HomeGroupsTalkMoreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

The Illegal: A Novel (2015)

by Lawrence Hill

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4162261,426 (3.61)43
Fiction. African American Fiction. Literature. HTML:

Keita Ali has nothing: no bank account, no papers, no legal identity. A runner, he has fled homeâ?? a brutal dictatorship that produces the world' s fastest marathonersâ?? to live as an illegal refugee in a wealthy western nation, surviving on winnings from local races. But the government is cracking down on illegal immigrants, so Keitaâ?? who will be executed if he is deported to his homelandâ?? goes underground. Now, a series of crises call for him to earn quick money: an unscrupulous businessman targets him, a serious health problem erupts, and, most troublingly, officials in Keita' s native country kidnap his sister, threatening to execute her unless he pays a ransom. As Keita struggles to resolve these problems, he discovers a troubling political connection between his native and his adopted country. The Illegal is a rich, riveting novel that weaves a complex moral and psychologic… (more)

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 43 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
The characters are too one dimensional, the plot overly predictable, and the perfect, happy ending absolutely nauseating. Don't bother with this one. ( )
  kevinkevbo | Jul 14, 2023 |
Disappointing. I had really enjoyed reading a previous book by this author (The Book of Negroes) and looked forward to reading this one, hoping for a similar type of storytelling, fiction based on real world events and for the book to be written from a Canadian perspective. Given that Hill chose to write a novel about an illegal immigrant at a time when immigrants to Canada were very much a part of public discussion, I had thought that this book would tell a story about being a refugee in Canada, I thought it would be well researched and insightful with strong characters. Based on the last book I read by Hill, I thought this book would have a lot more than it actually did.

Instead of writing about a refugee in Canada, Hill instead chose to create a fictional homeland and then have the character immigrate to another fictional country. This gave him the freedom to make up any story he wanted, without doing any research or work to weave a story around the real world. The end result was that the story seemed gutless and weak, and that ignored the rich background of Canadian culture and it's relationship with immigration. There are some Canadian easter eggs thrown in, some street names that Canadians will know (even though they are in "Freedomland") and the characters go on a date to "Tim's" which involved too much explanation of what a Tim Horton's was. This all just seemed like silly pandering.

And so we have a story about an athlete in one country who flees to another country, lots of descriptions of him running in marathons and his aches and pains, and the people he meets who live in a small world and somehow all intertwine by convenient and coincidental meetings. The characters are all boring as hell and each fits into a stereotype (the black lesbian in a wheelchair, little old lady who still has her wits but son wants to put her in a home, the brothel owner with a heart of gold, the corrupt politician....). There's a bit of a political corruption subplot (or is that the main plot?) and it all comes together tidily in the end. Overall, just a very tedious read and I'm actually surprised that I finished it. ( )
  northwestknitter | Mar 28, 2021 |
I wanted to like this book as there are few good books that involve long-distance running and runners, but I just couldn't quite get there. I suppose I don't know enough about this world to fully understand what all was happening here. So, not a bad read, just not a really good one.... ( )
  ChetBowers | Mar 10, 2021 |
An interesting and topical read, with some strong female characters and good world-building. The parts about running came across as very authentic. Hill created a sense of tension and suspense, with a satisfying conclusion.

For me, the pace seemed to pick up after the first four chapters. ( )
  LisaTimpf | Sep 23, 2020 |
When Keita’s father is murdered, he flees his country to neighbouring Freedom State, where he is considered an “illegal”. Keita is a (very gifted) runner, so he continues to train and enter marathons. When he hears his sister has been kidnapped and is being held for ransom, the stakes on winning those marathons (and the money) are so much higher.

There is a bit more to this, with secondary characters (a lesbian journalist in a wheelchair, a young prostitute “illegal” sent home and murdered, the madame of the brothel, some high level political figures, a teenaged talented documentary maker).

Overall, I’d rate it ok. I’m not sure if it would be of more interest to people who enjoy sports, with all the running, or maybe to people who enjoy political fiction. Sometimes political stuff is of more interest to me, but I think it depends on how it’s done. I listened to the audio, and the narrator was fine, nothing special, but didn’t detract, either, I didn’t think. The story itself was fine. ( )
  LibraryCin | Mar 31, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lawrence Hillprimary authorall editionscalculated
Noël, CaroleTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Noël-Allen, MarianneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Epigraph
Dedication
For Miranda -- always full of love, understanding and inspiration.  This one is for you.
First words
"Go home."
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Fiction. African American Fiction. Literature. HTML:

Keita Ali has nothing: no bank account, no papers, no legal identity. A runner, he has fled homeâ?? a brutal dictatorship that produces the world' s fastest marathonersâ?? to live as an illegal refugee in a wealthy western nation, surviving on winnings from local races. But the government is cracking down on illegal immigrants, so Keitaâ?? who will be executed if he is deported to his homelandâ?? goes underground. Now, a series of crises call for him to earn quick money: an unscrupulous businessman targets him, a serious health problem erupts, and, most troublingly, officials in Keita' s native country kidnap his sister, threatening to execute her unless he pays a ransom. As Keita struggles to resolve these problems, he discovers a troubling political connection between his native and his adopted country. The Illegal is a rich, riveting novel that weaves a complex moral and psychologic

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary
He's running for life
Talented, Alone, Afraid
Undocumented

Current Discussions

None

Popular covers

Quick Links

Rating

Average: (3.61)
0.5 1
1
1.5
2 9
2.5 3
3 17
3.5 11
4 35
4.5 9
5 8

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 207,555,988 books! | Top bar: Always visible