Warlight by Michael Ondaatje

The author of the Booker Prize-winning The English Patient takes post-war London as his setting for this story of two ostensibly abandoned children finding themselves in the care of possible criminal The Moth and his eccentric and educative friends, with these experiences looked back on a dozen years later, revealed for something different in hindsight.

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It is 1945, and London is still reeling from years of war. Fourteen-year-old Nathaniel and his older sister, Rachel, seemingly abandoned by their parents, have been left in the care of an enigmatic figure they call The Moth. They suspect he may be a criminal and grow both more convinced and less concerned as they come to know his eccentric crew of friends: men and women with a shared history, all of whom seem determined now to protect and educate (in rather unusual ways) the siblings. But are they really what and who they claim to be? And how should Nathaniel and Rachel feel when their mother returns without their father after months of silence—explaining nothing, excusing nothing? A dozen years later, Nathaniel begins to uncover all he didn’t know or understand during that time, and it is this journey—through reality, recollection, and imagi­nation—that is told in this magnificent novel.

Weight214 g
Dimensions131 × 198 × 19 mm






Page Count


Author Michael OndaatjeMichael Ondaatje is the author of six pre­vious novels, a memoir, a nonfiction book on film, and several books of poetry. The English Patient won the Booker Prize in 1992 and the Golden Man Booker in 2018; Anil’s Ghost won the Irish Times International Fiction Prize, the Giller Prize, and the Prix Médicis. Born in Sri Lanka, Michael Ondaatje now lives in Toronto.

Our book of the year – and maybe of Ondaatje’s career

Daily Telegraph

[Ondaatje] casts a magical spell, as he takes you into his half-lit world of war and love, death and loss, and the dark waterways of the past

The New York Review of Books

Mr. Ondaatje has stepped into John le Carré’s world of spies and criminals. . . . His novel views history as a child would, in ignorance but also in innocence and wonder

The Wall Street Journal


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