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NW

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NW Cover

ISBN13: 9780143123934
ISBN10: 0143123939
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

One of the New York Times Book Review's 10 Best Books of 2012

Set in northwest London, Zadie Smith's brilliant tragicomic novel follows four locals — Leah, Natalie, Fox, and Nathan — as they try to make adult lives outside of Caldwell, the council estate of their childhood. In private houses and public parks, at work and at play, these Londoners inhabit 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 city-dwellers everywhere — NW is a quietly devastating novel of encounters, mercurial and vital, like the city itself.

Review:

"A triumph....As Smith threads together her characters' inner and outer worlds, every sentence sings." The Guardian

Review:

"Absolutely brilliant....So electrically authentic, it reads like surveillance transcripts." Lev Grossman, Time

Review:

"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

Review:

"A marvelously accomplished work, perhaps her most polished yet." Laura Miller, Salon

Review:

"NW offers a nuanced, disturbing exploration of the boundaries, some porous, some impenetrable, between people living cheek by jowl in urban centers where the widening gap between haves and have-nots has created chasms into which we're all in danger of falling." NPR.org

Review:

"A powerful portrait of class and identity in multicultural London." Entertainment Weekly

Review:

"One of the most interesting portrayals of 30-something womanhood that I've come across in a long time. For other readers, Smith's brilliant eye and idiosyncratic ear should be ample enticement." Bloomberg News

Review:

"A master class in freestyle fiction writing. Smith mashes up voices and vignettes, poetry and instant messaging, bedroom preferences and murder, and keeps it all from collapsing into incoherent mush with deft, dry wit. Smith defines characters worth reading." Newsday

Review:

"Smith's masterful ability to suspend all these bits and parts in the amber which is London refracts light, history, and the humane beauty of seeing everything at once." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"In NW, Smith offers a robust novel bursting with life: a timely exploration of money, morals, class and authenticity that asks if we are ever truly the sole authors of our own fate." BookPage

About the Author

Zadie Smith was born in northwest London in 1975. She is the author of White Teeth, The Autograph Man, On Beauty, and the essay collection Changing My Mind. She lives in New York City.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

julieb43, December 25, 2013 (view all comments by julieb43)
I would actually give this a 3½ rating if I could.

Zadie Smith has a great talent for creating three-dimensional characters and authentic dialogue, both of which feature strongly here. I gave the novel the extra half star because of these strong elements. The reason I didn't give the novel four stars is because it's sometimes difficult to navigate.

The novel is divided into different sections and has a large cast of characters. There are a few characters that recur throughout the novel, primarily the two female protagonists--Leah Hanwell and Natalie/Keisha Blake. They have been friends since childhood and grew up in housing projects. The story tracks their paths toward better futures.

The difficulty I had with the novel is that it can be frustrating trying to figure out who is speaking at various times. There isn't always punctuation for the dialogue sections, of which there are many. There are also many secondary characters and shifts between past and present. If one doesn't know London it can also be confusing because of place names. London is after all the focus--Northwest London.

Smith's aim isn't always clear, but I found the story interesting and liked the characters' interactions and their struggles to discover who they were and what they really wanted out of life.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780143123934
Author:
Smith, Zadie
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Subject:
Family saga
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
20130827
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
416
Dimensions:
8.44 x 5.5 in 0.75 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » General
Featured Titles » Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

NW Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$10.95 In Stock
Product details 416 pages Penguin Books - English 9780143123934 Reviews:
"Review" by , "A triumph....As Smith threads together her characters' inner and outer worlds, every sentence sings."
"Review" by , "Absolutely brilliant....So electrically authentic, it reads like surveillance transcripts."
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "A marvelously accomplished work, perhaps her most polished yet."
"Review" by , "NW offers a nuanced, disturbing exploration of the boundaries, some porous, some impenetrable, between people living cheek by jowl in urban centers where the widening gap between haves and have-nots has created chasms into which we're all in danger of falling."
"Review" by , "A powerful portrait of class and identity in multicultural London."
"Review" by , "One of the most interesting portrayals of 30-something womanhood that I've come across in a long time. For other readers, Smith's brilliant eye and idiosyncratic ear should be ample enticement."
"Review" by , "A master class in freestyle fiction writing. Smith mashes up voices and vignettes, poetry and instant messaging, bedroom preferences and murder, and keeps it all from collapsing into incoherent mush with deft, dry wit. Smith defines characters worth reading."
"Review" by , "Smith's masterful ability to suspend all these bits and parts in the amber which is London refracts light, history, and the humane beauty of seeing everything at once."
"Review" by , "In NW, Smith offers a robust novel bursting with life: a timely exploration of money, morals, class and authenticity that asks if we are ever truly the sole authors of our own fate."
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