Read The Other Americans by Laila Lalami Online

The Other Americans

From the Pulitzer Prize finalist and author of The Moors Account, here is a timely and powerful new novel about the suspicious death of a Moroccan immigrantat once a family saga, a murder mystery, and a love story, informed by the treacherous fault lines of American culture.Late one spring night, as Driss Guerraoui is walking across a darkened intersection in California, hes killed by a speeding car. The repercussions of his death bring together a diverse cast of characters: Guerraouis daughter Nora, a jazz composer who returns to the small town in the Mojave she thought shed left for good; his widow, Maryam, who still pines after her life in the old country; Efran, an undocumented witness whose fear of deportation prevents him from coming forward; Jeremy, an old friend of Noras and an Iraqi War veteran; Coleman, a detective who is slowly discovering her sons secrets; Anderson, a neighbor trying to reconnect with his family; and the murdered man himself.As the charactersdeeply divided ...

Title : The Other Americans
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 34851317
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 320 pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Other Americans Reviews

  • switterbug (Betsey)

    My perspective on reading this book is to forgo guessing what is going to happen, or trying to determine how accurate your suspicions. Just dive in and let it gently steal through you. There’s a Who and Why regarding a hit-and-run that resulted in death, which is the ballast of the plot, at least in a pressing sense. The other characters are immediate family or characters connected to the family or incident in some way. “What a fragile thing a heart was. So easy to fool. To break. To stop on imp ...more

  • Anna Luce

    ★★✰✰✰ 2.5 stars (rounded down)

    I'm really disappointed by this book. It tells a predictable and unevenly paced story which focuses on flat stereotypes whose different point of views merge into one indistinguishable passive voice.

    Not a bad novel but...far from good.

    If you haven't read novels similar to this one you might be able to look past its cliches and its poorly orchestrated narrative.


    Initially I thought that this book was doing something similar to Everything Here Is Beautiful wh

    “Stroke of luck,” I said, and immediately regretted the modesty in my voice. Humility had been drilled in me, as it was in most of the women I knew, and I found it hard to get rid of it, even though it was frequently mistaken for inability.”

    What kind of person would immediately view their own response as 'patriarchy's fault'? There were many other instances which sounded like they belong on twitter.

    The tries. I will give it that. But it is also >so inconsistent. The pacing is all over the place, the switching from past to present is muddled, and it just seems not to know where it's headed.

    At the start Nora says that at a teacher made her realise that she has Synesthesia:

    “She gave a name to how I saw the world. Synesthesia. And with that word came the realization that there was nothing wrong with me, that I shared this way of experiencing sound with many others, some of them musicians.”

    Is this touched upon again? No.

    Does Nora seems to view her surroundings differently from the other characters? No.

    Why then throw the word 'synesthesia' in the mix? It is an actual condition not something that you should mention once in order to establish that your character is different.

    The characters seem unable to make any valid argument or intelligible statement but behave like sketches of inane people.

    There is one scene in which Nora discovers that Jeremy served in Iraq and is repulsed by this. The two part on unfriendly terms, and one would think that Jeremy would try to get Nora to see why he felt that he had to join (he wanted to get away from his alcoholic father, his prospect-less future) but no. That is the type of conversation two adults would have. These two don't say anything to one another until Nora suddenly decides that...she doesn't mind? I don't even know! Her initial reaction is so strong that she is unable to look at him...and the day after she is just okay with it? She doesn't articulate why she is able to overcome her initial reaction. Later on she has the cheesy realisation that: 'he has blood on his hands'.



    These characters do not sound, behave, or think like real people. They are posterboys for certain issues or personalities.

    We have Nora, the classic 'I'm different', 'I'm not like other people', 'I'm the black sheep of the family', 'I'm creative', who is immensely dislikable in spite of the many attempts to make her into some sort of just and compassionate person. Her sister, whose life is predictably 'not as perfect as it seems' (her chapter was cringe-worthy and seems like some sort creative writing assignment). Their mother...she makes this obvious comments like 'I wish my daughters stopped fighting with one another', 'these Americans'.

    The extras are just as flat. We have the bad guy, a white racists, xenophobic, sexist, rude, who feels no guilt or remorse whatsoever, and Lalami tries to give us his 'side' of the story through laughable statements like: “Do you know what it does to a boy when a girl laughs at him? ”

    Jeremy was awful. He was just there to be Nora's love interest. We get a quick info-dump in which he tells us about his alcoholic dad and that he used to be made fun for being fat. And then his chapters are centred on his obsession with Nora. She is the girl for him. She is not like other women. You see, while he could brag about sleeping with other women, he could never speak like that of Nora. Nora was nice to him (once) years before.And Nora makes him realise that using offensive terms like 'raghead' isn't nice. must be love?

    I could go on and on about how stereotypical these characters are. I read a review that said that you can tell exactly what has happened and what will happen to each character within the first few chapters and I agree 100%.

    At times it seemed that Lalami forgot about her own characters...why add them to the mix to begin with?


    If I were you I would skip reading this and read Elif Shafak's The Saint of Incipient Insanities.

    Read more reviews on my blog

  • Mary Lins

    Don’t approach “The Other Americans”, by Laila Lalami, as a mystery to solve “who done it”. The hit and run death at the beginning is merely the catalyst for an immediately arresting story about a group of interconnected characters – ordinary Americans – who have a variety of world-views and experiences, many of whom are marginalized and function in the shadows.

    The story is fast-paced and told in alternating first-person narratives – almost like interviews – from four years in the future after t

  • Beata

    Laila Lalami is gradually becoming one of the writers I am definitely going to follow. Her writing style and character development is exquisite and absolutely to my liking. The Other Americans does not belong to the page-turner category, but for me it was!! I could not put down this novel revolving around a seemingly hit-and-run fatal accident in which a Moroccan immigrant is killed. Driss and his family left Morocco many years ago escaping political persecution, and, though with difficulty, the ...more

  • Michelle

    The Other Americans is a multilayered novel. It is all at once a family saga, a mystery, social commentary and a love story. Told from the perspectives of the victim, his immigrant family, neighbors and police, The Other Americans not only provides a clear lense for racial and class tensions, but also allows insight into the burdens our protectors carry. Although the book description focuses on the hit and run accident that claimed the life of patriarch Driss Guerraroui, at the forefront of this ...more

  • Meghan

    Incredible. Beautifully written, I felt as if the characters were telling only me their story and I was feeling each word. I loved the way so many characters shared their sides. Really really beautiful book.

  • Vegantrav

    At the center of this novel is a hit-and-run incident that takes a man's life: was it just an accident, was it reckless driving, or was it perhaps murder?

    But The Other Americans is so much more than this mystery. It is a character study of all the people connected to the hit-and-run: the victim himself, the victim's family, the local community where the hit-and-run occurred, the perpetrator and the perpetrator's family, and the police detective who investigates; each of these individuals has a f

  • Audrey

    4.5 Stars

    This book. It’s one of those that will stay with you. It’s intense but relatable and you just want more, yet the ending worked beautifully. Told from multiple points of views about the aftermath of a hit and run of an immigrant from Morocco. The points of view range from his children, his wife, the investigating detective, a daughter’s friend and business neighbors. Some points of view were told with more frequency, yet it’s the ones who aren’t focused on that help flesh out the entire