10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World by Elif Shafak

10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World

An intensely powerful new novel from the best-selling author of The Bastard of Istanbul and Honour'In the first minute following her death, Tequila Leila's consciousness began to ebb, slowly and steadily, like a tide receding from the shore. Her brain cells, having run out of blood, were now completely deprived of oxygen. But they did not shut down. Not right away...'For Leila, each minute after her death brings a sensuous memory: the taste of sp...

Details 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World

Title10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World
Release DateJun 6th, 2019
GenreFiction, Contemporary

Reviews 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World

  • Elyse Walters
    I finished this book a few days ago....( haven’t read any reviews yet)....and it’s unusual for me to wait 3 days before writing a review. Have you eve felt you have so much to say - you don’t know whet to begin? Ha...perhaps there’s a club for people like us? It’s a fantastic discussion book!!!Well, I’m on vacation - aware of holiday-distractions - but this is a book I’d personally love to engage with others to discuss. Perhaps if I...
  • Nadia
    Pleased to see this made the Booker Prize 2019 longlist!Elif Shafak is a bestselling novelist known for her stories of strong female characters, immigrants and minorities. She follows this trend in her latest novel '10 Minutes and 38 Seconds in This Strange World' depicting a story of Leila. Leila, known as Tequila Leila, is a prostitute in Istanbul who is killed at the start of the book and her body ends up in a rubbish dump. After being physica...
  • Marchpane
    10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World is all that remains in the life of Tequila Leila, a sex worker who has been murdered and unceremoniously dumped in a wheelie bin in Istanbul. As her brain shuts down, Leila recalls her life in its entirety. These recollections – covering one woman’s life from birth to death, the family who disowned her and the friends who came to be her greatest support, against a backdrop of key moments in Turkish...
  • Meike
    Nominated for the Booker Prize 2019 This riveting tale has two protagonists: The women of Turkey and the city of Istanbul. Right at the beginning, we meet Leila, a prostitute who was attacked and then left to die in a metal rubbish bin on the outskirts of the city. The title-giving 10 minutes and 38 seconds are the time span in which her brain slowly shuts down, one last time re-collecting her life in numerous flashbacks - these vignettes make up...
  • Gumble's Yard
    Now re-read following its longlisting for the 2019 Booker Prize - my final comment proving prescient - and with additional comments added.The book takes its cue from research that shows (as a medical examiner in the book reflects during an autopsy) which “observed persistent brain activity in people who had died …. for as much as ten minutes and thirty-eight seconds.”The subject of the autopsy is Leyla Akarsu, a mid-40s (albeit claiming to ...
  • Hugh
    Longlisted for the Booker Prize 2019I will put this whole review in spoiler tags for now, so that those of you who will be discussing it face to face can avoid reading it before we meet.Editing to remove spoiler tags after face to face discussion.This was my first experience of reading Elif Shafak, a writer I have heard very mixed things about, but one I have seen give a fairly impressive Goldsmiths lecture last year. I was pleasantly surprised, ...
  • Collin
    LONGLISTED (and hopefully shortlisted) FOR THE 2019 BOOKER PRIZE.Leila knows she is dead. Not from the fact that her body is lying in a waste bin, but from the facts that her heart is no longer beating, and her breathing has stopped. Her brain however is still, “brimming with life”.In life Leila had been a prostitute. Tequila Leila was the name she had given herself. She was well known to the authorities and knew that they would have no troub...
  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    A sex worker in Istanbul has been murdered, and as her brain releases her life, the reader is transported to specific memories and stories. Her life is revealed alongside five close friends (like a Turkish cast of Rent) who play a bigger role in the second half of the story.This is on the Man Booker Prize longlist for 2019, but I must say it isn't the best book I've read by this author. Still it is quite readable and is based on an interesting st...
  • Nada EL Shabrawy
    Not as good as Daughters of Eve. But the life of Laila Tequila is beautifully told, as usual.
  • Renee Godding
    5/5 stars 5 stars to this extraordinary novel, that completely swept me off my feet. Having read some reviews by other people, I can see how it has its minor flaws, but to me personally , this book came quite close to perfection. 10 minutes and 38 seconds in this strange world is a beautifully crafted homage to a life forgotten by most, but remembered by a few close friends, that carried an important message and managed to touch me on an emotiona...
  • Trudie
    This is my first novel by Elif Shafak and I doubt it will be my last. For the most part this was an immensely enjoyable read, marred only by a wobbly change in tone in the last third.The story of Tequila Leila read to me like a dark fairy tale morphed with the Victorian era idea of the "fallen woman". (view spoiler)[There were few surprises in this telling : a tyrannical father, abuse, banishment, deception, prostitution, a surprise marriage prop...
  • Eric Anderson
    Although I very much enjoyed Elif Shafak’s previous novel “Three Daughters of Eve”, I was initially hesitant to read her new novel because the subject sounded so depressing. “10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World” recounts the final thoughts of its central character Leila after she’s been murdered and left in a dumpster. Scientists speculate that the brain remains active for a number of minutes after a person’s heart stops so ...
  • Robert
    I remember attending a lecture on taboos in literature and the lecturer said that there’s only one outright offensive thing an author can do in a book and that is have the dead narrating their life.Judging by this lecture then 10 Minutes and 38 Seconds in this Strange World must be number one on the literary taboo list.Tequila Leila is dead in a rubbish bin. As the brain takes 10 minutes and 38 seconds to fully shut down, Leila remembers 12 mem...
  • Paul Fulcher
    In a direct rebuttal to the title of her fellow nominee Margaret Atwood's The Heart Goes Last, the central concept of Elif Shafak’s Ten Minutes Thirty Eight Seconds In This Strange World is inspired by a medical paper to the contrary published in 2017. A team of Canadian doctors observed brain wave activity, similar to that seen in people in deep sleep, in one patient, whose life support had been turned off, for 10m38s after their clinical deat...
  • Lou
    Critically-acclaimed Turkish writer Elif Shafak writes about topics close to her heart — immigration and being in an ethnic minority group at a time when race relations are heating up again surrounding Brexit. Her characters are strong women who know their own mind and come from diverse, multicultural backgrounds. Set against the backdrop of bustling, humid Istanbul, the title refers to the length of time lady of the night Leila's brain continu...
  • Joy D
    Tequila Leila, a sex worker in Istanbul, has been brutally murdered. Her heart has stopped but her brain continues to function for 10 minutes 38 seconds. As she slips away, she tells her story through recounting memories of salient events of her life. We see her birth into a dysfunctional family, abuse at the hands of a relative, and formation of close bonds of friendship with five other social outcasts. We find out the reasons behind her flight ...
  • Jonathan Pool
    ***Updated****Evening FOLLOWING at Daunt Books, Marylebone. July 30, 2019• The structural conceit (delayed shutdown of brain, was inspired by a Canadian study (early 2017)• Leila’s death (The End is flagged at the very start), was a real story of a transgender death in Turkey. Dumped in a trash can. The final insultStory of Turkey via outcasts> Istanbul a city of amnesia.> ES late to the city but remembers the earthquake. Tells a story of ...
  • Doug
    There is a lot to admire in this portrait of an Istanbul prostitute, her friends, her untimely murder, and the aftermath of her existence. However, I never really connected with the material, the characters, nor the story, or the way it was told. The first 2/3rds is basically a straightforward account of Tequila Leila's life, broken by the interpolation of brief vignettes of the lives of her five friends. It's given something of a novel twist in ...
  • Neil
    This is the first time I have read a novel by Elif Shafak. Before starting, I took a brief look on the Internet to see some basic facts about her and she is a very impressive person. It is also true that I took to her style of writing very quickly: I found it elegant and engaging.The first and longest part of this, her ninth novel in English, tells the life story of a Turkish woman, Leila (aka Tequila Leila or Leyla), but from an unusual perspect...
  • Katie Long
    I found this enjoyable if a bit uneven. Shafak draws some unique, engaging characters, but unfortunately gives them stilted dialog and very little to do. Likewise, her description of Istanbul “a city where everything was constantly shifting and dissolving” is magnificent, but the story itself doesn’t have the depth to match the setting. It’s as though she had the set, but show left me wanting. #BookerPrize2019
  • Tommi
    [2.5] You click with some authors, with some you don’t. I jotted down a list of things I did not like in Shafak’s novel and realized they’re all rather nitpicky (the floral cover design serving no evident purpose; the fact that foreign words are italicized; third-person narration not so impactful when you describe what goes on in one’s consciousness; (view spoiler)[of course there’s a storm in the story’s denouement (hide spoiler)] et...
  • Leah
    Generosity of spirit...Tequila Leila’s body is dead, but her brain has not yet shut completely down. As her consciousness slowly fades, she finds herself drifting through memories of her life – the childhood that made her the woman she would become, her family, her loves, her friends. And along the way, we are given a picture of the underbelly of Istanbul, of those on the margins finding ways to live in a society that rejects them. Despite th...
  • Steve Clough
    I’m still in the immediate afterglow of this novel, so I may revisit this in time but my current feelings are that I’ve just read a truly wonderful book, which sings of the city and the people of Istanbul. Tequila Leila and, for the most part, her friends, are so well drawn, I felt that I knew them by the end. My only criticism, if you could call it that, is that I’d have liked more of ending, or at least more detail. That aside, I loved th...
  • Melanie
    This author manages to put huge and heavy issues in an easy to carry package. I normally would not like this sort of Chick Lit genre, but she also tackles huge social and political issues. It’s very important to read something by this author at some point! She is amazing at her craft.
  • Katherine
    A deeply moving and original portrait of sexual violence, sexism, and friendship. I’m still reeling from the first half of this book. The story quickly begins as Leila, a sex worker in Turkey, is left for dead in a trash bin. As her brain shuts down, Leila looks back on her life in vignettes, starting with her birth. The format of these memories is exhilarating and each story was a joy to read, though many were brutal. Still, it’s a beautiful...
  • Nicky
    3.5 stars
  • Eleanor
    ~~some spoilers ahead, I guess~~10 minutes and 38 seconds is the longest amount of time (according to Elif Shafak’s novel) that human brain activity has been recorded post-mortem. (I’m not sure this is true, but as Shafak makes no attempt to convince us of medical legitimacy, I’m also not sure that it’s the point.) In this novel, the dead or dying brain belongs to Tequila Leila, a sex worker in Istanbul. Her ten minutes are spent remember...
  • Abbie | ab_reads
    Thank you @penguinukbooks for my free copy of 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World by Elif Shafak - it was my first by Shafak but I don’t think it will be my last!.Tequila Leila is dying. Or, to external eyes, she’s already dead. But in her head, her synapses are still firing, and for 10 minutes 38 seconds, she relives some of the most important memories of her life through a series of memorable tastes relating to different events. It ...