- helpful votes
- By: Zadie Smith
- Narrated by: Pippa Bennett-Warner
- Length: 13 hrs and 44 mins
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.
- By Fiona O'Connell on 29-01-2017
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.