetual containment within the other.

And the smallest of worlds is where we find ourselves at the start of NO COUNTRY. In a tiny, rural Irish town, we are presented with the 19th-century tale of Brendan, Padraig and Brigid. Their world is minuscule, and not only because of the isolated setting. As the book begins, in their late teenage years, they are the only children left in the schoolhouse, with all the others gone to work on their family farms. Each is very nearly the sum total of the other’s world. But when a damning priest, a stirring revolution and the potato famine sweep into their lives, the three are, rather literally, swept to the winds. The book then takes a gasping stumble into the vastness of the world, and proceeds on a trek through their vastly divergent lives in Ireland, India and America, coming to span centuries and generations.

Ray retains masterful control over his divergent narratives through the strength in which the original characters were grounded.
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