The Autograph Man
Also lots of little sad moments: A deranged and depressing old autograph man, dying in the hospital receives a check for $15,000 he will never be able to cash -- " 'Signed by Al...more
I would have liked to see more of what happened with Kitty, would have liked to see more of what happened to Max, what happened to Alex once it became known that…
But I don’t want to spoil.
Very funny, touching; beautifully writ...more
James Wood in his thesis review covers all the thoughts I had on this one (and more and more) and is the most worthwhile review of this book around. For those who aren’t that interested, let me sum up the basics: lapsed Anglo-Chinese Jew Alex-Li is an autograph hunter fixated on Kitty Alexander, fictional Hollywood starlet of the 1950s. He spends his time writing a book on Jews v. Christians, spurning his faith, squabbling with rabbis, upsetting his bald girlfriend and cavorting...more
the thing is, i have taken it upon myself to handle this thing called literature in a logical and thoroughly disciplined manner. this means i do not usually forray into the 21st century, not until i get my head around what shaped it.
but then come those moments when i need a breather from all the high brow genius and all the modern classics or, as i call it, 'books unsuitable for my daily commute'. s...more
he's been obsessed with for years: the autograph of 50's film icon
Kitty Alexander. If he hadn't been on some unusually potent drugs the
night before, he'd swear his dreams had come true. As it is, most of
his friends figure he's finally snapped and forged the priceless
memento himself. So begins "The Autograph Man", Zadie Smith's followup
to her blockbuster first novel "White Teeth".
Smith is a fan of classic British comedy, and...more
It's hard for me to say why this book is so great. I think Smith just has a lot of talent but is often constrained by others expectations of her talent. I thin...more
"But he was tortured by the idea that she would grow old! He understood that in all likelihood this sort...more
He's a collector of autographs and has been obsessively seeking one from Kitty Alexander, a reclusive 1950s actress. Despite a best friend and a beautiful black girlfriend for companionship, Alex is hung up on himself and what he doesn't have.
The novel starts okay. Three kids and a father go to a wrestling match between Big Daddy and Haystacks, one kid (Alex-...more
Unfortunately the reviews were right. This feels like it was difficult to write; you can sense the sections where Smith must have thrown up her hands in despair. It makes several clunky attempts to of...more
On the great upside, the craft and language were some of the most beautiful I've read in a while. There were sentences I went back to re-read just for the compact beauty.
IN literary fiction the demands of plot are a lot less crucial, and indeed this was a slow book, eddying from the main action here and there, returning in its own time. Usually, where plot is deficient there's lots of room for ideas, thoughts, themes hooked upon structure. I didn't understand...more
Very slow going in the beginning. It wasn't until after page 150 or so that I was actually finding myself interested in picking up the novel, but then I was. The relationship between Kitty and Alex saved the novel. What happens when a boy who is troubled by his past and the grief that comes with it, meets the one woman he has store...more
I like Zadie Smith. I know not everyone does. This book was good, she says hesitantly. I was intrigued but not engrossed. I am still in the "digesting" phase of finishing the book, attempting to view the bigger picture. I think this novel had a lot to say and Smith writes heart-achingly beautiful prose. I'm talking about sentences, phrases, paragraphs you want to read over and over again...share with someone....
This novel is more than a commentary on fame. In fact, fame and its trappings are th...more
Reading Zadie Smith´s beautiful prose is always a reason to pick up anything by her, but this one is definitely her weakest. Is it the main character who never grows on us, with his lukewarm approach to life and his constant inability to decide whether he wants to be with his stunning girlfriend (who also has a pacemaker) or fool around with some random acquaintance... while harbourin...more
Zadie Smith has been on my list of authors to read for several years, but I'd only heard of her more well-known novels, White Teeth and On Beauty. I found The Autograph Man on a bookshelf in the teacher's lounge at my school and immediately picked it up.
The story was difficult to get into at first, as the main character, Alex Li-Tandem, didn't start off being too sympathetic or relatable....more
For me, elegant prose doesn't made up for a plot that is a total snooze fest. I got as far as the beginning of Book 2, where our dreary protagonist and his loathsome buddies arrive in New York. If some...more
nell'insieme un bel libro, ma ho patito un po' quella strana sensazione di inconcludenza che si trova in quei dialoghi in cui i personaggi non sembrano parlare tra loro ma ognuno per conto proprio.
Nell'insieme piacevole, anche se Alex Li-Tandem all'inizio sembra così poco padrone della propria vita, come se vivesse in un quasi perenne stato di fluida confusione... un dopo sbornia che in effetti che Alex deve smal
The plot was interesting, but split in several places. This isn't necessarily a good thing, but in the end it left a few ends not quite finished. I found that I wasn't at all pleased with the ending relating the main character and the movie star he idolizes throughout the book. I...more
See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zadie_Smith