Read The Evolution of Shadows by Jason Quinn Malott Online

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In July of 1995, the news photographer Gray Banick disappeared into the Bosnian war zone and doing so took away pieces of the hearts of three people who loved him: Emil Todorovic, his interpreter and friend; Jack MacKenzie, his mentor who taught Gray to hold his camera steady between himself and the worst that war presents; and Lian Zhao, who didn’t have the strength to loIn July of 1995, the news photographer Gray Banick disappeared into the Bosnian war zone and doing so took away pieces of the hearts of three people who loved him: Emil Todorovic, his interpreter and friend; Jack MacKenzie, his mentor who taught Gray to hold his camera steady between himself and the worst that war presents; and Lian Zhao, who didn’t have the strength to love him as he wanted her to. Now, almost five years later, they have gathered in Sarajevo to find out what happened to Gray, the man who had taught them all what love is.Each driven character in this novel believes fully that there is a love strong enough to sustain them, even in the extreme circumstances of war. But each time they have uncovered a glimpse of such a thing, they have failed tragically love itself.Or, to see it another way, this is a novel about how love fails us every time—or almost every time....

Title : The Evolution of Shadows
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781932961843
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 272 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Evolution of Shadows Reviews

  • Kelsie
    2019-06-07 23:01

    In a mere 160 pages, Malott drew me into a war I, and many Americans, know little about and creates a passion between two characters through memories alone. He leaves me longing to know more about both the Bosnian war and Chinese-American culture. Looking forward to reading more by this gumptious author in the future!

  • Kristi (Books and Needlepoint)
    2019-06-26 04:10

    This novel is about the coming together of 3 unrelated people to search for Gray Banick, a news photographer who disappeared 5 years earlier in the Bosnian war zone. Lian was his girlfriend - and also the reason he went to Bosnia; Emil was the interpreter he met while on assignment, and Jack was a fellow news photographer who was Gray's mentor.These three people come together to try to search for Gray, or Gray's remains, as a way to put an end to that chapter in their lives. Emil is still trying to find Mira, his fiancee who was taken away by enemy soldiers - in his head he knows she is dead, but in his heart, he refuses to give up hope. Katja, his current girlfriend, isn't sure that he will ever be able to let Mira go.Jack has given his whole life to surviving in war zones. Where his homecomings with his wife used to be exciting - they have become alienated over the years and she now feels as if he has deserted her. Most of the big events in their life he has learned of over the phone, half a world away. Jack realizes that Gray is a surrogate son to him, to replace the one that his wife had miscarried 30+ years before.That leaves Lian. She was always sure that her and Gray would not be together, but not because she didn't love him - even though she couldn't put it into words. Her family was bound by Chinese values and traditions, and those were put on her shoulders to carry forward. For this reason, she found herself engaged and married to Daniel, a Chinese doctor who works with her father. She realizes that she has been a coward her whole life, and hopes that by coming to Bosnia she will be able to come clean with Daniel about her past, and move forward in her life, on her terms.That is, at least, how I viewed these three people. I cannot say that I "enjoyed" this book - as the setting isn't something that someone would "enjoy". But I found that I could not put it down! The story was told between present interactions amongst Emil, Lian and Jack and flash backs on their relationships with Gray. While there isn't a lot of action, it moves forward steadily, hauntingly, through war-torn Sarajevo and the surrounding countryside. While the setting of the story is tragic, there is an underlying romantic element of never losing hope. I highly - highly! recommend this book. It is a great debut novel and I can't wait to see what else Mr. Malott has to bring us.For some reason, this passage has stayed with me: "I will take pictures of the truth. They will be ashamed of themselves." The man nodded. "But not until after my family is dead." "I come from a sleeping people," Gray said. "You are awake," the man said. "I must get back to my family." (p210)

  • Jennifer
    2019-06-10 04:10

    From My Blog....[return][return]The Evolution of Shadows by Jason Quinn Malott takes the reader on an emotional ride as three of Gray Banick's friends, a veteran photojournalist, a translator, and an ex-lover return to Gray Banick's last known whereabouts in hopes of finding some evidence of what became of him. In 2000, Jack Mackenzie and Lian Zhao travel to war-torn Bosnia to meet up with Emil Todorović to search for their mutual friend, photojournalist Gray Banick who was last seen in July 1995 in the woods near Potocari, north of Srebrenica. As the three travel, the reader learns how each met Gray and about their respective relationships with him.[return]The Evolution of Shadows is told through various different voices, both past and present, clearly evoking vivid images and emotions that allow the reader to become close to each of the characters. Emil, Jack, and Lian are scarred in their own ways and have their own personal issues to face: Emil's family was murdered and his fiancée was taken; Jack a veteran war journalist has turned to alcohol to help ease his pains, both physical and emotional; and Lian, now married to Daniel, cannot forget her love for Gray and the emotions that haunt her to this day. The Evolution of Shadows is a brilliantly orchestrated debut novel that once begun, cannot be set down.[return]Malott's writing is close to brilliant as he describes both the past and present and the hope of the future. His description of the Bosnian War and the atrocities that occurred are clear, articulate and detailed in a manner that would suggest the author had been present, which to my knowledge he had not. Yet his writings took me back to years before the setting of his book, to a country of untold beauty and the stark reminder of what happened over a decade after I was there.[return]This novel is so well written and emotionally intense that one must remind oneself it is a work of fiction as The Evolution of Shadows reads a lot like a memoir. This hauntingly beautiful tribute to love, friendship and humanity will keep the reader engaged and mesmerised. Without reservation, I would recommend The Evolution of Shadows to any reader looking for an exceptional literary novel that will linger in memory long after the story has ended.

  • Gaby
    2019-06-25 06:08

    Synopsis:In 1999 Lian Jiang is surprised by a letter from Emil Todorovic in Bosnia-Herzegovina about Gray Banick who disappeared in July 1995. Emil has custody of Gray's remaining possessions and since he had spoken of her and written her over the years, Emil considered her his next-of-kin contact. The news comes as a shock. Though she is now married to an up-and-coming Chinese surgeon, Lian is driven to find Gray. She flies to Bosnia and meets up with two other people whose lives Gray Banick had touched.Lian Jiang, Emil Todorovic, his interpreter and friend, and Jack MacKenzie, Gray's mentor gather in Sarajevo to find out what happened to Gray. With little information to go on, they retrace Gray's steps in the war ravaged countryside. Each person carries their stories of grief and love.Review:Carefully crafted, The Evolution of Shadows, brings us deep into the lives of Lian, Emil, and Jack while gradually hinting who Gray is as a person. Lian came alive through the flashbacks, her internal monologues during the moments of reflection and through what we learn of the man that she married. Emil is probably the most sympathetic character, in part because he is so battered by tragedy and yet continues to push on. Jack gives us a glimpse of the life of an older and veteran journalist whose has spent most of his career covering foreign wars - his combination of emotional isolation, cynicism and sense of hope. I enjoyed Evolution of Shadows, it's an unusual book and draws you in. Also, I thought that Jason Quinn Malot's handled the interracial relationship between Lian and Gray with sensitivity.Publisher: Unbridled Books (October 20, 2009), 272 pages.Courtesy of Unbridled Books.

  • Lisa
    2019-05-31 00:08

    War is gritty and messy, rarely as glorious as it is in the movies or as sanitized as it can seem from a distance. The Balkan wars in the 1990s — particularly the Serbian “ethnic cleansing” in Bosnia — reached a level of horror Europe hadn’t witnessed in decades. Those horrors reach out and punch readers of “The Evolution of Shadows” right in the gut.This debut novel by Jason Quinn Malott doesn’t dwell on the fighting, or the mass executions, or the wanton rapes; rather, it intersperses swift, shocking glimpses of them into a compelling story set a couple of years later.Three people meet in Sarajevo, gathered to search for a mutual friend, Gray Banick, an American news photographer who has been missing since he and his interpreter were separated during a battle. Bosnian Emil, the interpreter, is certain Gray is dead, but the search is a way for him to wrestle with his own losses. Englishman Jack, a veteran correspondent, has found he can no longer function outside of a war zone. American Lian, Gray’s onetime lover, has left her unfulfilling marriage in a desperate hunt for the love and passion she had once but pushed away.The story bounces between characters, times and places — sometimes roughly — but this only highlights the disorientation and displacement. Malott’s shadow imagery sometimes feels heavy-handed and there’s the occasional head-scratching metaphor, but the story is solid and the characters are drawn with depth and complexity. Lian and Gray’s complicated past unfurls with such aching precision that what should be a respite from war is merely an upheaval of a different sort.

  • Jackie
    2019-06-20 02:53

    The title phrase comes up as one of the characters describes a sleepless night where "the evolution of shadows" keeps him from knowing what was truly there in the room with himand what was not. The whisper of that phrase wafts in and out of the narrative of the main characters as they move back and forth in time, experiencing the things that become their shadows, their haunts, their memories. Gray Banick is photographer who plunges into the Bosnian war zone after his heart is broken--and completely disappears. It takes 5 years, but at last Lian Zhao, the Chinese American woman who wasn't able to chose Gray's love over familial expectations, Jack MacKenzie, grizzled and scarred veteran war photographer who was Gray's mentor, and Emil Todorovic, Gray's in-country interpreter who was the last person to see Gray, come together to begin a search. For the man, or for the bones, they are not certain. In reality, none are sure which they would rather find. The impact of the 5 years of brutal war and it's aftermath is a character in itself--a brutality that continues to shape everyone ever touched by it. This is an amazing, graphic,gripping story of war, and love, and what people are capable of. The fact that this is Malott's first novel is deeply impressive. He will be a writer to watch over the years.

  • Tattered Cover Book Store
    2019-06-10 06:09

    Jackie says:The title phrase comes up as one of the characters describes a sleepless night where "the evolution of shadows" keeps him from knowing what was truly there in the room with himand what was not. The whisper of that phrase wafts in and out of the narrative of the main characters as they move back and forth in time, experiencing the things that become their shadows, their haunts, their memories. Gray Banick is photographer who plunges into the Bosnian war zone after his heart is broken--and completely disappears. It takes 5 years, but at last Lian Zhao, the Chinese American woman who wasn't able to chose Gray's love over familial expectations, Jack MacKenzie, grizzled and scarred veteran war photographer who was Gray's mentor, and Emil Todorovic, Gray's in-country interpreter who was the last person to see Gray, come together to begin a search. For the man, or for the bones, they are not certain. In reality, none are sure which they would rather find. The impact of the 5 years of brutal war and it's aftermath is a character in itself--a brutality that continues to shape everyone ever touched by it. This is an amazing, graphic,gripping story of war, and love, and what people are capable of. The fact that this is Malott's first novel is deeply impressive. He will be a writer to watch over the years.

  • Sue
    2019-06-11 04:17

    After having his heart broken, American photographer Gray Banick travels to Bosnia and into a war zone. Gray’s interpreter Emil, and his mentor Jack, often question Gray about the girl in the picture he carries with him. They know she is the reason he is here, but do not know the story behind his heartbreak. Her name is Lian Zhao and she and Gray were very much in love. Lian, however, wasn’t strong enough to face her parent’s disapproval of Gray so she chose to marry another man. Gray has traveled to Bosnia to kill her memory, or kill himself. It is now almost 5 years since Gray disappeared, last seen by Emil in a Bosnian killing field. Lian, Emil, and Jack have met in Sarajevo to find out what happened to the man they all loved.This debut novel brings to life the horrors of the Bosnian war and its aftermath. Smoothly fading from past to present and back again, the author tells the stories of Gray and Lian, Emil, Jack, and their families. This is a story of searching for lost loves and forgotten lives. Only when the search is over can the healing really begin. This is a fabulous story.

  • Chelsea
    2019-06-18 02:03

    Emil, Jack, and Lian are three very different people who come together with one thing in common: their love of a former lover and colleague named Gray. As a group, they return to Sarajevo to track him down and bring him home. The plot takes place from within war-torn land, thick with the memories of when all three were last there. This setting provides a dark and heavy feel that comes across as oddly refreshing.Malott has written an engaging and beautiful book that is gripping and yet gentle with it's contents. Hope and charm shine through the tragedy of loss, leaving readers with a little heartache but nonetheless content.

  • Linda
    2019-06-08 03:58

    Interesting book set in post-war Bosnia. It was an important book for me to have read because it opened my eyes to the reality of the suffering the Bosnians experienced during their war. I was ashamed to admit that I managed to "miss" that conflict in the 1990's, considering it, as I've since learned many others did as well, a local ethnic disagreement. My book group had the pleasure of talking with the talented young author by conference phone call when we met to discuss the book and his insights gave us information that made the book even more intriguing.

  • Rebekah
    2019-06-12 07:01

    The story in this debut novel is a trio of people going back to Bosnia after the war to look for their lost, or perhaps dead, colleague/friend/ex-lover). We get cinema-style flashes of everyone’s history, lingering focus on sensual details, and ultimately a completed puzzle of how each character arrived at this point in their life. The book never shies from the brutal realities of both war and love, while masterfully avoiding the maudlin and treacle.

  • Francis
    2019-06-22 01:06

    A well told tale of love, war, separation, death and it's human toll. A story repeatedly told, in many ways and in many times, elegantly recounted, once again. Another war, another story, more tears, more anger, more sins waiting to be avenged. Just another lesson, ..waiting to be learned.

  • Jennifer
    2019-05-29 00:06

    This was one book I had trouble putting down. It is a love story and a war story. The Bosnian War/Genocide. Parts are very disturbingly graphic and others hauntingly beautiful. A first novel well worth reading.

  • Sarah Nosworthy
    2019-06-08 07:04

    From a young male writer, it shows great research into the 'other' concept for second generation Chinese in the US. It also depicts horrific (fictional but undoubtedly similar happened) rapes and killing fields in Bosnia.

  • Kara
    2019-06-15 22:53

    I found myself falling into this story. I liked that the story being told switches back and forth between the characters.

  • Lisa
    2019-06-17 23:53

    I couldn't put this one down; I had to find out what happened to these characters. At times the back and forth in time business got confusing but the writing about the war in Bosnia was so haunting.

  • Autumn
    2019-06-10 23:09

    Three and a half stars, really. The time line jumps around a LOT. Not impossible to follow, but slightly annoying. I did enjoy it overall though.

  • Billyf27
    2019-06-08 07:14

    I couldn't get past fifty pages.

  • Kym
    2019-06-01 07:14

    The non-linear multi-voice narration made me love this book. It's an incredibly haunting story -- would make a great movie.

  • Judy
    2019-06-10 03:09

    Haunting story encompassing the aftermath of the Bosnian conflict. A bit fractured at times due to the many voices, but a very good read overall. Actually would give it three & a half stars.