Book - 2017
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2017 Man Booker Prize Finalist

Autumn. Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. That's what it felt like for Keats in 1819. How about Autumn 2016? Daniel is a century old. Elisabeth, born in 1984, has her eye on the future. The United Kingdon is in pieces, divided by a historic, once-in-a-generation summer. Love is won, love is lost. Hope is hand-in-hand with hopelessness. The seasons roll round, as ever.
Ali Smith's new novel is a meditation on a world growing ever more bordered and exclusive, on what richness and worth are, on what harvest means. It is the first installment of her Seasonal quartet--four stand-alone books, seperate yet interconnected and cyclical (as the seasons are)--and it casts an eye over our own time. Who are we? What are we made of? Shakespearean jeu d'esprit, Keatsian melancholy, the sheer bright energy of 1960s pop art: the centuries cast their eyes over our own history making.
Here's where we're living. Here's time at its more contemporaneous and its most cyclic.
From the imagination of the peerless Ali Smith comes a shape-shifting series, wide-ranging in time-scale and light-footed through histories, a story about aging and time and love and stories themselves.
Publisher: Toronto : Hamish Hamilton, 2017.
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9780670070039
Characteristics: 264 pages ;,22 cm.


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Dec 10, 2018

I like pretty much everything I've read by Ali Smith. Spare. Beautiful prose. Hard to define.

Sep 11, 2018

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.).

Aug 19, 2018

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.

Aug 17, 2018

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

Apr 07, 2018

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.

GSPLjodie Dec 12, 2017

An immersive and intriguing read. I think I will need to read it again to fully appreciate the many storylines.

Dec 02, 2017

On NYT Ten Best Books of 2017 list.

Sep 23, 2017

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.

May 30, 2017

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.

Mar 15, 2017

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.

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