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Publisher's Summary

From the Man Booker-shortlisted and Baileys Prize-winning author of How to Be Both, a breathtakingly inventive new novel - about aging, time, love, and stories themselves - that launches an extraordinary quartet of books called Seasonal. Listeners love Ali Smith's novels for their peerless innovation and their joyful celebration of language and life. Her newest, Autumn, has all of these qualities in spades, and - good news for fans! - is the first installment in a quartet. Seasonal, comprised of four standalone books, separate yet interconnected and cyclical (as are the seasons), explores what time is, how we experience it, and the recurring markers in the shapes our lives take and in our ways with narrative. Fusing Keatsian mists and mellow fruitfulness with the vitality, the immediacy, and the color hit of Pop Art, Autumn is a witty excavation of the present by the past. The novel is a stripped-branches take on popular culture and a meditation, in a world growing ever more bordered and exclusive, on what richness and worth are, what harvest means.

©2016 Ali Smith (P)2016 W.F. Howes

Critic Reviews

"Ali Smith's moving, dreamlike novel, the first in a planned quartet, is made even lovelier by narrator Melody Grove's consummate narration.... Grove never loses the plot's twisting thread, confidently guiding the listener as the story moves from the present day to 1960s London to WWII France. She imbues her performance with warmth and humor that help ground the story, and her slight variations in tone and accent make the characters easily discernable." (AudioFile)

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mary
  • United States
  • 03-06-17

Incredible use of language

Any additional comments?

I can't wait for the next book in this trilogy. The use of language by Smith is so intricate and consuming that it often made me just pause and smile and enjoy. The structure of this novel winds the reader into and around the world surrounding Elizabeth with so many fascinating tendrils of human relationships in time and over time. The mysteries presented are intriguing and beg for the second book to be released asap. I can't remember being more fully immersed in a novel.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Lyrical and touching

Ali Smith has an evocative, imagistic way with words; not a plot-driven book but she captures a full spectrum of emotions in this “love” story between a woman and the courtly neighbor 70 years her senior.
Narrator is tops!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A Book For Our Times

This is a lovely book. I loved reading the print version and listening to it as well on Audible. It mirrors the puzzlement of the xenophobia sweeping the West. But it’s told in a kind and often funny voice. Autumn is the best book I’ve read in years.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Idea-driven, not plot-driven

This book is artsy and poetic, but also warm, witty, and timely. I loved it, but if you want a good plot then this book probably isn't your jam.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Amazing Audiobook!

I was worried about picking this one up as an audiobook but the narrator was just AMAZING! For some reason I kept associating her voice with Helena Bonham Carter’s ~ it had a whimsical feeling to it that made me think of her wide range of characters and made this story feel like a dream! The story itself is odd and disjointed, but full of rich underlying messages - and some explicitly put ones too - and great discussions on art, time, politics, life, etc! Overall, this book leaves you with a lot to think about and is something that will keep you thinking and make you want to talk and keep its claws in you!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Couldn't get through this

There is just too much jumping around and no clear plot to me. Melody Grove is a great narrator but the book just isn't my cup of tea.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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He said, she said...

This book should never have been bade audible. If I had to listen to “, he said” “, she said” in the narration once more, I would have pulled my ears off! (She said...see how annoying??!!)

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Mind stimulating and well-written

Where does Autumn rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is the best that I have listened to and I go back again and again to get even more from the stimulating and thoughtful dialog.

What did you like best about this story?

I especially liked the range of thought and depth of exploration of ideas.

What does Melody Grove bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

... a poetic approach to prose & the ability to go back to a numbered channel

If you could rename Autumn, what would you call it?

Exploration of Life

Any additional comments?

I liked being able to go back to channels previously listened to

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A masterpiece

Ali Smith weaves words and story together in a way that grip you from beginning to end.

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Not for me

Someone else said in a review that this book was not for them. I totally agree. It might have been better in written format, but if would have heard “Elizabeth said” and “Daniel said” over and over one more time I would have ripped my hair out. I had to stop listening mid way through and I don’t think I have ever done that before with any book ever. It was whiney with no plot.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful