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Summary

Longlisted for the 2012 Orange Prize for Fiction

Imagine you give a dinner party and a friend of a friend brings a stranger to your house as his guest. He seems pleasant enough. Imagine that this stranger goes upstairs halfway through the dinner party and locks himself in one of your bedrooms and won't come out. Imagine you can't move him for days, weeks, months. If ever. Ali Smith's dazzling new novel is a funny, moving book about time, memory, thought, presence, quietness in a noisy time, and the importance of hearing ourselves think.

©2011 Ali Smith (P)2011 W F Howes Ltd

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What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Intricate, exuberant, humane

Excellent series of interlinked internal narratives, marvellously dramatised by the narrator. The word play was beautifully rendered.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A beautiful piece

What did you like best about this story?

Smith's novel is an absolutely mesmerising piece of work. Clever character developments work to let the story line slowly become clear - an incredible experience!

Which scene did you most enjoy?

There were no bits I did not like!

Any additional comments?

This is simply a fantastic audiobook. The style of the novel lends itself very well to an audio interpretation. The performance was absolutely fantastic. This is certainly a book I will listen to over and over again - it is an absolutely beautiful work of fiction.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

there but for the

Not what I expected - thought it would be funny or at least have some touches of humour. Just depressing but to be fair I gave up after 10 mins... the car journey home was depressing enough without listening to this book as well.

0 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Nikki
  • 31-08-12

Good premise, didn't deliver

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Halfway through this book I was finding it hard going and I was only persevering to find out what happened in the end. I was also seriously considering claiming on Audible's "good reads guarantee for the first time". The final 3rd picked up a bit though and some interesting characters emerged and it did "somewhat" piece together.It’s quite a whimsical book. It flitters around, it’s a bit flowery and there’s no plot as such. The blurb is a great premise but that’s not really what the book is about. Think of it more of a collection of short stories interwoven together.

What could Ali Smith have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

It would be great as a short story or as a collection of short stories. Even if it was marketed differently, the blurb focuses on the man in the room but its only 5% of the book - change the focus to "An event in Greenwich".

Have you listened to any of Diane Beck’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

A pretty good performance, she does the child quite well and keeps the story light.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

If it was a movie it would be an independent movie in an art house cinema that would have half the characters removed OR it would be a mainstream movie based on the single story of a guy in a room and the other characters removed. Would I see it ? yes just to see how they changed it for it to work as a logical story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful