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Swing Time Audiobook

Swing Time

Regular Price:$32.04
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Publisher's Summary

Dazzlingly energetic and deeply human, Swing Time is a story about friendship and music and true identity, how they shape us and how we can survive them. Moving from Northwest London to West Africa, it is an exuberant dance to the music of time.

Two brown girls dream of being dancers - but only one, Tracey, has talent. The other has ideas: about rhythm and time, about black bodies and black music, what constitutes a tribe or makes a person truly free. It's a close but complicated childhood friendship that ends abruptly in their early 20s, never to be revisited but never quite forgotten, either....

©2016 Zadie Smith (P)2016 Penguin Books Ltd.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (42 )
5 star
 (19)
4 star
 (16)
3 star
 (5)
2 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.0 (37 )
5 star
 (12)
4 star
 (17)
3 star
 (5)
2 star
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1 star
 (1)
Story
4.6 (37 )
5 star
 (27)
4 star
 (7)
3 star
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2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Fiona O'Connell 29/01/2017 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    41
    12
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Mixed feelings"

    Beautifully written - I love her character details, observations on human nature, family, cultural identity. However the book frequently swings back and forth in time and place which I find difficult with an audiobook. I found the early 'Tracy' period very engaging but the later Aimee/Africa period was ho-hum. The narrator was outstanding.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter W. 25/03/2017
    Peter W. 25/03/2017
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Somewhat unfocussed novel, brilliant performance"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    To the right friend, definitely.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    I'm thinking I should go back and read the end again. A really successful novel ends with at least a suggestion of shifting to a different level achieving the focus that was implicit through the workings of the story. I did not get this at the end of swing time but I'm wondering if it was my fault so A re-read is called for.


    Which character – as performed by Pippa Bennett-Warner – was your favourite?

    Tracy - frighteningly forceful, sharp, Smart and confronting, and Bennet-Warner's rendering had Tracy leaping from my device.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Most of the encounters with the main character's father, who was also extremely well captured by Bennet-Warner.


    Any additional comments?

    Overall I found the main character a bit depressing - always ready to be led, often bullied, and seemed to spend most of her life with bullying characters (her mother, Tracy, the dreadful Aimee). The narrator never really got my sympathy or became endearing in any way. Never seemed to find her own feet. (All this may be modified when I re-read the last couple of chapters - if so I'll come back and report the fact.)

    On the other hand, ZS brilliantly captured all sorts of issues that are screaming at us in today's society - race, class, poverty, overseas aid, celebrity, the individual versus the social being - all captured in amazingly succinct fashion. For that I thank her and remain on her readers list.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aoife 16/02/2017
    Aoife 16/02/2017 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Hard to follow on Audio"

    I was a little disappointed as it was quite hard to follow with all of the flicking back and forth in time.
    Tracey was a fairly awful person and yet the main character still referred to her as her 'spirit sister'. It seemed inconsistent and the main character didn't really seem to have any real personality or own interests or dreams of her own.
    Maybe it's better to read the paperback

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Prue Benjamin 16/02/2017
    Prue Benjamin 16/02/2017 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful but long"
    Would you listen to Swing Time again? Why?

    Yes. Mainly because the narration was absolutely fantastic.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The way the narrator brought everyone in the story to life.


    What about Pippa Bennett-Warner’s performance did you like?

    Her different accents were flawless


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • FRANCINE TAFFIN
    7/01/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A good story, shame about the narrator"

    Zadie Smith has not disappointed. I wouldn't have imagined following a main character (the narrator) that seems so clueless about the world around her, be it her family, her boss, the African village where she spends weeks, or her erstwhile bff Tracey, but Smith manages to get us to tag along. And at the end of the story, she does seem to connect with reality at last!

    What really spoiled my enjoyment was the reader, with her soporific tone. But that wasn't the worst. I just wish she'd refrained from doing accents, they just sounded so off and daft.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Patricia
    London, United Kingdom
    17/12/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Couldn't stop reading"

    Loved the story, the subtlety of the characterisations and thoughtful insights into race celebrity, power of money. I think this is Zadie Smith's best book.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Charlotte Hamilton
    London
    26/03/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Another fabulous book by Zadie"

    More of the same. But she has mastered her voice. Fabulous read. Waiting for the next one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Paul D
    Normandy, France
    2/03/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great"

    Loved this book and my only criticism was regarding the narration. Beautifully read with some good voices but not convinced that the style matched the storyteller

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Henna
    13/02/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Lovely (sad) story, incredible narration!"

    I am a huge fan of Zadie Smith; White Teeth and On Beauty have pride of place on my book shelf. I was personally disappointed with NW - I couldn't get into the writing style - but was thrilled to discover a clearer, fascinating narrative in Swing Time.

    It wasn't the most engaging novel I've ever read or listened to, and found the protagonist rather unlikable. However, Pippa Bennet-Warner's narration was breathtaking! She has an incredible, silky voice, and she nailed all the accents, especially the mother's Jamaican lilt. I can't wait for her to read more audiobooks!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • AMH
    12/02/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellently narrated."

    The narrator is amazing. Great story. Zadie Smith excellent as always, creating a vivid depiction of London and all the wonderful multiplicities and complexities of human personality and behaviour. Would definitely recommend to all.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Spyri Dela
    9/02/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Don't get the hype for this book"

    I really struggle to understand what people like about this book. The story is not that special and it goes back and forth in timw without any logic or order. It also feels like the author wanted to say 4 different stories ans could pick which one to go for. Not a fan

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Alan Coady
    3/02/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Parallel Lives"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Swing Time to be better than the print version?

    I think that, in my own particular case, this is an irrelevant question. Audible suits for commuting and print versions for when I devote my full attention to the book.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The unnamed narrator's mother was my favourite character. I could sympathise with the idea put across in describing her that time spent not learning was wasted time - even if this means time spent with family and friends.


    Have you listened to any of Pippa Bennett-Warner’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    This was the first of Pippa Benne-Warner's narrations I've heard but I was very impressed. She seemed effortlessly to be able to supply many contrasting accents: English - of varied age, class, colour, gender; American, Brazilian, Australian, West African.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Neither laughing nor crying resulted - perhaps that's being a man, or simply listening while commuting. However, I was engaged with the characters and with the many difficulties and ambitions in their lives. I experienced a life-affirming sense of life being described as it is and not as one would like it. This was especially put across in describing the difference between a feasibility study as opposed to engaging with life once in the imagined country with all the real life people, customs, weather, light, foods, smells etc.


    Any additional comments?

    This was the first Zadie Smith book I'd 'read' and will explore further. I saw a TV adaptation of White Teeth a few years ago and will look out the book. I will also look out for Pippa Bennet-Warner's name.

    The reason I entitled this review Parallel Lives is that we explore simultaneously in this book two versions of the narrator: the up-to-date version in alternate chapters, and the younger selves which slowly grew into this character. Somehow, this seemed much more revealing that a traditional timeline approach.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sarah Power
    31/01/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Nostalgic, Interesting, yet lacked...something!"
    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed listening to Zadie's wonderful storytelling, not the best of her novels though. Audiobook had great narration, but I was not compelled to listen, can't quite put my finger on why-I didn't feel much empathy with the characters or recognise the world they inhabited, but even that didn't stop me from finishing the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    23/01/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great listen"

    The narrator is very clear , animated and brings the characters to life. I think I would have bored of reading this but have enjoyed listening to it . I preferred this book to the authors other title NW. I would definitely recommend this title.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Megadeath
    19/01/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "excellent although pretty bleak."

    brilliantly observed, well told, and although some of the themes left me feeling a bit bleak at the end, it was a powerful novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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