The Daring, Eagerly Anticipated Second Novel By The National Book Award Nominated Author Of FieldworkMischa Berlinski s first novel, Fieldwork, was published in 2007 to rave reviews Hilary Mantel called it a quirky, often brilliant debut and Stephen King said it was a story that cooks like a mother and it was a finalist for the National Book Award Now Berlinski returnThe Daring, Eagerly Anticipated Second Novel By The National Book Award Nominated Author Of FieldworkMischa Berlinski s first novel, Fieldwork, was published in 2007 to rave reviews Hilary Mantel called it a quirky, often brilliant debut and Stephen King said it was a story that cooks like a mother and it was a finalist for the National Book Award Now Berlinski returns with Peacekeeping, an equally enthralling story of love, politics, and death in the world s most intriguing country Haiti.When Terry White, a former deputy sheriff and a failed politician, goes broke in the 2007 2008 financial crisis, he takes a job working for the UN, helping to train the Haitian police He s sent to the remote town of J r mie, where there are coffin makers than restaurants, donkeys than cars, and the dirt roads all slope down sooner or later to the postcard sea Terry is swept up in the town s complex politics when he befriends an earnest, reforming American educated judge Soon he convinces the judge to oppose the corrupt but charismatic S nateur Maxim Bayard in an upcoming election But when Terry falls in love with the judge s wife, the electoral drama threatens to become a disaster.Tense, atmospheric, tightly plotted, and surprisingly funny, Peacekeeping confirms Berlinski s gifts as a storyteller Like Fieldwork, it explores a part of the world that is as fascinating as it is misunderstood and takes us into the depths of the human soul, where the thirst for power and the need for love can overrun judgment and morality.
Peacekeeping The Daring Eagerly Anticipated Second Novel By The National Book Award Nominated Author Of FieldworkMischa Berlinski s first novel Fieldwork was published in to rave reviews Hilary Mantel call
I have yet to really enjoy a novel set in the Caribbean. Admittedly, my experience is limited, but I tend to find Caribbean novels nothing more than an expose of "look how abjectly awful it is here just look." With this prejudice in full effect, I entered Peacekeeping, and finally found a book that adds quite a bit more to this formula. Here we get theories for why Haiti is so impoverished and run down (many keep trying to help but ultimately leave Haiti worse off once their conscience is clear [...]
i liked this so much. if you miss graham greene and wonder who could do graham greene in the 2000s, this is it. a little touch of noir detachment, too. perfect. if you listen to the audiobook, you get the added delight of ben williams, who makes this the best audiobook of my audiolistening life to date. too bad the man has recorded only two books!
The unnamed narrator of Peacekeeping – perhaps a stand-in for Mischa Berlinski himself – at one point muses, “…I learned in Haiti that stories, if not a necessity, are not a luxury either. Only the rich and the lucky can afford to live without stories, for without stories, as every Haitian peasant knows, life is all just things that happen to you, and you are just something that happens in the lives of others.”I quote that passage because above all else, Peacekeeping is a story and the [...]
Peacekeeping is a near perfect novel. Berlinski is the whole package. He has the ideas. He has the language. He has the form. I doubt you can find a finer treatise on Haiti than this “fictionalized” version of recent history. He is as blunt about the NGO’s as is Paul Theroux. He shows the people are as corrupt as the government and its politicians. His use of a martyred boy being paraded around and then the crowd deciding it was hungry and going to a barbeque sets a new bar of contemporary [...]
3.5I loved Mischa Berlinski's earlier "Fieldwork," which might be why I was a little let down by "Peacekeeping." It's good, but lacks the depth of discovery about Thai beliefs I got from "Fieldwork." "Peacekeeping" is a story of people in a difficult country, who fall in love with the wrong people and try to make one simple change--in this case, a road from the town of Jeremie to Port au Prince.The existing road has been out of commission for years, and the result is that without a lot of time a [...]
Mischa Berlinski is such a talented writerHis latest, Peacekeeping, is so perfectly drawn, with vivid characters, spot on description of Haiti, and a beautiful swirl of pathos and humor. The story is told through the eyes of a journalist who becomes friend with a former policeman turned UN enforcer who hopes to finally make a difference somewhere and to himself. There is also his wife, a real estate agent crushed by the US markets, an American educated Haitian judge and his wife who becomes an o [...]
It's me, not you (Mischa).I just couldn't get into it.Peacekeeping is Berlinski's follow-up (finally) to his debut, "Fieldwork." There are obvious similarities--both books are set in what are for his American readers distant locations--Fieldwork in southeast Asia, this one in Haiti. Both deal with the intricacies of the local cultures there. And both are fascinated by the workings of stories, how they are passed down and passed around, how they hold groups together but are also their undoings.Bu [...]
The setting is Haiti. The story is filled with richly defined and flawed characters. I liked and disliked and liked again most of them. The Haitian culture, food and politics all figure prominently. I would give this book 4 and a half stars if I knew how!
For me, there were two possible turn-offs to this novel before I even began -- the book jacket and its subject matter, Haiti. Design efforts aside, the question of whether a novel about a country so frustratingly poor and beset by so many problems could be an interesting and not just depressing read was roundly answered by Author Mischa Berlinski. Not only could it be interesting, it was totally engrossing.Having never read Berlinski before, I came with no set expectations about the writing, but [...]
Reading this book was a complex experience: interesting, engrossing, frustrating and exploratory. Berlinski writes of Haiti in such detail that the reader is immersed in its challenges, its (seemingly) placid acceptance of poverty, and the futility of the few forward-thinking souls that try to effect change.Although Peacekeeping is a novel, it feels like an endless magazine serial that holds out hope for change in one week's episode and dashes all dreams in the next. I felt like Berlinski was of [...]
I'm not sure what book I wanted Mr. Berlinski to write after Fieldwork, which I consider to be a masterwork. On reading his second book, I know I'm only sure I wanted him to write faster.As a novelist he's an extraordinary anthropologist, and (so far) has a knack for narrating stories that aren't his. Peacekeeping meanders quite a bit, for the first 2/3 made up mostly of nested stories that don't quite coalesce. until they do. For the reader it can be a rough ride- the prose is fine (and usually [...]
An interesting, although disjointed read. There is a nameless narrator, who informs the reader of Haitian politics, through the voices of the characters he meets in Haiti while writing a book. Haiti is a heartbreaking country full of the kindest, poorest, most resilient people in the entire world. The poverty is staggering and heartbreaking. There is so much corruption, and so many middle men that Haitian people are literally starving to death. Many places are only accessible by walking or ridin [...]
I'll be recommending this book highly for readers of popular fiction once it's in paper. Berlinki is a great storyteller and a great anthropologist and the book never felt too long, as so much fiction often does. I learned a lot about Haiti while being thoroughly entertained by this clear-eyed humanist. I would have given it 5 stars but for the neglect of just how devastating U.S. trade and foreign policy has actually been for the Haitian people. The trade rule that rice must be imported, for in [...]
This thoughtful novel, begins in Haiti, two years before the quake, when a group of UN staff, expats and locals coalesce around an American-educated judge and his wife, to make a difference in the upcoming elections. The natural beauty, the economic mess, the interplay of greed, superstition, poverty as seen by the expat novelist narrator, provoke hope, despair, humor and pathos, and most of all, questions. A fascinating and beautiful book.' stories, if not a necessity, are not a luxury either. [...]
well written in a journalistic style, this is a novel of the difficulties involved in international assistance missions. Much of it is discouraging but there are glimmers of hope- and you should hold on to those. Berlinski does a good job with his characters; I sense he's met and dealt with them in real life. Thanks to NETGALLEY for the ARC. I suspect this won't get as wide readership as it deserves. You will like this if you are interested in Haiti, in the work of the international community, o [...]
Books by Berlinski are fascinating to me. This is his second, and I also loved his first one. I can't say there was much of a plot, but the background of Haiti made up for that. Local politics, the UN, and a writer not doing much writing but snooping (kind of) make up the characters. Berlinski assumes his readers are highly literate and intelligent - or maybe that's his trick, he makes you THINK you are highly literate and smart thru his writing. And who doesn't like that?
Well written book about people and politics in Haiti. Having been to Haiti twice, I am very interested in the culture, customs and the plight of the people. While I wouldn't say this was a "page turner", I really enjoyed the character descriptions and the overview of life in Haiti.
Berlinski's second novel, Peacekeeping, is good. Not exemplary, but good. This may be a tepid and bland assessment, but Berlinkski’s talent belies a greater novel lurks in the corners of this young author’s futurenspotrun/book-review
Excellent book. He really captures Haiti- the political realities and the MINUSTAH presence. Loved it
I loved Fieldwork, and looked forward to more from Berlinski, but my reaction to Peacekeeping was luke warm. Berlinski's gift for depicting a foreign culture is still spot on. You feel his description of the UN Mission, the local politician, the the life of the general population is telling and insightful. And there's a decent enough plot here, if a little slow moving. The problem is the characters and their actions and interactions. Terry is well drawn, and Kay and the judge also, to a lesser e [...]
I wonder a bit if the author should have written a memoir about his time in Haiti rather than a novel drawing on his experiences. So much of the book read as social commentary, memoir, travelogue. In spite of the poverty, political mire and general societal disarray Berlinksi makes Jeremie sound like an appealing place, although since his writing the novel it was slammed by Hurricane Matthew. I have been to Haiti twice on mission trips and Peacekeeping made me want to return soon.I did find one [...]
Note: Having actually traveled to and spent time in Haiti a couple times, tho' lo many years ago, this book touched me for nostalgic as well as intellectual reasons. The book has two aspects: the part about Haiti- Haitians, the past, the present, politics, suffering, third world tragedies, unique aspects of voodoo, etc and, a story about a few Americans living there in the 2000's and their interface with all of the former. Also an intrigue which is settled at the end re: Nadia. I thoroughly enjo [...]
I read this while in Haiti and it resonated very strongly with the 'other-worldliness' and mystical realism with which one associates novels set in Haiti. From Graham Greene onwards there is a deference to a higher, more sinister power which directs events in Haiti. There is also a grinding poverty which also directs events - these two combined provide a fatalistic backdrop. Read it and enjoy a rare novel set in this fascinating country.
A very interesting book, set in Haiti, from the viewpoint of some American ex-pats working in various roles for the UN (hence the title). A fascinating glimpse of life of one of the most poverty-stricken peoples on earth. The author manages to tell the story very non-judgementally and almost dispassionately so that I didn't feel that resentment of having been manipulated in my thinking that you sometimes get from these kind of novels. You even start to understand why the corruption happens and s [...]
Gripping, funny, infuriating, and political in the best way. But, as a woman, I'm not sure I completely bought that ending.
totally enjoyable, and excellent characters.
I am so glad I read this first. I feel that Fieldwork pales greatly in comparison, and couldn't complete it, trudging through the unending family history. Having a great interest in Haiti and somewhat of an understanding of the politics and history of that nation made this a very believable read. Fascinating. I finished this one in two readings.
This book had some of the best descriptions of peacekeeping, international aid, expats, etc. that I have read in fiction, making them much more digestible and understandable than in academic texts. Nevertheless, I didn't engage with this book as much as with Berlinski's Fieldwork in terms of the novel as a whole. In fact, I read a few books while taking a break from this one.
Former Deputy Sheriff Terry White comes to Haiti after a failed try at politics in Florida and an affair that shakes his marriage to Kay. He joins the U.N. police force and befriends Johel Celestin, a Haitian trained as a lawyer in the U.S. who works on the island with the U.N. Terry’s urging persuades Johel to run for a Senate seat long held by the powerful Maxim Bayard. Terry also has begun an affair with Johel’s wife, the singer Nadia. To make things interesting, Terry’s wife Kay comes [...]
Berlinski is a beautiful writer and the prose in this novel set in Haiti swept me away. The reader is brought deep into the culture of Haiti, the corruption which is everywhere from securing food, housing, water, and clothing (basic needs) to buying votes in elections. Terry White is an American who works in security in Haiti. He and his wife, Kay, become involved in the campaign and election of Sénateur Maxim Bayard and judge Johel Célestin and a woman, Nadia, whom all three men love. Berlins [...]