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NW

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


Item Details

"Four Londoners - Leah, Natalie, Felix, and Nathan - 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."--From publisher's information.
Authors: Smith, Zadie
Title: NW
a novel
Publisher: New York :, Penguin Press,, 2012
Characteristics: 401 p. ;,25 cm
Contents: Visitation
Guest
Host
Crossing
Summary: "Four Londoners - Leah, Natalie, Felix, and Nathan - 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."--From publisher's information.
Alternate Title: NW
ISBN: 1594203970
9781594203978
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Report This 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.

Report This 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.

Report This 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.

Report This 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.

Report This 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.

Report This 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.

Report This 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.

Report This Dec 19, 2012
  • tegan rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

NW, well what can I say - it is not a typical Zadie Smith book. This book is broken into a few different sections, each with a very different writing style. My favourite was the Keisha/Natalie section. I found it interesting how Smith provided snippets of story in a dis-jointed way. The first section though, the 'Leah section', is quite confusing. It is hard to tell who is speaking and to be honest the storyline of that section is a bit annoying. I think that the Natalie section makes this book worth the read, but I didn't enjoy the other sections that much. I found Felix's behaviour to be despicable. Don't expect a Zadie Smith book when you read this book, or else you will probably be disappointed.

Report This Nov 18, 2012
  • vickiz rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

NW is not Zadie Smith's best. However, it shows a writer at her finest and bravest exploring diverse terrain and experimenting with different methods and vocabularies with which to present those explorations. That makes Smith's examination of intersecting worlds and lives in the northwest corner of contemporary London a still fascinating if sometimes frustrating read.

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