Turbulence by David Szalay


From the acclaimed, Man Booker Prize-shortlisted author of All That Man Is, a stunning, virtuosic novel about twelve people, mostly strangers, and the surprising ripple effect each one has on the life of the next as they cross paths while in transit around the world.A woman strikes up a conversation with the man sitting next to her on a plane after some turbulence. He returns home to tragic news that has also impacted another stranger, a shaken p...

Details Turbulence

Release DateJul 16th, 2019
GenreFiction, Short Stories, Contemporary

Reviews Turbulence

  • Angela M
    3.5 rounded up There’s a lot of turbulence in the lives of the characters in this collection of connected stories, not just the turbulence in the plane ride in the first chapter. The stories are too short for me to have felt any emotional connection to any of the characters, but the emotions and issues touched on here were recognizable and in some cases relatable, if that makes any sense. This is a skillfully written book with each story usuall...
  • marilyn
    I wasn't sure how I would like a book had us meeting people for only a short time, before sending us off with another person for a short time, over and over again. But I really liked this book despite not getting to know more about each person and what would happen in their life after our brief meeting. I became so used to the structure of the book that I didn't want it to be over and wondered how I would feel when we'd come to end of our journey...
  • Gumble's Yard
    BDP-LHR: David Szalay, who lives in Budapest, was shortlisted for the London based 2014 Booker prize for his book “All That Man Is” – a collection of short stories, examining the crisis of masculinity, and which the judges felt to be eligible as a novel and fulfilling the “unified and substantive work” criteria.LHR-LAX: The winner of the Booker Prize that year was “Sellout” – a novel set in Los Angeles and which has been criticise...
  • Kathleen
    Szalay’s twelve short vignettes circle the globe and feature people that are experiencing some turbulence in their lives. The chapters cite international airport codes, so LGW-MAD covers a flight from London to Madrid. This flight actually does suffer severe turbulence and causes a woman to fall ill while sitting next to a man from Senegal. The next chapter follows the Senegalese man to Dakar where he learns that his son has been hit by a taxi....
  • Sue
    Turbulence has proven to be an interesting concept, well executed. While I did not find that every story had identical power, most made me think afterward or caused me to consider something in my own life. This collection of linked stories takes an unusual point for connection: characters either meet while traveling by plane or meet a character from one story who has traveled to the next destination/story.These men and women are linked as parents...
  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    This is what I think is called a "fix-up" novel, where a string of short stories link together somewhat to form a larger hole. The characters are briefly introduced in relation to a flight they are taking, and another character leaves from that airport and flies to another. Of course by the end there are some connections, but you don't necessarily get a full story from any of the characters, which I ended up feeling was a bit of a shame, because ...
  • Victoria
    A daisy chain of stories that even this non-fan of short stories found entirely absorbing. The dozen chapters each introduce a character with a link to the previous and while the stories are minimal, the glimpses into humanity are revealing. Starting on a flight from London to Madrid then traveling to numerous cities before coming full circle with the final chapter, Szalay manages to upend your perception of each character as they move from seco...
  • Donna
    "So kiss me and smile for meTell me that you'll wait for meHold me like you'll never let me go'Cause I'm leavin' on a jet planeDon't know when I'll be back againOh babe, I hate to go" - John DenverTurbulence is a group of situational vignettes, each story grabbing the hand of the preceding one through a common character, until at last the book circles round back to the first. The stories span the globe, as one person in each flies to another coun...
  • The Artisan Geek
    14/5/19My review is up on my Youtube channel: Turbulence Review1/5/19Loved it!! Such an beautiful display of humanity, how we in emotional situations are most vulnerable and open to others! Such a great read! This is going on my crushing pile of books to review on my Youtube channel!! :D30/4/19A sincere thank you to Scribner for sending over this book! I know I say this all the time, but I LOVE short stories!!! :DYou can find me onYoutube | Insta...
  • Rebecca
    (3.5) These 12 linked short stories, commissioned for BBC Radio 4, focus on travel and interconnectedness. Each is headed by a shorthand route from one airport to another, and at the destination we set out with a new main character who has crossed paths with the previous one. For instance, in “YYZ – SEA” the writer Marion Mackenzie has to cancel a scheduled interview when her daughter Annie goes into labor. There’s bad news about the baby...
  • Krista
    What she hated about even mild turbulence was the way it ended the illusion of security, the way that it made it impossible to pretend that she was somewhere safe. She managed, thanks to the vodka, more or less to ignore the first wobble. The next was less easy to ignore, and the one after that was violent enough to throw her neighbour's Coke into his lap. And then the pilot's voice, suddenly there again, and saying, in a tone of terrifying serio...
  • Annette
    Not bad, it held my attention and is nicely written but the whole thing is slight. Not even really a collection of short stories though the connections are skilfully made, each story is too short and the whole isn't saying much other than lots of people lots of connections. Another offering by an author who is very talented but has probably been pushed into publication with 'something' to keep their publisher happy.
  • Jaclyn Crupi
    Szalay has always propelled his characters into motion and here he takes his approach to storytelling to its natural place: twelve linked people flying from place to place. Each of them is in turmoil and disrupted. The common (unfair in my opinion) criticisms of his incredible book All That Man Is may well have weighed on him and here he has a much broader cast of characters. But toxic masculinity is still his target and he delves with a lovely l...
  • Emily
    Turbulence can either be read as a novel, or a set of short stories. Each story has to do with a plane flight, and each new main character is someone who was in the previous story. It was a great setup, but since this book was novella-length, I felt like I didn't have enough time to get to know any of the characters. A lot of them were going through big things, but you only spent a few pages with each of them. Every time I would start to get inve...
  • Bandit
    The concept of interconnectivity has often been utilized in narration, but (for me at least) it seems to have always been more of a cinematic affair. Turbulence, though, does it in book form and oh so well. This slim volume of tangentially connected stories, each jetting off (literally since as the title might have given away they are all tied together by plane flights) where the last one left off until coming around in a circle to where it began...
  • Kasa Cotugno
    Turbulence is a masterful string of pearls, each story connected to the former until they come full circle. Identified by the airport designation code as the chain makes its way around the world. Near the center, there is a profound sentence that encapsulates the entire sense of each story: "It was one of those events ... that make us what we are, for ourselves and for other people. They just seem to happen, and then they're there forever, and sl...
  • Ron S
    Linked together by a simple yet quietly brilliant device, twelve people collectively circle the globe, touching upon each other's lives with far less than seven degrees of separation. The spare writing wastes not a single word and conveys multitudes about our interconnectedness, co-existing with the essential loneliness of the human condition.
  • Petra
    I received a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.This book is basically 12 short stories, each story with a new main character that has at some point crossed paths with the main character from the previous chapter. In the end, it all goes full circle.I didn't think I would like this book so much. Short stories just aren't my thing. I did wish that some of the chapters were longer so we could learn more about the chara...
  • Joseph
    Really easy read. Read it throughout one day. I felt like there were so many things missing. It didn’t flow. I kept going back and saying to myself “are there pages missing? am i missing something? what?” I didn’t get it. The first chapter leading into the second made sense. Then it got messy. And didn’t flow. His characters repeated themselves so many times. I assume that was to fill the pages up?
  • Mary Beth Keane
    “Strangely, their life went on outwardly as normal for a while after that, though with a kind of silence at the heart of it.”
  • Lesa
    I guess I expected more out of David Szalay's novel, Turbulence. The summary statement, and the best part of the book, actually came from John F. Kennedy. "For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's future. And we are all mortal."Mortality. Children. A small planet. They all come together in the story of fourteen people and twelve flig...
  • Linda Crossman
    Meaningful vignettes beautifully woven togetherTurbulence takes a series of brief passing moments between relative strangers and weaves them together into short glimpses into wildly varying but somehow interconnected lives.The individual stories are simply snapshots of the characters lives but tell a good deal in a few, well written words.The author does an excellent job seamlessly moving from one voice to another. It was an engrossing, quick rea...
  • Toni
    This lovely, aptly titled short story collection reminded me of a video about compassion often shown to new healthcare professionals where random people walk in, out, and around a hospital and the captions above their heads read “found something on her mammogram”, “wife’s surgery went well”, “scared about his appointment”, “waiting three hours to be seen”, etc. In a similar vein, the loosely linked stories in this book follow ra...
  • Beth M.
    What an enthralling quick little read! Coming in at 160 pages and only a dozen chapters, I flew through my first experience with Szalay. As indicated by the title, the first chapter of the book starts with two characters experiencing severe turbulence while in mid-air on a flight. This mode of transport works as a chain link throughout the book as characters literally travel around the globe by plane. What is unique, however, is the way the Szala...
  • Madeleine (Top Shelf Text)
    [Thank you to Scribner for providing me with a free copy for review. All opinions are my own.]This slim collection surprised me with how much I loved it. I can't say what compelled me to pluck Turbulence from my shelf (likely, it was the vibrant colors of the cover) but I'm glad I picked it up. At under 200 pages, this is the perfect book to read in one sitting, whether you're enjoying a quiet weekend morning or sitting on the beach.Turbulence is...
  • Mrtruscott
    Whoa, I didn’t expect to start and finish this book in an hour! Somewhat coincidentally, I just read a hilarious piece in the Washington Post by a reporter whose editor “tasked her” with spending 12 hours in the Baltimore airport. I mean, laugh out loud funny to the point where my cats were looking askance. Seems like I’ve read several books set in/around airports. I guess I like airport books. (And articles.)(I laugh/cry semi-hystericall...
  • Lolly K Dandeneau
    via my blog: https://bookstalkerblog.wordpress.com/'She was very aware of her failure to be equal to the needs of this moment. 'In these connected stories each character is on a journey, be it on an airplane, within memories, or flying to their future. The title isn’t lost on readers, what is life but an irregular motion disturbed not by currents but by every experience, however great or small, one encounters? Human beings, despite their locati...
  • Mark Joyce
    I got very excited about London and the Southeast and All That Man Is and maintain that David Szalay is the potential laureate of the undistinguished twenty first century British everyman, should he wish to be such a thing. Some of his other stuff, and particularly that dealing with characters of other nationalities and women, I’ve found less compelling and in places a bit boring. This collection, written to a commission from BBC Radio 4, unfor...
  • ns510
    “What she hated about even mild turbulence was the way it ended the illusion of security, the way that it made it impossible to pretend that she was somewhere safe.”(⬆ also how I feel about in-flight turbulence ugh)✈ From London to Madrid to Doha to Seattle et al. This is a fantastic, cohesive collection of twelve interconnected short stories about people in transit between various points in their lives. These moments may appear deceptive...
  • Whitney
    Does anyone else enjoy sitting in an airport, watching people rush by, dreaming up life stories for the people we see? Turbulence by David Szalay (@scribnerbooks) felt a lot like finally seeing the real stories behind our fellow travelers - and it’s just as hilarious and heartbreaking as you could imagine.•As a (former) frequent traveler with incurable wanderlust and more airport experience than I care to admit, Turbulence resonated with me. ...