Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
The Evolution of Shadows Paperback – October 20, 2009
Rare Books by Legendary Authors
Discover collectible books by legendary authors on AbeBooks, an Amazon Company. Learn More on AbeBooks.com.
From Publishers Weekly
Malott follows several characters negotiating the searing and scarring effects of war in his trenchant debut. In 1995, Chinese-American Lian Zhao travels to Sarajevo looking for her lover, Gray Banick, an American journalist who has disappeared. She's helped by Jack MacKenzie, Gray's mentor, and Emil Todorovic, Gray's interpreter. Malott explores each character, opening their lives to expose the wounds the war has inflicted upon them. While the novel does include its share of wrenching battle scenes, its emotional center comes from more nuanced themes: the friendship between Gray, Jack and Emil; Gray and Jack's addiction to war journalism; the hopelessness of Lian's loveless marriage; Jack's nihilistic attitude after being surrounded by death for so long. This could easily have been a clichéd war diary, but Malott avoids the pitfalls of sentimentality, providing a refreshingly clear-eyed evocation of friendship, love and loss. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Malott employs a matter-of-factness that emphasizes the horrific unlikelihood of his war stories. All the while, he pulls the reader from one story to the next, from one period and place to anotherfrom present-day Bosnia back to Kansas City, where Gray lived; from the search for Gray back to his days in the war.”Bookforum.com
Malott strips down the language and amps up the tension as he creates an indelible portrait of the shell shocked and dispossessed.”BOOKLIST
Compelling.”The Wichita Eagle
A sparely written and stark depiction of three people and a nation confronting the horrors of war The causes and consequences of a centuries-old conflict (for historical background, Ivo Andric’s novel Bridge on the Drina, is a classic work) are revealed through deft storytelling and main characters that transcend their ethnicities to become real people in all their complexity.”ALBANY TIMES UNION.COM
"A timely meditation on exile and illness, love and guilt, beautifully written I look eagerly forward to whatever he writes next."Scott Phillips, author of The Ice Harvest
Top customer reviews
These three people come together to try to search for Gray, or Gray's remains, as a way to put an end to that chapter in their lives. Emil is still trying to find Mira, his fiancee who was taken away by enemy soldiers - in his head he knows she is dead, but in his heart, he refuses to give up hope. Katja, his current girlfriend, isn't sure that he will ever be able to let Mira go.
Jack has given his whole life to surviving in war zones. Where his homecomings with his wife used to be exciting - they have become alienated over the years and she now feels as if he has deserted her. Most of the big events in their life he has learned of over the phone, half a world away. Jack realizes that Gray is a surrogate son to him, to replace the one that his wife had miscarried 30+ years before.
That leaves Lian. She was always sure that her and Gray would not be together, but not because she didn't love him - even though she couldn't put it into words. Her family was bound by Chinese values and traditions, and those were put on her shoulders to carry forward. For this reason, she found herself engaged and married to Daniel, a Chinese doctor who works with her father. She realizes that she has been a coward her whole life, and hopes that by coming to Bosnia she will be able to come clean with Daniel about her past, and move forward in her life, on her terms.
That is, at least, how I viewed these three people. I cannot say that I "enjoyed" this book - as the setting isn't something that someone would "enjoy". But I found that I could not put it down! The story was told between present interactions amongst Emil, Lian and Jack and flash backs on their relationships with Gray. While there isn't a lot of action, it moves forward steadily, hauntingly, through war-torn Sarajevo and the surrounding countryside. While the setting of the story is tragic, there is an underlying romantic element of never losing hope. I highly - highly! recommend this book. It is a great debut novel and I can't wait to see what else Mr. Malott has to bring us.
For some reason, this passage has stayed with me:
"I will take pictures of the truth. They will be ashamed of themselves."
The man nodded. "But not until after my family is dead."
"I come from a sleeping people," Gray said.
"You are awake," the man said. "I must get back to my family." (p210)
The Evolution Of Shadows, while surrounding itself with the story of a war, is more about friendships than bombs. Sure there is the taste of war among the pages and you do feel this, but for me the war was within the three people that longed for answers; Lian, Emil, and Jack. Not sure if they are looking for the man Gray, or the remains of Gray, you feel that each of these characters has a longing and a fear of both.
Beautifully titled, these words "evolution of shadows" comes out of a sleepless night in the book. I love how that was weaved into the words.
Breathtaking and hard to put down, I pushed through the pages wanting to know the answers that each was seeking. What did happen to Gray? Would they ever know? What would they find? What if he is alive, how will they all react? What if they find what they fear the most?
For these answers - you will find not from me..... but from this book.
Although she married someone more acceptable to her parents, Lian always loved Gray. She leaves Kansas City for Serbia hoping to locate him. In Sarajevo she meets Gray's mentor Jack MacKenzie whose family finally gave up on him when he spent more time in hot spots than at home and Emil. The three begin a quest to learn what happened to Gray.
THE EVOLUTION OF SHADOWS is a strong war drama that makes the case that those who see the horrors of combat even non fighters like reporters need bonds of friendship to emotionally survive; the US Army affirms this premise with buddies being a key element to prevent suicide amidst the troops. Each of the key cast members feel genuine even the missing Gray who is seen mostly though the flashbacks of his compatriots. Jason Quinn Malott provides a powerful character driven tale that avoids turning nostalgic or maudlin.