The World and All That It Holds by Hemon, Aleksandar
Aleksandar Hemon

The World and All That It Holds -- Aleksandar Hemon

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The World and All That It Holds--in all its hilarious, heartbreaking, erotic, philosophical glory--showcases Aleksandar Hemon's celebrated talent at its pinnacle. It is a grand, tender, sweeping story that spans decades and continents. It cements Hemon as one of the boldest voices in fiction.

As the Archduke Franz Ferdinand arrives in Sarajevo one June day in 1914, Rafael Pinto is busy crushing herbs and grinding tablets behind the counter at the pharmacy he inherited from his estimable father. It's not quite the life he had expected during his poetry-filled student days in libertine Vienna, but it's nothing a dash of laudanum from the high shelf, a summer stroll, and idle fantasies about passersby can't put in perspective.

And then the world explodes. In the trenches in Galicia, fantasies fall flat. Heroism gets a man killed quickly. War devours all that they have known, and the only thing Pinto has to live for are the attentions of Osman, a fellow soldier, a man of action to complement Pinto's introspective, poetic soul; a charismatic storyteller; Pinto's protector and lover.

Together, Pinto and Osman will escape the trenches, survive near-certain death, tangle with spies and Bolsheviks. Over mountains and across deserts, from one world to another, all the way to Shanghai, it is Pinto's love for Osman--with the occasional opiatic interlude--that keeps him going.

Author: Aleksandar Hemon
Publisher: MCD
Published: 01/24/2023
Pages: 352
Binding Type: Hardcover
Weight: 1.02lbs
Size: 8.81h x 5.63w x 1.21d
ISBN: 9780374287702

Review Citation(s):
Library Journal Prepub Alert 08/01/2022 pg. 1
Publishers Weekly 10/03/2022
Kirkus Reviews 11/15/2022
Booklist 01/01/2023 pg. 38