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Interesting,
Unconvincing,
Pointless

2 reviews

Swing Time
by Zadie Smith

Published: 2016-11-15
Hardcover : 464 pages
5 members reading this now
11 clubs reading this now
2 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 2 of 2 members
A New York Times bestseller * Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction * Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize

An ambitious, exuberant new novel moving from North West London to West Africa, from the multi-award-winning author of White Teeth and On Beauty.

Two brown ...
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Introduction

A New York Times bestseller * Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction * Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize

An ambitious, exuberant new novel moving from North West London to West Africa, from the multi-award-winning author of White Teeth and On Beauty.

Two brown girls dream of being dancers—but only one, Tracey, has talent. The other has ideas: about rhythm and time, about black bodies and black music, what constitutes a tribe, or makes a person truly free. It's a close but complicated childhood friendship that ends abruptly in their early twenties, never to be revisited, but never quite forgotten, either.

Tracey makes it to the chorus line but struggles with adult life, while her friend leaves the old neighborhood behind, traveling the world as an assistant to a famous singer, Aimee, observing close up how the one percent live.

But when Aimee develops grand philanthropic ambitions, the story moves from London to West Africa, where diaspora tourists travel back in time to find their roots, young men risk their lives to escape into a different future, the women dance just like Tracey—the same twists, the same shakes—and the origins of a profound inequality are not a matter of distant history, but a present dance to the music of time.

Editorial Review

An Amazon Best Book of November 2016: In Swing Time, Zadie Smith handles race, class, and long-term friendship with grace and apparent ease. Two young black girls grow up in the same low income project in North London, both interested in dance, only one actually good at it. As they mature, their lives diverge. One actually becomes a dancer, the other goes on to be the assistant to a pop star. There’s something magical about reading Zadie Smith when she’s really on, and this book skillfully builds out each character—using hopes, wants, personal history, relationships, status, and even geography to delineate each person’s life. It’s fitting to compare Smith’s talents to a dancer’s, but it’s more accurate to admit she’s just a damn good novelist. --Chris Schluep, The Amazon Book Review

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Member Reviews

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by Ljwagoner (see profile) 05/04/17

3.5??. Experienced this read as an Audiobook. The Narrater, Pippa Bennett-Warner, did an excellent job. This story is basically a story of a life, the people and relationships that weave through the life... (read more)

 
  "great"by Abby0814 (see profile) 04/06/17

 
  "The book presents many ideas for discussion by a thoughtful group: race, class, relationships, dreams, disappointments, elitism."by thewanderingjew (see profile) 01/02/17

Swing Time-Zadie Smith, author, Pippa Bennett-Warner, narrator
The novel is set between London, England and a community in West Africa. The main character, who remains unnamed throughout th
... (read more)

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