Winter by Ali Smith


Ali Smith

Ali Smith's shape shifting novel casts a warm, wise, merry and uncompromising eye over a post-truth era.

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WINTER. Bleak. Frosty wind, earth as iron, water as stone, so the old song goes. And now Art’s mother is seeing things.

Come to think of it, Art’s seeing things himself.

When four people, strangers and family, converge on a fifteen-bedroom house in Cornwall for Christmas, will there be enough room for everyone?

Winter. It makes things visible. In Ali Smith’s Winter, life-force matches up to the toughest of the seasons. In this second novel in her Seasonal cycle, the follow-up to her sensational Autumn, Smith’s shapeshifting novel casts a warm, wise, merry and uncompromising eye over a post-truth era in a story rooted in history and memory and with a taproot deep in the evergreens, art and love.

Advance Galley Reviews

I love anything to do with winter so the title intrigued me. I am very fond of dystopian or post apocalyptic fiction. This is not that kind of book. I struggled for about 50% of the book and did something I rarely do...I did not finish. The story was just too convoluted and bizarre for me. Frenetic and shifting story line had me dizzy. Without a doubt there are fans of this type of writing but this old grandmother was unable to keep up with the characters. Thanks for the opportunity to try a new genre for me but I think I will pass.

24 pages in and I had to stop. After 3 pages I wanted to call it quits but thought to myself hey give it more time you haven't given it a decent chance. By page 10 it was only getting worse and by page 20 I knew this wasn't worth my time. There were no breaks for when someone was speaking, so no quotation marks (what?!?!). Every time someone spoke it was she says, he says, Sophia says. Says, says, says, says, says. There was no uniqueness, no flow, no differentials. There was no inkling to any back story; it just threw you in with a floating head, literally. I need a bit more back story than it started as a blob and suddenly started to grow and now there is a floating child's head, that apparently only Sophia can see. The first two pages were this is dead, that is dead, all of these things: dead. Was 2 pages really necessary to get that across? Because I'm wondering if proper writing is dead. There were rampant contractions. Sophia'd, they'd, Arthur'd, she'll, they'll. I will not waste my time on lazy writing. It takes 2 seconds more to write out both words. Using contractions in a quote is one thing but these were just plain lazy. I get that these first to read books are still not quite finished but as a previously published writer they should know better and these simple mistakes should not have been made or, at the very least, been so frequent.


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