NW (Thorndike Press Large Print Core Series) (英語) ハードカバー – Large Print, 2013/1/23
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Coming soon as a BBC2 drama adaptation -- a masterful novel about London life from the bestselling, prize-winning Zadie Smith.
Zadie Smith's brilliant tragi-comic NW follows four Londoners - Leah, Natalie, Felix and Nathan - after they've left their childhood council estate, grown up and moved on to different lives. From private houses to public parks, at work and at play, their city is brutal, beautiful and complicated. Yet after a chance encounter they each find that the choices they've made, the people they once were and are now, can suddenly, rapidly unravel. A portrait of modern urban life, NW is funny, sad and urgent - as brimming with vitality as the city itself.
Praise for NW:
'Her dialogue sings and soars; terse, packed and sassy. Smith is simply wonderful: Dickens's legitimate daughter' Boyd Tonkin, Independent
'Astonishing, dazzling. Really - without exaggeration - not since Dickens has there been a better observer of London scenes. Zadie Smith is a genius. It's hard to imagine a better novel this year - or this decade' A.N. Wilson
'Intensely funny, richly varied, always unexpected. A joyous, optimistic, angry masterpiece. No better English novel will be published this year' Philip Hensher, Daily Telegraph
'Absolutely brilliant. So electrically authentic' TIME
'Captivating. Funny, sexy, weird, full of acute social comedy, like London. She's up there with the best around' Evening Standard
'Marvellous . . . crackles with reflections on race, music and migration. A lyrical fiction for our times' Spectator
'Undeniably brilliant . . . rush out and buy this book' Observer--このテキストは、ハードカバー版に関連付けられています。
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
"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
"Smith has never been a writer who travels directly from A to B... Smith is not interested in exploring the unbroken line of cause and effect. What NW does offer, in abundance, is the sense of being plunged with great immediacy into the lives of these characters and their neighborhood. How wonderful to have a new version of London to explore."
"If our everyday world suddenly turns dark, zany and lyrically weird one day, it's probably because Zadie Smith has learned how to control us all. In NW, Ms. Smith takes her courageous forays into the vernacular to new heights, using perspectives that are perhaps more native to her but in a form that feels brand new."
"Zadie Smith is not merely one of Britain's finest younger writers, but also one of the English-speaking world's best chroniclers of race, class, and identity in urban confines. Smith remains fearless, and there are moments that astonish. Her ambition and talent continue to awe."
"[NW is] a real sign of how Smith has developed and grown. It is a terrific novel: deeply ambitious, an attempt to use literature as a kind of excavation, while at the same time remaining intensely readable, intensely human, a portrait of the way we live."
—Los Angeles Times
"A marvelously accomplished work, perhaps her most polished yet."
—Laura Miller, Salon
"A triumph... As Smith threads together her characters' inner and outer worlds, every sentence sings."
"Smith's fiction has never been this deadly, direct, or economical... Where gifts are concerned, Smith is generous with hers; she writes, one feels, with our pleasure in mind... NW is Zadie Smith’s riskiest, meanest, most political and deeply felt book--but it all feels so effortless. She dazzles."
—Parul Sehgal, Bookforum
"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."
"A powerful portrait of class and identity in multicultural London. "
"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."
"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."
"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 — Praise --このテキストは、ハードカバー版に関連付けられています。
Amazon.com で最も参考になったカスタマーレビュー (beta) （「Early Reviewer Program」のレビューが含まれている場合があります）
After a few weeks, I decided to re-read the book and found it even more interesting the second time through. Seemingly insignificant details at the beginning of the book revealed themselves when read again with knowledge of how the story develops. I found that another enriching experience is to read the book with Google maps handy. Typing in streets or locations mentioned in the book brings up the real places where these imagined scenes take place. Towards the end of the book Natalie and Nathan walk across the city and it is fascinating to trace their route and see some of the landmarks mentioned, such as the flower shop next to Kilburn station (flanked by an Italian Restaurant, not Chinese take-out) and the bridge where Natalie looks out over South London.
Again, a rewarding read.
For me Natalie and Leah felt like the same person and they were both presented with such detachment that I couldn't care about them. (I was surprised to read a New York Review saying the girls were presented in "loving detail.") The character I most enjoyed and identified with was Felix. A recovering addict, he alone was taking constructive charge of his life, which the author cruelly takes away from him. The absolute highlight for me was Felix's visit to his father, contrasted with a conversation upon leaving with a neighbor. Here I felt I was back in my beloved White Teeth neighborhood where Zadie captures the essence of her characters from her parent's generation . The difference between the two men was beautifully portrayed with her ear-perfect dialogue. A visit to Felix's former mistress contains the most imaginative, yet for me the most off-putting sex scene ever.
As I was reading the third section, the story of Natalie and her high school sweetheart Rodney I had a déjà vu experience and then I remembered I'd read a short story version of it in the New Yorker - without all the distracting numbered titles for practically every paragraph.
By the time I got to Nathan I couldn't remember where I'd met him before.
All in all, I found the book a sad portrait of second generation London immigrants, Zadie's contemporaries, their angst and sense of displacement.
Still I consider Zadie one of our best contemporary writers, enjoyed reading what she was up to, and look forward to seeing her develop as an author.
Dana Bagshaw -- Santa Cruz, CA
BUT there is little real plot line. The characters are not appealing. Ultimately, the reader doesn't care about them, and wonders if Smith does. NW ( North-West London) is the major focus of the book. The speech sounds authentic. The lower class people we meet seem authentic. But we meet them in vignettes, and our interest wanes after a short while. When Smith switches to the story of Natalie Blake, which occupies the latter half of the book, her story is told from the outside. We know what happens to her, but we don't really know why.
I don't know why I finished the book, rather than tossing it aside.
The plot seems to act as the backdrop to the novel. It's not linear, clear, or perhaps even all that relevant. The characters, by contrast, are very well developed and the observations of society, class and race are astute. The writing style is unorthodox, which makes for an interesting read overall but feels lazy at points. Certain sections remind me of the shortcuts I would take on writing assignments in school, where I hoped that my lack of full paragraphs would translate as creativity. I dug around a little for the author's take on why she chose her style(s) and found this in a New Yorker blog:
"...there is the simple time restraint of having a kid. Four hours a day is as much as I had. I didn't have the time or inclination for sixty-page chapters. The idea of writing at any great length became absurd."
That's not very satisfying.
There were several other elements of the novel that I found unsatisfying at first, although the more I think about them the more they make sense. I was, for example, frustrated by Shar and Leah's plot line, wondering why it was included at all. After considering it for a few days, however, I've decided that without Shar we wouldn't fully understand Leah. Such is the case with many of the other seemingly tangential characters, and the sometimes vast amount of space devoted to each of their stories is not wasted.
This novel gets better for me the longer it sets in. I think it may end up being a favorite, but I would recommend that potential readers, especially fans of White Teeth and On Beauty, adjust their expectations before delving in.