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NW  By  cover art

NW

By: Zadie Smith
Narrated by: Karen Bryson, Don Gilet
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Publisher's summary

Somewhere in Northwest London stands Caldwell housing estate, relic of 70s urban planning. Five identical blocks, deliberately named: Hobbes, Smith, Bentham, Locke, and Russell. If you grew up there, the plan was to get out and get on, to something bigger, better.

Thirty years later, ex-Caldwell kids Leah, Natalie, Felix, and Nathan have all made it out, with varying degrees of succes - whatever that means. Living only streets apart, they occupy separate worlds and navigate an atomized city where few wish to be their neighbor’s keeper. Then, one April afternoon, a stranger comes to Leah’s door seeking help, disturbing the peace, and forcing Leah out of her isolation....

From private houses to public parks, at work and at play, in this delicate, devastating novel of encounters, the main streets hide the back alleys, and taking the high road can sometimes lead to a dead end. Zadie Smith’s NW brilliantly depicts the modern urban zone - familiar to city dwellers everywhere - in a tragicomic novel as mercurial as the city itself.

A 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist
One of The New York Times Book Review's 10 Best Books of 2012
One of Time's Top 10 Fiction Books of 2012
One of The Wall Street Journal's Best 10 Fiction Books of 2012
A New York Times and Washington Post Notable Book of 2012

©2012 Zadie Smith (P)2012 Penguin Audiobooks

Critic reviews

"This is a book in which you never know how things will come together or what will happen next... NW represents a deliberate undoing; an unpacking of Smith’s abundant narrative gifts to find a deeper truth, audacious and painful as that truth may be. The result is that rare thing, a book that is radical and passionate and real." (Anne Enright, The New York Times Book Review)

"A boldly Joycean appropriation, fortunately not so difficult of entry as its great model... Like Zadie Smith’s much-acclaimed predecessor White Teeth (2000), NW is an urban epic." (Joyce Carol Oates, The New York Review of Books)

"Endlessly fascinating... remarkable. ...The impression of Smith's casual brilliance is what constantly surprises, the way she tosses off insights about parenting and work that you've felt in some nebulous way but never been able to articulate." (Ron Charles, The Washington Post)

"Innovative and moving... This is a rich novel, as crammed with voices and layered with history and pop culture as is London itself. Smith’s flair for dialogue reaches a new height in NW, as she conveys the rhythms and diction of a variety of Londoners with wit and acuity. The story of what happens inside a person when she rises above the situation she was born into was of interest to Charles Dickens and Jane Austen, among countless other novelists. Zadie Smith has delivered her contribution to this literary tradition with aplomb." (Dallas Morning News)

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complicated but worth it

this book is more about a place than the characters although the characters intetwraving is amazing

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