The Accidental

The Accidental

eBook - 2007 | 1st Anchor books ed.
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Filled with Ali Smith's trademark wordplay and inventive storytelling, here is the dizzyingly entertaining, wickedly humorous story of a mysterious stranger whose sudden appearance during a family's summer holiday transforms four variously unhappy people. Each of the Smarts -- parents Eve and Michael, son Magnus, and the youngest, daughter Astrid -- encounter Amber in his or her own solipsistic way, but somehow her presence allows them to see their lives (and their life together) in a new light. Smith's narrative freedom and exhilarating facility with language propel the novel to its startling, wonderfully enigmatic conclusion.

Publisher: New York : Anchor Books, 2007.
Edition: 1st Anchor books ed.
ISBN: 9780307279750
0307279758
Branch Call Number: eBOOK OVERDRI
Characteristics: 305 p. ; 21 cm.

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dylankemp
Aug 14, 2018

Ali Smith is brilliant. Her ability to capture characters is excellent. Her plots are inventive. But most of all read her for her STYLE. She has a way of running with words that is as rare as it is beautiful. This book covers some heavy territory gracefully.
P.S. My favourite Ali Smith books are "Hotel World" and "How To Be Both".

g
GLNovak
Sep 21, 2013

This book is definitely not everyone's cup of tea. Not mine, as it turned out. The story is of a family vacationing in Norfolk who take in a woman who they think one of them knows (we are not sure about that), and the effect she has on their lives. The writing is inventive - and at one point done in blank verse and another in sonnet form (I think). Very much a stream of scenes requiring you to try to fill in the blanks and make sense of what the author is showing you. I found the story-telling too disjointed and persevered by skimming and not trying to analyze too much, and have to say that maybe at the end I made some order out of what I had previously read, or maybe not. I won't read any more by this author.

m
MelissaBee
Feb 14, 2013

"The Accidental" is a fun-house-mirror of a book with a chapter by chapter shift of first person, stream of consciousness narrative, building a bizarre but engaging tale of deception, self perception, representation, pain, and redemption.

At first, I found the steam of consciousness narative voice made for tiring reading but grew to appreciate the ability of the author to create such a realistic portrayal of the monkey-mind at work. As the mix of characters interacted the story line became very compelling and gave me the energy to read to the end.

This title will not be a match for every reader, but I found it worthwhile to stick with the author's challenging but excellent writing and continue to think about the interesting tale.

r
ravensview
Aug 13, 2011

Via another newspaper review - good book. Interesting POF - mostly that of 12 yr old hyperactive girl. Astrid. And a peculiar catalyst, Amber, that comes into her life - and that of her parents Michael and Eve. Nice twist at the end too.

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