Longlisted for the 2012 Orange Prize for Fiction
Imagine you give a dinner party and a friend of a friend brings a stranger to your house as his guest. He seems pleasant enough. Imagine that this stranger goes upstairs halfway through the dinner party and locks himself in one of your bedrooms and won't come out. Imagine you can't move him for days, weeks, months. If ever. Ali Smith's dazzling new novel is a funny, moving book about time, memory, thought, presence, quietness in a noisy time, and the importance of hearing ourselves think.
©2011 Ali Smith (P)2011 W F Howes Ltd
My entire book club was very excited about reading this book especially after the rave reviews... until we started reading it. It's a novel that reviewers love and rave about but in our experience, 8 people found it very difficult to get through. It was disconnected and we never find out why he went into the room!
"Good premise, didn't deliver"
Halfway through this book I was finding it hard going and I was only persevering to find out what happened in the end. I was also seriously considering claiming on Audible's "good reads guarantee for the first time". The final 3rd picked up a bit though and some interesting characters emerged and it did "somewhat" piece together.It’s quite a whimsical book. It flitters around, it’s a bit flowery and there’s no plot as such. The blurb is a great premise but that’s not really what the book is about. Think of it more of a collection of short stories interwoven together.
It would be great as a short story or as a collection of short stories. Even if it was marketed differently, the blurb focuses on the man in the room but its only 5% of the book - change the focus to "An event in Greenwich".
A pretty good performance, she does the child quite well and keeps the story light.
If it was a movie it would be an independent movie in an art house cinema that would have half the characters removed OR it would be a mainstream movie based on the single story of a guy in a room and the other characters removed. Would I see it ? yes just to see how they changed it for it to work as a logical story.
"Intricate, exuberant, humane"
Excellent series of interlinked internal narratives, marvellously dramatised by the narrator. The word play was beautifully rendered.
"A beautiful piece"
Smith's novel is an absolutely mesmerising piece of work. Clever character developments work to let the story line slowly become clear - an incredible experience!
There were no bits I did not like!
This is simply a fantastic audiobook. The style of the novel lends itself very well to an audio interpretation. The performance was absolutely fantastic. This is certainly a book I will listen to over and over again - it is an absolutely beautiful work of fiction.
"there but for the"
Not what I expected - thought it would be funny or at least have some touches of humour. Just depressing but to be fair I gave up after 10 mins... the car journey home was depressing enough without listening to this book as well.
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