Smith, Zadie (Book - 2012)
Average Rating: 3 stars out of 5.

Item Details

Penguin Putnam
New York Times Ten Best Books of 2012

?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

This is the story of a city.

The northwest 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.

Baker & Taylor
Growing up in the same 1970s urban planning development in Northwest London, four young people pursue independent and reasonably successful lives until one of them is abruptly drawn out of her isolation by a stranger who is seeking her help.

& Taylor

Growing up in the same 1970s urban planning development in Northwest London, four young people pursue independent and reasonably successful lives until one of them is abruptly drawn out of her isolation by a stranger who is seeking her help. By the author of On Beauty. (This book was previously listed in Forecast.)

Authors: Smith, Zadie
Statement of Responsibility: Zadie Smith
Title: NW
Publisher: New York : Penguin Press, 2012
Characteristics: 401 p. ; 25 cm.
Contents: Visitation
Subject Headings: Planned communities England London Fiction Social isolation Fiction London (England) Fiction
Topical Term: Planned communities
Social isolation
LCCN: 2012015114
ISBN: 9781594203978
Branch Call Number: FIC S
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Oct 04, 2014
  • eeyore7299 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

I didn't read all of the comments, but from what I can gather, the low rating of this book by many is due to its lack of "traditional" narrative form. What a shame! I am a writer myself, and like to push the boundaries and this book was inspiring to me. I love how she created texture with these disparate aspects and styles throughout the book. There were weaker moments, but overall, that feeling of disjointedness worked very well to illustrate the characters and their disconnection from themselves and where they were from. Her use of language and description were genius, especially early on. I could go on and on and on. I was so absorbed by most of the book I had a hard time putting it down. I wish everyone could have had that experience, because it really is a master work, even if there are some hiccups in places. I love artists who push on the edges, who move art forward. We need different thinkers and innovative narrative, not just the traditional.

May 16, 2014
  • uncommonreader rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This is Zadie Smith's most interesting book since "White Teeth". It narrates the stories of four people from a housing estate in NW London, with each written in a different style. A somewhat experimental, post-modern book that seems authentic.

Nov 12, 2013
  • stkim0 rated this: 0.5 stars out of 5.

I was a little over 100 pages into it, and I thought to myself, "What the heck am I reading?"

I couldn't answer that question. 100 pages, and this was going nowhere. Wherever this may have gone, I don't care anymore. Even what I did manage to finish was a struggle.

Oct 18, 2013
  • jtkretzschmar rated this: 0.5 stars out of 5.

I really didn't enjoy this book. I found the writing style lazy, confusing and disjointed. I generally really like books with this premise, but this particular novel I would not recommend.

Jun 21, 2013
  • nherzog rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

Not sure if I quite got what this book is about or trying to express. It was sometimes a bit hard to follow. I've read other Zadie Smith books that I liked much, much better, that were more of a narrative, with a more coherent plot. This one's a bit too fragmented and tentative for my taste. Still, I stuck with it, finished it; she's still an inspiring writer, just prefer a more traditional narrative style.

Mar 13, 2013
  • rosenyny rated this: 1.5 stars out of 5.

I tried really hard to enjoy this book, reading over the first 100 pages but there was essentially no plot to get engaged in. While the writing style in this section of the book is quite unique, it takes a genuine effort to follow the dialog. Unfortunately, I didn't feel very rewarded with for my "sticktoitiveness." I, therefore, abandoned this book. I've heard great things about her other books and they are not written in the same style and are very plot driven so perhaps I will enjoy those.

Mar 09, 2013
  • toby65 rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

I so enjoyed 'White teeth' and 'On beauty'. This was not as satisfying. Fine writing but I guess I prefer a more traditional form. I don't think the various clips and lists added anything - quite the opposite. Still, it is Zadie Smith, and much better than most contemporary writers.

I'm pretty much obsessed with Zadie Smith's writing. Met her at the Barnes and Noble Arboretum back in 2005, maybe 2006. I'm having a hard time finishing this book as I only find the characters' stories and conversations half interestng. I will pick it up again someday. In the meantime, Smith has written a terrific
short story, which appears in the New Yorker, "The Embassy of Cambodia." Great character study of Fatou, a nanny with many curiosities. Now, I hope that Fatou becomes the protagonist is Smith's next novel.

Feb 10, 2013
  • MelissaBee rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

In "NW," Sadie Smith continues to mature as a novelist.

Her writing here is fresher and more experimental than the two other titles I am familiar with, "White Teeth" and "On Beauty." Again she deftly tackles the challenges found at the intersections of race, class, family, and couple relationships through rich language and the development of immensely interesting and empathetic characters. In "NW" though, she moves away from the nosier and more external action of these other novels. While still capturing the voice of the streets with rhythm and immediacy, she deepens and quiets the internal dialogue, enriching the readers experience of how we speak within ourselves when we wonder at our connection to others.

Jan 14, 2013
  • JCLMELODYK rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

I was so looking forward to NW after enjoying the audio version of On Beauty. NW left me confused though. The jacket summary says the book is about four Londoners - Leah, Natalie, Felix and Nathan. I don't even recall Felix, where the heck was he? Nathan came and went briefly. In the opening of Chapter 2 a young woman is introduced with such thrust that I'm convinced she will play some important part in the story but that fizzles out with no resolution. Did I completely miss something. After Natalie's voice took over the story, I enjoyed it but overall the experience just confused me.

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app09 Version Arkelstorp Last updated 2014/10/23 09:41