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And Now You Can Go

3.23 of 5 stars 3.23  ·  rating details  ·  813 ratings  ·  93 reviews
Vendela Vida’s fearless, critically acclaimed fiction debut follows the unpredictable recovery of a young woman as she tries to make sense of her life after an encounter at gunpoint.

Accosted one afternoon in Riverside Park by a man who doesn't want to die alone, Ellis, a young grad student, talks her way out of the situation by reciting poetry to her desperate captor. He l
Paperback, 208 pages
Published August 24th 2004 by Anchor (first published August 26th 2003)
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I ended this book with rather mixed feelings. I'll say up front that of course I didn't want to like it, or, specifically, I didn't want to like Vida's writing, because I hate her self-aggrandizing, egotistical, greasy-headed special snowflake douchebag of a husband, and therefore by close association she had to suck too.
But I'm not entirely convinced that she does suck. The book has it's faults -- it flouders in parts and doesn't flow; Vida leaves the narrator's age in key scenes vague, which i

Offbeat and creative. The story, about a woman who is psychologically stunned after being held up at gunpoint, sounds heavier than it is. Ellis' vulnerability after the shock turns her into a magnet for strange and mostly laughable responses from her friends, most of whom are really selfish acquaintances - esp. men who jockey to take advantage of her. Her numbness is a good foil for the comedy aspect but it's also tragic as you realize she has been numb all along. Her slight progress as she weav
Kasey Jueds
In a way, I could recognize this is a well-written book, but it also seemed indistinguishable to me from a lot of contemporary fiction: first person, present tense, main character with a somewhat ironic outlook on life and some-but-not-too-much self-knowledge... also a main character who never seemed real to me, and for whom it was hard to work up a whole lot of sympathy.
Eugene Yu
This story shows us that we can be psychologically sane and function in a morally upright way even after a traumatic encounter with a man who at gunpoint demanded your life. Ellis, the main protagonist is a richly portrayed character, one of resilience and courage. She has the mind of an adult being and yet she possess the forgiveness and vulnerability of a child. The man who nearly killed her was in a hopeless situation, but it did not deter her to pursue her life in a positive way. The medical ...more
Jul 13, 2007 rebecca rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: D'Angelo
This book was depressing, but really well-anchored in detail. It made me want to read V.V.'s book about sororities. Maybe I just liked it because I saw the author on the street once and she twinkled at me.
Feb 10, 2009 Lara rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2009
Vida is especially adept at portraying quirky, lonely characters. She captures the parts of life that no one is watching.

Alec Scott
This was a really quick read -- a young person's book, about a Columbia grad student (in art history) who gets held up by a dying man in Riverside Park. She escapes (by, unbelievably, quoting great poetry to him), and then begins to reexamine. What comes next is a romp, from one man to the next, from one friend to the next. Lovely writing about a family that has reconstructed itself after the betrayal of the father leaving (for a few years) and then returning. The girl adores her nurse mother -- ...more
I just finished "And Now You Can Go," the first novel by Vendela Vida, who I painstakingly established this morning via a Google search is married to Dave Eggers. I get her and Heidi Julavits confused. Also, Jonathan Safran Foer is married or engaged to someone who is a writer, but I've forgotton who. But not Vendela Vida. Is that her real name?

ANYCG is about Ellis, a 21-year-old art history graduate student new to New York City. Walking in the park one afternoon, she's accosted by a man with a
I had high hopes for this book. Vendela is an author from that gang of Believer/McSweeney's crew that are seemingly try to recreate everything they write in the footsteps of Dave Eggers - who is shallow at worst and self-indulgent when at his top form (meaning that I think he's really only good at writing about himself or some version of himself; true fiction seems to be beyond him).

Here is the utterly depraved way I can describe this book: it's like you're having sex and never have an orgasm.
This was an odd story - interesting, but odd. I had a difficult time getting into it at first, but it seemed to get better as it went along. For me there was some confusion regarding some of the characters, and I found that I was never really able to get them completely sorted out in my head. It's entirely possible that it was because it took me such a long time to read the book, but even going back and rereading some of the beginning passages did not clear up certain characters (the representat ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Picked this one up because of how much I love the movie "Away We Go" (Vendela Vida co-wrote the screenplay for it with her husband, Dave Eggers).
Very easy read - finished it within a day. I'm a bit on the fence about it - maybe my expectations were a bit too high? I think I'd actually rate it 2.5 stars (sometimes I need more than 5 categories for ratings).
Describes how a college student in New York struggles to deal with the aftermath of a (not quite) violent episode that happens to her while wa
Rhonda Hartling
This eeally felt like a first time novel written by a very young adult. It's almost in point form, from a 21-year old's diary. Maybe that is the point. The main character (Ellis) is spiraling a bit out of control but doesn't quite acknowledge it. In fact, her behaviour isn't actually that different than from before the incident. Ellis is selfish and unlikable and most of the characters have no depth. I like the twist at the end, despite the unlikeliness of it.
I went back and forth quite a few times on whether to give this novel three stars or four, and I decided on four because of this: in spite of the fact that I wasn't overly sympathetic to the main character throughout the novel, I still couldn't put it down. There was something about her reticence to share what she was going through emotionally that made me not relate to her as much, and in the end, I came to see this as a sort of brilliance in character development; not even the reader gets to k ...more
Sue Bridehead (A Pseudonym)
Vida's detached, clipped writing style seems heavily influenced by The Bell Jar.

This book seems to me to be virtually identical, thematically, stylistically and narratively, to her second novel. Hubby Dave Eggers better watch out, because Vida seems to have either a history or fantasy of fleeing her well-meaning lovers. I like this about her writing, though. In literature and film you see a lot of men that run away from problems and relationships, but less so the females.

I was a huge fan of th
Katrina Michie
I got this book used in the mission and discovered Vendela wrote a little inscription inside to someone named Nicole. I read this in the van on our way back from Portland. It's not a long read, but I really liked it. It immediately starts with the main character being held by gunpoint and the rest of the book is how she deals with it after. The main character reminded me a little of Esther from the Bell Jar, but then I was wondering if that's just because we don't get a lot of well written books ...more
False Millennium
A few years ago, I read about Vendela Vida and rave reviews, and one book in particular Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name>--the title alone grabbed me, so I resolved to read her. I have now finished all of her books, and I can only say if you are in the mood to read about unmoored, trouble family relationship, disenfranchised people, then she's for you. I get tired of reading about these young women who have no sense of protective self and keep stumbling around looking for answers in th ...more
I read Vendela Vida's first novel immediately following Didion's "Play It As It Lays". Interestingly enough, it was almost the flip side. Ellis, the storyteller, has an almost violent icident in Riverside Park, one day, and she spirals out from it, her every moment colored by the encounter. This is a charming, modern heroine, not subject to the thought process of any other woman I have read about before, as she is quite blithe, and whimsical, yet not lighthearted.

Vendela Vida is the author of t
Joan Winnek
The narrator, her mother, and her sister, camping near Santa Cruz, hike along ocean cliffs, and see some seals.

"I can see the seal," my mother says. "Look, there are a whole bunch of them. One, two . . . four. There are four of them just jumping and having fun." My mother's laughing--her mouth falling far open--and Freddie's bouncing in her red sneakers.
I stare at my mom, at my sister--it's too much love to handle at once. I get a pain above my nose, between my eyes, like someone's just thrown a
She is married to Dave Eggers!
Vendela Vida (born September 6, 1971) is an American novelist, journalist, and editor who lives in San Francisco with her husband, writer ******DAVE EGGERS***. She graduated from San Francisco University High School in her hometown before attending Middlebury College as an undergraduate. She received an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University. She has written three books, Girls on the Verge, And Now You Can Go, and Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name. S
There is something beguiling to me about all three of Vendela Vida's novels. I'm no longer all too young; I've never been female; nor have I had my life yanked out from under me in any irrevocable way. But I can identify quite clearly with searching for some form of transcendence and there's something at play in Vida's work, some hard to pin melancholy that is infused with a vague but comforting certainty. A guarantee of perseverance (or, shudder to think, redemption) which fully fleshes out her ...more
I feel really ambiguous about this little book. It felt somewhat unpolished and amateur, but I can't decide if this is due to Vida's attempt to mimic the inner workings of a confused and emotionally scarred college student. Maybe. In any event, I wasn't very impressed. Her overly-layered collection of mundane details ultimately detract from the depth of the characters. I don't care that Ellis' apartment smells like garlic and no one else around her smells it. I mean, is this really supposed to s ...more
Ug. This book was very disappointing. I wanted to like it, but the more I tried the more I disliked myself for trying so hard. I loved "Away We Go" and love her husband's work (although, I completely understand why some people dislike him and his books), but I just couldn't get around this book's narration -- her voice was awful and annoying. I feel like this is my own personal shit, though. Maybe this book is decent. I dunno. I couldn't get over my hatred of the main character. Maybe I'll come ...more
Well, so far I really like this book. I'm about 3/4 of the way through it. Vida writes about traumatic experiences with a light touch - she neither overdramatizes them nor does she try to wrap them in a pretty package. Her characters and events are real, and she allows them to be complex: sometimes, in the middle of a crisis, we laugh or do something that's not quite appropriate. It's part of being human, and Vida seems to not only realize this (because really, most of us know this) but accept i ...more
I swear that I didn't know this book was about an art history grad student when I bought it... and some of the art history details were wrong... but anyway: I really like Vendela Vida, though I understand that her books would be an acquired taste. Her prose is fluid with minimal words chosen for maximum effect; the stories seem implausible, but she makes them believable enough to work. I'm not sure I liked this book as much as Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name, but it was a good read.
Yasmine Alfouzan

Did you know that the author of this book, Vendela Vida, is the wife of the author, Dave Eggers, and that those together wrote one of my most favorite feel-good films: Away We Go?
And that's the reason I picked it up! I have yet to read books by Dave Eggers.

I liked this book. It was generally okay, but I could see it being better as a film, since it had a lot of those short, "pointless" conversations that would make a lovely quirky film. I expected it to be better; however, I didn't regret readi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I must confess, I read this book because I learned the author was the wife of Dave Eggers (who I think is fantastic). I liked And Now You Can Go as I read, continuing to look forward to picking it up and finding out what was happening with the young female narrator, who, in chapter 1, has an encounter with a fellow (and a gun) in a park, but her disjointed life was a little too disconnected to keep me totally emotionally hooked. Nevertheless I have put Vida's most recent book on hold at the libr ...more
I read this book a couple years ago and loved it, then decided to read it again after loving Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name. I kind of wish I didn't. It's not bad, but it seems more like the kind of novel you have to read in your early 20s. Yes, the protagonist is also in her early 20s. You shouldn't have to be the same age as the main character to fully absorb a novel, but with this one, I think it's the case. Still, I'll give it 3 stars cuz she's got some good wit in there.
This was a quick and intriguing read. The main character had a wonderfully quirky way of being in the world + dealing with a disturbing encounter.
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Vendela Vida (born September 6, 1971) is an American novelist, journalist, and editor who lives in Sausalito with her husband, writer and publisher Dave Eggers. She graduated from San Francisco University High School in her hometown before attending Middlebury College as an undergraduate. She received an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University. She has written three books, Girls on the Ve ...more
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