The Accidental

The Accidental

Book - 2006
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Penguin Putnam
The Accidental is Ali Smith's sparkling novel about a family holiday and a stranger who upends it. Arresting and wonderful, The Accidental pans in on the Norfolk holiday home of the Smart family one hot summer. There a beguiling stranger called Amber appears at the door bearing all sorts of unexpected gifts, trampling over family boundaries and sending each of the Smarts scurrying from the dark into the light. A novel about the ways that seemingly chance encounters irrevocably transform our understanding of ourselves, The Accidental explores the nature of truth, the role of fate and the power of storytelling. 'A beguiling page-turner. . . a brilliant creation. To read The Accidental is to be excited from first to last' Independent 'Joyous, a shot across the bows. . . writing as rapture, as giddy delight' The Times 'Brilliant and engaging, frequently hilarious. . . Smith makes one look at the world afresh' Sunday Telegraph Ali Smith is the author of novels Girl Meets Boy, Like, The Accidental, Hotel World and There but for the. She has published the short story collections The First Person and Other Stories, Free Love and Other Stories, Other Stories and Other Stories and The Whole Story and Other Stories. She has been twice shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, twice nominated for the Orange Prize and won the Whitbread Novel of the Year in 2005.

Gardners
A novel that pans in on the Norfolk holiday home of the Smart family one hot summer. There a beguiling stranger called Amber appears at the door bearing all sorts of unexpected gifts, trampling over family boundaries and sending each of the Smarts scurrying from the dark into the light.

Publisher: New York : Penguin Books, 2006, c2005
ISBN: 9780141010397
0141010398
Characteristics: 305 p. : ill. ; cm

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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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