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The Illegal: A Novel (2015)

af Lawrence Hill

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4152361,171 (3.61)43
Fiction. African American Fiction. Literature. HTML:

Keita Ali has nothing: no bank account, no papers, no legal identity. A runner, he has fled home?? a brutal dictatorship that produces the world' s fastest marathoners?? to live as an illegal refugee in a wealthy western nation, surviving on winnings from local races. But the government is cracking down on illegal immigrants, so Keita?? who will be executed if he is deported to his homeland?? goes underground. Now, a series of crises call for him to earn quick money: an unscrupulous businessman targets him, a serious health problem erupts, and, most troublingly, officials in Keita' s native country kidnap his sister, threatening to execute her unless he pays a ransom. As Keita struggles to resolve these problems, he discovers a troubling political connection between his native and his adopted country. The Illegal is a rich, riveting novel that weaves a complex moral and psychologic… (mere)

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» Se også 43 omtaler

Viser 1-5 af 22 (næste | vis alle)
The characters are too one dimensional, the plot overly predictable, and the perfect, happy ending absolutely nauseating. Don't bother with this one. ( )
  kevinkevbo | Jul 14, 2023 |
Disappointing. I had really enjoyed reading a previous book by this author (The Book of Negroes) and looked forward to reading this one, hoping for a similar type of storytelling, fiction based on real world events and for the book to be written from a Canadian perspective. Given that Hill chose to write a novel about an illegal immigrant at a time when immigrants to Canada were very much a part of public discussion, I had thought that this book would tell a story about being a refugee in Canada, I thought it would be well researched and insightful with strong characters. Based on the last book I read by Hill, I thought this book would have a lot more than it actually did.

Instead of writing about a refugee in Canada, Hill instead chose to create a fictional homeland and then have the character immigrate to another fictional country. This gave him the freedom to make up any story he wanted, without doing any research or work to weave a story around the real world. The end result was that the story seemed gutless and weak, and that ignored the rich background of Canadian culture and it's relationship with immigration. There are some Canadian easter eggs thrown in, some street names that Canadians will know (even though they are in "Freedomland") and the characters go on a date to "Tim's" which involved too much explanation of what a Tim Horton's was. This all just seemed like silly pandering.

And so we have a story about an athlete in one country who flees to another country, lots of descriptions of him running in marathons and his aches and pains, and the people he meets who live in a small world and somehow all intertwine by convenient and coincidental meetings. The characters are all boring as hell and each fits into a stereotype (the black lesbian in a wheelchair, little old lady who still has her wits but son wants to put her in a home, the brothel owner with a heart of gold, the corrupt politician....). There's a bit of a political corruption subplot (or is that the main plot?) and it all comes together tidily in the end. Overall, just a very tedious read and I'm actually surprised that I finished it. ( )
  northwestknitter | Mar 28, 2021 |
I wanted to like this book as there are few good books that involve long-distance running and runners, but I just couldn't quite get there. I suppose I don't know enough about this world to fully understand what all was happening here. So, not a bad read, just not a really good one.... ( )
  ChetBowers | Mar 10, 2021 |
An interesting and topical read, with some strong female characters and good world-building. The parts about running came across as very authentic. Hill created a sense of tension and suspense, with a satisfying conclusion.

For me, the pace seemed to pick up after the first four chapters. ( )
  LisaTimpf | Sep 23, 2020 |
When Keita’s father is murdered, he flees his country to neighbouring Freedom State, where he is considered an “illegal”. Keita is a (very gifted) runner, so he continues to train and enter marathons. When he hears his sister has been kidnapped and is being held for ransom, the stakes on winning those marathons (and the money) are so much higher.

There is a bit more to this, with secondary characters (a lesbian journalist in a wheelchair, a young prostitute “illegal” sent home and murdered, the madame of the brothel, some high level political figures, a teenaged talented documentary maker).

Overall, I’d rate it ok. I’m not sure if it would be of more interest to people who enjoy sports, with all the running, or maybe to people who enjoy political fiction. Sometimes political stuff is of more interest to me, but I think it depends on how it’s done. I listened to the audio, and the narrator was fine, nothing special, but didn’t detract, either, I didn’t think. The story itself was fine. ( )
  LibraryCin | Mar 31, 2019 |
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Forfatter navnRolleHvilken slags forfatterVærk?Status
Lawrence Hillprimær forfatteralle udgaverberegnet
Noël, CaroleOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Noël-Allen, MarianneOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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Fiction. African American Fiction. Literature. HTML:

Keita Ali has nothing: no bank account, no papers, no legal identity. A runner, he has fled home?? a brutal dictatorship that produces the world' s fastest marathoners?? to live as an illegal refugee in a wealthy western nation, surviving on winnings from local races. But the government is cracking down on illegal immigrants, so Keita?? who will be executed if he is deported to his homeland?? goes underground. Now, a series of crises call for him to earn quick money: an unscrupulous businessman targets him, a serious health problem erupts, and, most troublingly, officials in Keita' s native country kidnap his sister, threatening to execute her unless he pays a ransom. As Keita struggles to resolve these problems, he discovers a troubling political connection between his native and his adopted country. The Illegal is a rich, riveting novel that weaves a complex moral and psychologic

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