The unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of NW, Zadie Smith’s first novel since the best-selling On Beauty.
This is the story of a city. The north-west corner of a city. Here you’ll find guests and hosts, those with power and those without it, people who live somewhere special and others who live nowhere at all. And many people in between. Every city is like this. Cheek-by-jowl living. Separate worlds. And then there are the visitations: the rare times a stranger crosses a threshold without permission or warning, causing a disruption in the whole system.
Like the April afternoon a woman came to Leah Hanwell’s door, seeking help, disturbing the peace, forcing Leah out of her isolation....
Zadie Smith’s brilliant tragi-comic new novel follows four Londoners - Leah, Natalie, Felix, and Nathan - as they try to make adult lives outside of Caldwell, the council estate of their childhood. From private houses to public parks, at work and at play, their London is a complicated place, as beautiful as it is brutal, where the thoroughfares hide the back alleys and taking the high road can sometimes lead you to a dead end. Depicting the modern urban zone - familiar to town-dwellers everywhere - Zadie Smith’s NW is a quietly devastating novel of encounters, mercurial and vital, like the city itself.
©2012 Zadie Smith (P)2012 Penguin Books Limited
While a lot of the insight and small passages are quite good, with sharp writing and fine observations, the stories felt a bit long and never quite closed in on anything or resolved the three stories, two of which overlapped, one which was only minimally related.
Nothing, it just was not for me.
her other books have had more straight forward story lines.
My thinking about The performance was coloured by my lack of interest in the story.
disappointment and despair
"Not quite her best"
I love her work, but this is my least favourite. She does give a terrific portrait of life in a marginal London community - scarcely a community actually - that is psychologically and sociologically satisfying. Yet the plotting is poor and confusing. Questions remain unresolved at the end. She's tried to be too clever and oblique when her straight story-telling is peerless at its best.
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