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Publisher's Summary

The downloadable, digital audiobook edition of Ali Smith’s remarkable exploration of love, life and death, read by the author herself.

Originally four lectures given by Ali Smith at Oxford University, Artful is a tidal wave of ideas in four thematically organised bursts of thought: On Time, On Form, On Edge and On Offer and On Reflection. Refusing to be tied down to either fiction or the essay form, Artful is narrated by a character who is haunted - literally - by a former lover, the writer of a series of lectures about art and literature. Full of both the poignancy and humour of fiction and all the sideways insights and jaunty angles you would expect from Ali Smith’s criticism, it explores form, style, life, love, death, mortality, immortality and what art and writing can mean.

©2013 Ali Smith (P)2013 Penguin Books Limited

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  • B.
  • 04-03-16

Initially confusing, ultimately engrossing

Although Artful is based on a series of lectures Ali Smith delivered, listeners should be warned that she includes a back story that positions them more as letters to a recently-deceased lover. For me, this was initially confusing, but once I caught on, I found the book fascinating and often wished I had a pencil and paper handy to jot down some of the many literary and cultural references that intrigued me. I found it an engrossing listen that I felt wasn't long enough. I would seriously consider listening to it again, and I almost *never* do that.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Coco the Coo
  • 01-21-16

A feast of thought and art

Before this book, I think I have thought academia a waste of time....especially the study of literature and art. This unfurling of thought, infused with the magic of Synchronisity has totally undone my preconceptions.

It will inform my thinking for a long time and I might actually listen to it again...and probably again....it is so rich, I know I've barely touched the surface of it.

Thank you, people who brought this to fruition.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Earnest
  • 11-12-14

Poignant, erudite and a must listen

What made the experience of listening to Artful the most enjoyable?

Hearing Ali Smith's quiet voice. There is an evocative intimacy in this listening experience which left me stunned sometimes, always better informed and most reluctant to cease listening.

What did you like best about this story?

Being educated about another's life and being made aware of more and even more, in spite of the fact that you are old, is an enormous, irreplaceable gift.

What about Ali Smith’s performance did you like?

Listening to a quiet voice full of restrained erudition, and often self deprecating whimsy is a joy.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Certainly one would hope to enjoy this in theory in one sitting but could you cope? Why would this be a measure of "success?" On the contrary, I meted out each part very carefully so it could be understood, enjoyed and to be respected.

Any additional comments?

Learn something, laugh and probably cry.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful