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10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World

Written by: Elif Shafak
Narrated by: Alix Dunmore
Length: 9 hrs and 11 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (46 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Shortlisted for the Booker Prize 2019

Brought to you by Penguin.

'In the first minute following her death, Leila's consciousness began to ebb, slowly and steadily, like a tide receding from the shore. Her brain cells, having run out of blood, were now completely deprived of oxygen. But they did not shut down. Not right away....'

Our brains stay active for 10 minutes after our heart stops beating. For Leila, each minute brings with it a new memory: growing up with her father and his wives in a grand old house in a quiet Turkish town; watching the women gossip and wax their legs while the men went to mosque; sneaking cigarettes and Western magazines on her way home from school; running away to Istanbul to escape an unwelcome marriage; falling in love with a student who seeks shelter from a riot in the brothel where she works. 

Most importantly, each memory reminds Leila of the five friends she met along the way - friends who are now desperately trying to find her.... 

©2019 Elif Shafak (P)2019 Penguin Books Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars

Simply unbelievable !! What a wonderful experience

So this was my second audible , the first being Harry Potter.

This book was simply like a talking picture which I could imagine in my head . The book is amazing and Absolutely amazing narration , I was hooked on it completely , felt every emotion , I smiled and I cried and even got scared at the end ..!!

Addicted to Audibles now !!

Cheers and happy hearing

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

speechless

what a narrative. I have got find of elif shafak style.of writing. and this one was the best

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Loved listening to the audio version of the book.

Loved the way the story has been told. The characters have been built. Really liked the vivid description of places, feelings of people and you could actually live the moment the characters have experienced. Heart touching story

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It’s Worth it

The story and the way it’s written are so engaging. Kudos to the writer.
Alix Dunmore has done such fine job at narrating the book the Turkish accent made it very easy to envisage the scenes.
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to it.

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Scintillating

This is a gem. If you like Elif Shafak's works you will love this. It reminds one of My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk in parts.

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very mesmerizing story

my first fiction book in Audible and I thoroughly loved the narrator's way of changing her voice for each character. plus the story is in itself very interesting and we'll written.

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  • Neelam
  • 03-10-19

A touching story of friendship and belonging

I loved the title of the book and the entire story was remarkable and entertaining.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-06-19

Amazing story

Great narrator delivering a breathaking story, I enjoyed very much! Couldn't stop listening to the end

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • TIM H.
  • 04-08-19

Istanbul life

Joy and tragedy interspersed with views of the Bosphorus . For me a helter skelter ride of emotional intensity and bitter truth read perfectly by someone who must have witnessed the events described.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • A. Peacock
  • 14-11-19

lovely tale - heartwarming and tragic i

lovely tale of enduring friendship
really well narrated
couldn't wait for my bus journeys to listen

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jo Mann
  • 02-11-19

Tragic and heartwarming in equal measure

It’s a tale of human cruelty, the perverse nature of religion driven harm but most of all a story of friendship and kindness that can overcome. Loved every minute of it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • j r mitchell
  • 08-10-19

Gripping and wonderfully uplifting

Absolutely loved the story, it was gripping, sad and uplifting all at once. Also very much enjoyed the narrator's voice

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Dan
  • 27-09-19

Exceptional storytelling and tangible descriptions

An original concept, beautifully told. It's made me want to visit Istanbul, for better or for worse.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Lizzy h
  • 18-08-19

Urban Istanbul mystery

Elif Shafak weaves a story through the Turlish countryside to the harsh streets of Istanbul. We experience the struggle to survive and be an individual through the experiences of different characters.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • bookylady
  • 01-10-19

Really enjoyable.

I really loved the whole notion of a novel being based on the final 10 minutes 38 seconds of brain activity of a dead person. A clever idea and one that has been skillfully used by an author at the height of her powers.
The narrative features Leila, a young woman who feels compelled to leave her sleepy provincial town when her father calls her a whore on finding out that she has been molested by her uncle. Feeling betrayed by her family she arrives in Istanbul and almost immediately falls into danger and trouble. She is forced by circumstance into the life of a sex worker, but one with a heart and a strong will of her own. She refuses to accept that she cannot have some control over her own life.
She gathers around her a group of unusual friends, mostly misfits, and lives as full a life as she can, eventually finding love and marriage.

But fate has other plans for Leila and she ends up being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Her 'dead' brain recalls memories from her life and friendships and through them we learn her story and about the qualities which made her a special person. After her death her loyal friends come together to bring about a fitting end to Leila's life.

The narrator did an excellent job and brought all of the colourful, marvellous characters to life. Some of the novel reveals uncomfortable facts about Turkish attitudes to women and to morality, particularly in respect to sex workers.


2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Naomi Williams
  • 19-11-19

Amazing narration for a truly engrossing story

Quite simply the best audiobook narration I have encountered to date - Alix Dunmore’s performance really brought the story and the individual characters to life. I absolutely loved it.

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  • Patrick
  • 15-11-19

Heartbreaking and life affirming

A wonderful, beautiful story, Leila's sexual abuse by her uncle was grim and , apparently, a common occurence when perpetrators blame the child and swear them to secrecy.
A poignant tale, a cry for understanding on so many levels. Thank you, Elif.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-09-19

accent

could nt capture , what accent it was in the audio book- however, definitely not turkish.

the experience would be more beautiful, if it uses real turkish accent

0 of 2 people found this review helpful