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Preparation for the Next Life by Atticus…
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Preparation for the Next Life (2014)

by Atticus Lish

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3011457,809 (3.99)32
Zou Lei, a Chinese Muslim of the Uighur tribe, enters the U.S. via Mexico, and makes her way to New York City. Keeping a low profile and employed in a restaurant, she meets Skinner, a veteran of the Iraqi war, who's afflicted with PTSD.
  1. 00
    Redeployment by Phil Klay (novelcommentary)
    novelcommentary: great first novels that discuss the experiences of our recent vets
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English (11)  Spanish (2)  Dutch (1)  All languages (14)
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
I finished this for the 3rd time today.

( )
  Adammmmm | Sep 10, 2019 |
A well-written novel about a harsh subject. The grime, dirt and deep hopelessness of the main characters' lives leap off the page. The plot weakens a little towards the end. Overall, a compelling read that you may want to put down, but can't. ( )
  sharonstern | Jun 16, 2017 |
Preparation for the Next Life by Atticus Lish is a difficult book to rate. This is not due to any flaws but to the fact that a book that presents some very ugly truths can also be a very beautiful book.

This is a dark and often depressing book about the illusion that is "The American Dream." Whether one is an undocumented foreigner who is working hard or an American born and raised war veteran with PTSD, there are more things working against you than for you. To say the descriptions are bleak is almost an understatement.

Having said all of that, this book is beautiful in it's rendering of hopelessness. Dreams for advancement and happiness easily become a simple desire to survive without hassle. People, all people, need someone(s) or we can go crazy in our struggles. This novel portrays that need and all of the difficulties inherent in having such a necessity in our life.

This should be read by everyone, in my opinion, simply so that we can all understand the difficulties our fellow human beings suffer daily. Aside from that sweeping statement, I think readers who don't mind bleak as long as it speaks to the human condition will enjoy this book. I am not sure those who read for entertainment only will want to read this, though they will be rewarded if they choose to tough it out.

Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via LibraryThing. ( )
  pomo58 | Jun 14, 2016 |
This was a difficult book to read about subjects we don't like to face or acknowledge, but needs to be read. The characters are not loveable, the plot and writing is jumpy and disjointed, but so is life. Our book club agreed that this was one of those titles that disturbs and effects the way we think. You can't walk away from this book uneffected. ( )
  Bibliofemmes | Jan 25, 2016 |
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