You’ll likely remember David Szalay as the author of All That Man Is, the 2016 novel shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. The man throws power-packed punches using minimal text.
Turbulence, consisting of just a dozen short stories that interconnect sufficiently to form a novel, can be read within a couple hours. But the characters, mostly strangers to one another, and their battles will stay with you long after you’ve finished the book.
That’s how I know this is a solid 4- or 5-star book.
The book leverages a unique format. Each chapter advances a protagonist’s arc via an airline flight. As the characters’ stories progress, you’re taken on an economic circumnavigation of the world.
Turbulence marks the first time I’ve seen such device–plot navigation via interconnected airline flights–connect various strangers in deeply impactful ways. Certainly, Szalay knows what he’s doing, because the method works.
Pick up a copy and you’ll be treated to an interesting ride. Just be prepared for some bumps along the way, as Szalay knows his stuff and, despite sparse text, finds effective ways to pull you into the stories and the challenges these characters battle.