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    "Imagine Call Me by Your Name set in Communist Poland and you'll get a sense of Jedrowski's moving debut about a consuming love affair amidst a country being torn apart." (O Magazine, LGBTQ Books That'll Change the Literary Landscape in 2020)

    "Captivating both for its shimmering surfaces and its terrifying depths. Tomasz Jedrowski is a remarkable writer." (Justin Torres, best-selling author of We the Animals)

    Set in early 1980s Poland against the violent decline of communism, a tender and passionate story of first love between two young men who eventually find themselves on opposite sides of the political divide - a stunningly poetic and heartrending literary debut for fans of Andre Aciman, Garth Greenwell, and Alan Hollinghurst. 

    When university student Ludwik meets Janusz at a summer agricultural camp, he is fascinated yet wary of this handsome, carefree stranger. But a chance meeting by the river soon becomes an intense, exhilarating, and all-consuming affair. After their camp duties are fulfilled, the pair spend a dreamlike few weeks camping in the countryside, bonding over an illicit copy of James Baldwin's Giovanni's Room. Inhabiting a beautiful natural world removed from society and its constraints, Ludwik and Janusz fall deeply in love. But in their repressive communist and Catholic society, the passion they share is utterly unthinkable.

    Once they return to Warsaw, the charismatic Janusz quickly rises in the political ranks of the party and is rewarded with a highly-coveted position in the ministry. Ludwik is drawn toward impulsive acts of protest, unable to ignore rising food prices and the stark economic disparity around them. Their secret love and personal and political differences slowly begin to tear them apart as both men struggle to survive in a regime on the brink of collapse.

    Shifting from the intoxication of first love to the quiet melancholy of growing up and growing apart, Swimming in the Dark is a potent blend of romance, post-war politics, intrigue, and history. Lyrical and sensual, immersive and intense, Tomasz Jedrowski has crafted an indelible and thought-provoking literary debut that explores freedom and love in all its incarnations. 

    ©2020 Tomasz Jedrowski (P)2020 HarperAudio

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    Ce que les auditeurs disent de Swimming in the Dark

    Notations
    Global
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    Commentaires - Veuillez sélectionner les onglets ci-dessous pour changer la provenance des commentaires.

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    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
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      5 out of 5 stars
    Image de profile pour Jeffrey veals
    • Jeffrey veals
    • 11/05/2020

    One of the Best Contemporary Novels Ever

    As long as the 'Gay and Lesbian' "slash" 'LGBT' genres exist, I don't think that the masses will ever be able to appreciate the brilliant, beautiful, and stunning prose that is contained inside this book. Since I was nine years old, I've wanted to be a writer and there are books here and there than inspire me to continue with my passion. Tomasz Jedrowski's 'Swimming in the Dark' is one of the books that has done this--one of the pieces of writing that makes me believe that contemporary novels are just as important as all of the classics that have given me hope.

    The novel takes place in the 1970's and early 1980's Poland and follows Ludwik as he discovers his orientation at a young age with a young Jewish boy and then with the love of his life, Janusz. After university, Ludwik is required by the government to participate in an agricultural project and notices Janusz from afar. After stumbling into him at a nearby lake, they begin speaking about various things, especially Ludwik's escapism into the world of literature. Ludwik is currently reading Baldwin's famous novel 'Giovanni's Room,' which has never been published in Poland. He manages to get his hands on this book and a discussion arises between the two men about what he's reading. After lending Janusz the book, Ludwik never visits the lake again, for fear of a reaction and questions about his sexuality. After the required agricultural work, Janusz and Ludwik decide to go camping, suspending time in a lot of ways and discovering so much about each other. After heading back into the real world, things complicate with Ludwik's hatred of the government and Janusz desire to move up with connections. The love is obvious, but things aren't simple and never will be.

    I can't express how much this novel has done for me with my own personal goals, but it is so much more than that. Polish history is something I'd never really studied besides bits here and there in reference to World War II. With their city being under the control of basic dictatorship, there is a strong fear with two men being in love. This book is written in such beauty and tells the story and history with perfection. It is honestly one of the most beautiful books I've ever read. As I've stated before, I don't like that this is in the 'Gay and Lesbian' genre, because I think that people need to read this book! There are some people that will read this book, who are not part of the LGBT community, but the book offers so much more than a love story between two men. The political climate of Poland during the time period of this book is fascinating and is more powerful than most books in the genre it has been placed into. There are no gratuitous or graphic scenes in this book; if that's anyone's fear, it can be dispelled right now.

    Please read this powerful, incredible novel! You won't regret it.

    The novel will obviously receive an A+ on my grading scale for EVERYTHING that the reader will discover inside.

    Normally, I do not talk about how I read or listen to a book, because it doesn't really matter. I would say that I physically read about 50% of the books I review. Some are best in physical form, but I think this book is just as powerful in audio.

    I want to talk about the narrator for a second. Normally, I would just say one or two things and give him/her a grade, but Mr. Watt is beyond exceptional. I do not know his background and it is possible that he has Polish heritage or could be fluent in the language. There was a scene where a radio announcer is speaking with an English accent and it is posh, beautiful, and different from how he narrates through Ludwik. I'm assuming this is his natural speaking voice and am astounded that he can pull off such a range. I love various narrators and have given a lot of A's when speaking about audio books. Mr. Will M. Watt deserves and will receive an A+ from me, since he is incredible. If you are not going to read this physically or if you've already read it this way, I would suggest that you listen to this version and you will know exactly what I'm talking about. If he doesn't win an award for this performance, I will be shocked.

    I want to thank both Mr. Tomasz Jedrowski for writing one of the best books I've ever read and Mr. Will M. Watt for bringing it to life!

    60 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      2 out of 5 stars
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    Image de profile pour Amazon reader
    • Amazon reader
    • 26/10/2020

    Not that interesting

    I don’t know what the big deal was. Excellent writer. Beautiful prose. And a boring rather uninteresting story.

    13 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

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    Image de profile pour Amazon Customer
    • Amazon Customer
    • 28/08/2020

    Heartbreakingly beautiful

    Will Watt’s voice is so soothing. He did a wonderful job. This is my second time listening to this book and it breaks me every time. These two men are navigating life in socialist Poland in opposite ways and views: one a bit of a hopeless romantic, and the other narrowly ambitious. Both catalysts for their relationship’s downfall. (One more than the other). Jedrowski’s use of second-person was perfectly done. This is very similar to The Song of Achilles in the way that we know the outcome but it’s still hurts and that the narrator portrays their lover so tenderly even when they are in the wrong.

    9 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
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    Image de profile pour Casey
    • Casey
    • 20/10/2020

    This is a stunning book.

    This is a stunning book. To start, the writing is something to admire on its own. I found it economic in the best possible way yet with a deep richness in the characters and environments. I found myself daydreaming of every person, every sweater, every street. I'm incredibly visual in nature so it really hit in a very specific way, the way that my favorite books do. If this kind of writing is something you admire I think you will be completely enamored with this book. I found myself looking at pictures of Poland to try to actually see the landscapes written about and I couldn't get enough.

    The story is fairly heartbreaking but it's honesty and place in history and time gives a bit of ease. You may understand how we are products of where we sit in time, I'm not sure everyone will find some relief in that but I did. This story couldn't have happened another way based on when and where it sits so its heartbreaking but impossible to imagine otherwise. I hope LGBTQ people are having a better time there now, from the little I've read it seems only a little.

    I highly recommend this book if you are someone who loves to understand how gay people made their way in life in different points in time and the effect that society has on informing decisions you make about love and how you view yourself.

    Another case of a narrator, Will M. Watt, making an incredible book an even richer experience. Such a lovely voice that brought me deeper into the story and the lead character. One of the best I've heard this year.

    5 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

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      5 out of 5 stars
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    Image de profile pour Utilisateur anonyme
    • Utilisateur anonyme
    • 05/09/2020

    Makes “Call Me By Your Name” feel like a happy love story

    Perhaps the most heartbreaking story of love and loss I’ve ever heard. Swimming in the dark captures what it truly feels like to have a forbidden love, trying to live with it, and the end results. Brilliantly written and marvelously narrated.

    5 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
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    Image de profile pour Amazon Customer
    • Amazon Customer
    • 01/08/2020

    Exquisite and Elegant, Elegiac and Beautiful

    The prose is moving and the story captivating. The intricately interwoven political and personal stories carried me throughout, while at times requiring me to stop and to ponder both the stories and my own life story, and compelling me at times to relisten to parts of the story before moving on. I didn't want it to end, feared where things would lead, ultimately satisfied with how everything unfolded. I love Giovanni's Room, and its use in this story is thoughtful and convincing. I add this to a strikingly short list of classics of gay fiction.

    5 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

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      5 out of 5 stars
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    Image de profile pour Robert Jason
    • Robert Jason
    • 02/05/2020

    Heartfelt debut

    Gorgeously written, it's as much a historical novel as it is a love story. Owes a debt to the Baldwin novel referenced throughout, but "Swimming" is entirely its own story. The novels expertly captures the turmoil of blossoming love and the political unrest in Poland, and places them on a collision course at odds with each other. A wonderfully written debut.

    4 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

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    Image de profile pour Ray Paramo
    • Ray Paramo
    • 08/08/2020

    Beautiful, Powerful, and Brilliantly Performed

    Jedrowski's debut novel is not only a love story but a coming-of-age story as well. The landscapes of communist Poland are both grim and beautiful, and there is something lonely and compelling about Ludwik coming to terms with his sexuality, his political views, and his life ambitions as he navigates first love with Janusz.

    The novel's beauty is only accentuated by the fantastic narration of this audiobook. Will M. Watt does a wonderful job. He really gets into the characters for whom he reads; you can feel what they're feeling.

    Now that I've finished 'Swimming in the Dark,' I will say that I absolutely need to read 'Giovanni's Room.' It's been on my bookshelf for years, untouched.


    3 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

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      5 out of 5 stars
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    Image de profile pour Yvonne M
    • Yvonne M
    • 15/09/2020

    Wow

    This book ripped my heart out and then put it back a few times. The author really expressed their feelings and hopes. I really hate how the story is real, I was praying for a happily ever after. The narrator was great too.

    2 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

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      1 out of 5 stars
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    Image de profile pour ladena
    • ladena
    • 27/01/2021

    Perhaps it got better in the 2nd half

    I'm only basing this review on the first half of the book. I found it utterly boring and the narrator's accent didn't fit. I couldn't make myself finish it even though it was a short book.

    1 personne a trouvé cela utile