DAN BROWN NEUES BUCH 2020

The boy is in the bathroom wie the zuerst bullet comes pfeife through die window. His mother pushes er into ns shower stall, curves herstellung body roughly his. Castle hear gunfire an the backyard, where die rest des the household has to be celebrating a child’s birthday party.

Du schaust: Dan brown neues buch 2020

Sixteen people das that afternoon, murdered von the neighborhood drug cartel. The troubles for the survivors — Lydia and her son, Luca, that cower in the restroom — room only just beginning.

“American Dirt,” a neu novel über Jeanine Cummins, has actually been positioned together a breakout hit des the year. The story von a mother und son’s no hope attempt to flee Mexico weil das America, it come on a gust des rapturous and demented praise — anointed “The Grapes of Wrath” zum our time, “required reading for all Americans.”

< This book was one von our many anticipated titles des 2020. See die full list. >

Allow me kommen sie take this one for the team. The motives des the book may be unimpeachable, yet novels have to be judged on execution, notfall intention. This peculiar publication flounders and fails.


Lydia’s husband, Sebastián, slain on ns patio, was a reporter who once fearlessly pursued geschichten about die cartel, which regulated Acapulco. Komm schon Jardineros, together they call themselves, schutz a taste zum baroque punishments und are helmed von a charismatic kingpin. Lydia, meanwhile, ich renne weg a bookshop. Herstellung life was quiet, content und enlivened recently von a new friendship v a patron, in older man, devastatingly suave (or deshalb we’re meant zu believe), that shared her taste in books. Their sklave was instant und deep.


This stranger transforms out zu be the kingpin. Of prozess he does; every little thing follows together predictably together possible. When Sebastián publishes in exposé, ns kingpin rewards him über slaughtering his family.

Lydia renders frantic plans zu escape. She decides kommen sie disguise herself und Luca as migrants and escape to America, till she realizes this is no disguise: “She and Luca are actual migrants. That is what lock are. Und that basic fact, amongst all die other severe neu realities of produziert life, knocks die breath clean out of produziert lungs. All herstellung life she’s pitied those poor people. She’s donated money. She’s wondered with the sort des detached fascination von the comfortable elite just how dire the conditions von their lives must it is in wherever they come from, that this is the much better option.”


There zu sein a fair amount of action in the book — chases, disguises, one thuddingly apparent betrayal — yet if you’re at all sensitive to language, her eye und ear wollen snag on the sentences. Over there are deshalb many instances and varieties von awkward syntax ich developed a taxonomy. There zu sein subtext announced weist booming volume. Over there are die strained similes (when Lydia finds she ist unable kommen sie pray, “she believes that a magnificent kindness. Prefer a federal government furlough, God has deferred produziert nonessential agencies”). There space perplexing bird analogies (the beautiful sister look at Lydia, “their expressions ranging favor a quarrel von sparrows”; “Mami’s cry, a shrill, corporeal thing, it bubbles out of her like a totally formed bird and it flies, yet Mami doesn’t”). Then there space the real masterpieces, where the writing grows deshalb lumpy and strange it sounds like nonsense poetry. Ich found myself flinching as ich read, notfall from ns perils ns characters face, however from the mauling die English language receives. Lydia’s expression “is one Luca has never viewed before, und he fears it could be permanent. It’s together if seven fishermen have cast their hooks into herstellung from different directions and they’re all pulling weist once. One from the eyebrow, one from die lip, another at the nose, one from die cheek.” Yes, of course. That expression.

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Why have to this matter? you might questioning (or Cummins might protest). Shouldn’t the story matter, produziert effort kommen sie individuate world portrayed as a “faceless brown mass” (her words)? an the book’s afterword, she agonizes about not being the right person to write die book (“I wished someone slightly browner 보다 me would certainly write it”) yet decides that she has actually a ethikrat obligation to ns story.

I’m von the persuasion the fiction necessarily, even rather beautifully, requires imagining in “other” of some kind. As the novelist Hari Kunzru has argued, imagining ourselves right into other lives and other subjectives is bei act of ethical urgency. Die caveat is to do this work of representation responsibly, und well. The journalisten Katherine Boo, that wrote about a Mumbai slum an her national Book Award-winning “Behind ns Beautiful Forevers,” and has reported on poverty and disability, often speaks of the “earned fact” — the research necessary before making a claim. “Getting it right matters method more than whether you tun können make civilization care,” she has actually said.

Cummins has actually put in the research, as she describes bei her afterword, and the scenes on kelle Bestia are vividly conjured. Still, ns book feels conspicuously like die work of an outsider. Die writer has actually a strange, excited fascination an commenting top top gradients of brown skin: characters are “berry-brown” or “tan as childhood” (no, i don’t recognize what that means either). In one scene, ns sisters embrace und console every other: “Rebeca breathes deeply right into Soledad’s neck, und her tears wet ns soft brown curve of her sister’s skin.” in all mine years von hugging my own sister, i don’t think I’ve ever before thought, “Here ich am, hugging your brown neck.” am I lacking out?

The real failures von the book, however, schutz little zu do with die writer’s identity and everything kommen sie do with produziert abilities together a novelist.

What dünn creations these personalities are — and how distorted castle are by the stilted prose und characterizations. Die heroes flourish only much more heroic, ns villains much more villainous. Die children sound favor tiny prophets. Sometimes there’s a flare von deeper, much more subtle characterization, the way Luca, for example, experience “an uncomfortable feeling von both thrill and dread” when he ultimately lays eye on die other side des the border, or how, in the middle des the terror of escape, Lydia will still notice that her son needs a haircut.

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But does ns book’s shallowness paradoxically explain die excitement surrounding it? the tortured sentences aside, “American Dirt” ist enviably easy zu read. It ist determinedly apolitical. The deep roots of these compelled migrations are never interrogated; die American reader can read without fear von uncomfortable self-reproach. The asks only zum us kommen sie accept that “these human being are people,” while giving us the saintly to root for and the barbarous zu deplore — and then congratulating us for caring.