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If you want a novel with a linear plot, this isn't the book for you. Rather, it's a series of lyrical vignettes that explore the relationship between Daniel Gluck, 100+ years old and his young neighbor, Elizabeth who was born in 1984. The skeleton of the story is set in 2016 in Brexit England when Daniel is in a care home and Elizabeth has just finished her doctorate on an obscure 1960s British female pop artist. Alternating between the two main characters's lives, Smith has a drawn a word portrait of British/western culture in the last 100 years. The scenes where Elizabeth tries to renew her passport at the Post Office are both funny and painfully true...
I like pretty much everything I've read by Ali Smith. Spare. Beautiful prose. Hard to define.
I love the word play and punning! Worth my repeated rumination.
Poetic, and profound. Alas, I couldn't develop more interests in and linger longer on life's seasonal cycles, 60s modern art, and contemporary societal issues (immigrants etc.).
Ali Smith has an idiosyncratic style to her writing which is appealing to me. She is at once present and not present. Can one be both? She is a time traveler. She makes fun of the ways that people think we should be, or behave, and balances this with a character whose imagination takes him into different realms.
I re-watched Alfie, a film I had not seen in many decades, just to see the few seconds of Pauline Boty inside the dry cleaners. What a treat.
I hated this book and am sorry that I wasted my time finishing it. I found the rhyming annoying rather that wonderful. The authors "joyful celebration of language" only served to obscure communication. I had difficulty finding continuity. Mr Gault appreciates pop art which leads to an unintelligible discourse on Pauline Boty. Why? What were we supposed to learn? And Christine Keeler - another tangent that elucidates nothing about Elisabeth and Daniel. I agreed with the disgust over "immigrant hatred". I guess the double fences are like Trump's proposed wall on the Mexican border. The only times that I liked the novel was when the story detailed the relationship between Elisabeth and Daniel. I wanted to know more about Daniel's history. VERY DISAPPOINTED. DO NOT RECOMMEND. Kristi & Abby Tabby
Smith explores inter-generational friendship, end-of life, mother-daughter relationships, art history and being female in post-Brexit England. She also acquaints the reader with recently
re-discovered 1970's poster artist Pauline Bott. Although not my favorite read; a book group discussion enhanced my appreciation.
An immersive and intriguing read. I think I will need to read it again to fully appreciate the many storylines.
Beautifully written; I found myself going back to reread passages not for plot but for appreciation.
This is the first installament of what she intends to be her Seasonal quartet. It is a meditation on aging, art, love, friendship, sexism. she is a wonderful wordsmith using wonderful prose and wordplay and puns. The characters are Daniel who in autumn of 2016 is 100 years old and Elizabeth who is 34 an unlikely friendship.
Sensitive, imaginative, bumpy at times. This novel invites elements of art history, literature, love, and rebellion all taking place during main character's renovation of old rundown house.
A lovely book in which not much happens while at the same time quite a lot happens. Not exactly the post-Brexit novel but definitely takes place after the vote and addresses immigration and belonging as well as identity and protest. Fairly typical Ali Smith.
This is a novel to be read slowly and savoured at its many levels. It is about post-Brexit England. It is about the long friendship between a woman and a man she first met as a young child and who opened up her life and introduced her to art, including the amazing work of Pauline Boty. It is about time and its many aspects. It is about autumn. The first book of a Seasonal Quartet.