Gavin F (gavluvsga) wrote in 50bookchallenge,
Gavin F

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Book #51: The Autograph Man by Zadie Smith

Number of pages: 417

This book is about Alex-Li Tandem, who is obsessed with collecting autographs and is on a mission to get the autograph of the fictional Hollywood star Kitty Alexander. It seems mostly to be a book about peoples' relationships with each other (mostly Alex and his friends) and our obsession with celebrities.

I often find Zadie Smith's books quite hard to follow due to the writing style, which goes into a lot of detail about how everyone is feeling rather than about events. Occasionally the narrative would switch from past tense to present tense, which gave me more of a sense of being actually in the story as I read it and right in the moment.

However, I actually liked the book's prose, and Alex-Li seemed to be a socially awkward character who I could easily relate to. Zadie Smith's style of writing mixes humour, drama and tragedy quite well in a manner that feels almost unique, and the second part when Alex goes to America to meet Kitty was enjoyable. I did feel that I had to read the book quite carefully, and found myself re-reading a few chapters just to be able to follow the storyline properly.

This was a re-read, and I did get more out of this book than the first time. Zadie Smith's first novel, White Teeth is now on my to-read list (also a re-read).

Next book: Tess of the d'Urbervilles (Thomas Hardy)
Tags: book review, contemporary, fiction, modern classic, non-genre fiction

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