Sunday, May 13, 2007

The Accidental (by Ali Smith)

One of those prizewinning first novels. Features five different voices in a compelling stream-of-consciousness style. The core four are a woman, her son, her daughter, and her husband (the stepfather of the kids). The fifth one is a mysterious stranger who comes along and changes their lives.

Here are my notes about it:

Voices not convincingly distinct (e.g. Cloud Atlas)
erudite, amazing (one chapter plays with the sonnet with seemingly effortless technical efficiency)
ending "ambiguous" except I didn't think so
profound observations re: life (e.g. honesty/sex and ADOLESCENCE)
p. 138, "Astrid isn't totally broken yet. But if a window could throw a brick at itself to test itself that's what she'll do, Magnus thinks, then she'll test how sharp she is by using her own broken pieces on herself."
Poetry--effortless. Wow.

So there you have it. My somewhat repetitive and garbled notes. Definitely I recommend it, it was an interesting and compelling read. But I do wish the voices had been more distinct from each other. Which I said already. Okay then.

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