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(Outline #3)

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating details ·  1,434 Ratings  ·  279 Reviews
Rachel Cusk, the award-winning and critically acclaimed author of Outline and Transit, completes the transcendent literary trilogy with Kudos, a novel of unsettling power.

A woman writer visits a Europe in flux, where questions of personal and political identity are rising to the surface and the trauma of change is opening up new possibilities of loss and renewal. Within th
Published May 3rd 2018 by Vintage Digital
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Silly String I read Transit before Outline and didn't feel lost, but I read Outline immediately after because I loved Transit. Plot isn't that important in these…moreI read Transit before Outline and didn't feel lost, but I read Outline immediately after because I loved Transit. Plot isn't that important in these books, I say you can definitely jump in and read them as stand-alones. (less)

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Gumble's Yard
May 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I met with a number of my Goodreads acquaintances – to share with them my thoughts on the concluding part of Rachel's trilogy of books, a book now shortlisted for the 2018 Goldsmith Prize.

The first to speak was Meike – she was very keen, she said, to understand my views on the book. She herself was a dog lover from a European country, but could read books in at least two other languages including English. She could not she said, tell us, which country she came from or which languages she spoke,
Apr 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-read, britain
Nominated for the Goldsmiths Prize 2018
Welcome to my Goodreads review of a novel that mocks Goodreads reviews! :-) (More about that later.) "Kudos" is largely dialogue-driven and set in the world of literary festivals and book marketing - and while Cusk only alludes to the events and places where she does actually take us, I think I solved some of her riddles. But let me start by outlining (haha, sorry) the story:

Faye, a writer and divorced mother of two (just like Cusk; Faye is also the protago
Aug 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. What power this author has. I’d not read anything by Cusk before this, though part of her trilogy had been noted on my to-read list. She is another thoroughly unique and powerful Canadian voice now hailing from the British Isles. What about that last scene? Is that a statement completely in tune with the state of the world today? Or not?

I cannot speak to what the book means in the larger trilogy, and can’t even speak to what this book means outside of the trilogy. It is just a fantastic rea
Nov 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize 2018

This is the third part of the trilogy that started with Outline and Transit, and was an obvious choice when I was asked for hardbacks I might like as a birthday present.

This has more in common with Outline, in that its settings are literary events abroad, and it starts with a conversation on a plane. Once again the narrator Faye only offers occasional glimpses of her own life, and the focus is largely on the people she talks to, who are mostly writers or
Jonathan Pool
This is my sixth Cusk novel, and completes the Outline ‘trilogy’
I have been enthusiastic enough about Rachel Cusk’s writing to greet a new release as an exciting prospect; furthermore many respected Goodreads friends rate Cusk very highly.
That said,I was starting to have some doubts when I read Transit

I didn’t enjoy Kudos one little bit, and my sense of foreboding set in early.
"He wore new-looking leather shoes on his feet”(3) 
Where else would he wear his new (looking)leather shoes?!

Kudos is mad
Aug 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
3+ stars

Kudos started off really strong, but then it petered out. It is the third book in a trilogy. While I haven’t read the previous books, my understanding is that this isn’t a problem. The books are linked by concept rather than by plot. The narrator in Kudos is an author attending a writers’ event in Germany. The narrator recounts the numerous conversations she has on the way and at the event. The conversations are fairly one sided— the narrator reveals little of herself while absorbing gob
Apr 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My five star rating is more for the entire trilogy as a whole, for after reading the three volumes back-to-back-to-back, I really consider it to be one book, since there are few distinguishing characteristics for the separate volumes. But this book, like Outline, is really more of a 4 star - I was slightly disappointed that there WAS no real epiphany - or even much of a conclusion - at the end, but then realized that would somewhat have defeated the purpose of the books' 'annihilated perspective ...more
Paul Fulcher
Apr 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
'Faye', he said fractiously, 'will you just listen?'

The final part of one of the most important series of novels of the 21st century to date and now shortlisted - as were the previous two in the trilogy - for the Goldsmiths Prize.

In 1911 the photographer Herbert Ponting joined Captain Scott's, ultimately ill-fated, Terra Nova Expedition, the first professional to join an Antarctic expedition.

He didn't go on to the later, fatal, part of the journey over the ice-fields to the South Pole since, as
There are books that you get and books that you don't. But starting with Book 3 of 3 was probably not the smartest way to help me understand this book. I felt like I have just endured the longest conversations with people I don't know, am not invested in and quite frankly didn't give a damn about. The protagonist is an author, she flies out to another country for a literary conference. The guy next to her on the plane basically does not shut up the whole time. When she lands, I am not sure where ...more
Elyse Walters
Aug 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“The other day, he said, my son and I were talking about politics, and he observed that in the current situation the possibility of destruction seemed genuinely to be upon us, to the extent that he couldn’t see what move on the chess board would get us out at this corner. I replied that this was something all of us had felt in our turn, as we passed into adulthood and recognized the role of outside events in shaping history and their capacity to interfere in and change our lives, which until now ...more
Roger Brunyate
Déjà vu, with Gleams of Light

A writer sits on a plane on her way to a literary festival in Southern Europe. The man next to her has difficulty fitting into his seat. She switches with him, and soon is listening to him talk about problems with his family dog and his feelings about his daughter, who is playing the oboe in a concert where he is now headed. Wait a minute—is this not how Rachel Cusk began Outline, the first book in what one might call her "Absence Trilogy"? Yes indeed; I found the r
Apr 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, 2018-goldsmiths
UPDATE: Now re-read after its inclusion on the Goldsmiths short list. This means I have now read the whole of the trilogy (Outline, Transit, Kudos) twice.

The first time I read this, it was immediately after a back-to-back re-read of the first two parts of the trilogy i.e. I read the whole trilogy in one go without any books in between. I have to acknowledge that I liked this book less on my re-read when I read it apart from the other two volumes. I found myself getting a bit cross about some str
Julie Ehlers
What's the problem here? After loving Outline, I wasn't super enthused about Transit, and I may have liked Kudos even less. The magical feeling I had wandering around Greece in Outline has definitely not been replicated in these later volumes in the trilogy. Is it the change of setting? The fact that some of the characters our protagonist, Faye, speaks with in Transit and Kudos are completely random and therefore it makes no sense that they would open up to her as extensively as they do? Is it t ...more
Jul 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Started wonderfully. I kept saying "this is great" aloud as I read the parts about the countess in Italy and her writer's retreat (I'm 95% sure I know who it's based on). Loved the part with the editor talking about successful novelists who've figured out how to write what are essentially enjoyable entertainments that suggest the literary tradition -- the suggestion itself is all readers can really handle now, like a few antiques in an otherwise modern home (something like that). Loved the inter ...more
Dan Friedman
May 05, 2018 rated it liked it
"As it happened I was no longer interested in literature as a form of snobbery or even of self-definition -- I had no desire to prove that one book was better than another: in fact, if I read something I admired I found myself increasingly disinclined to mention it at all. What I knew personally to be true had come to seem unrelated to the process of persuading others. I did not, any longer, want to persuade anyone of anything."—Rachel Cusk, Outline

My personal reviewing guidelines include: if yo
Katia N
May 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“The character is sitting by this river just looking at the shapes the dark and light make on the water, and at the weird shapes of what might be fish beneath the surface, there for a second and then gone again, and he realises that he’s looking at something he can’t describe using the language. And he sort of gets the feeling that what he can’t describe might be the true reality. “

This is the last part of Rachel Cusk’s experimental trilogy. It is the most dense - i could not read it fast and wa
Jun 19, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
The Greek word “kudos” was a singular noun that had become plural by a process of back formation: a kudo on its own had never actually existed, but in modern usage its collective meaning had been altered by the confusing presence of a plural suffix, so that “kudos” therefore meant, literally, “prizes”, but in its original form it connoted the broader concept of recognition or acclaim, as well as being suggestive of something which might be falsely claimed by someone else.

Unlike with Outline an
Jaclyn Crupi
Sep 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have delayed reading this as I have not wanted the trilogy to end. It has been one of the most interesting reading experiences of my life. I hated the first half of OUTLINE only to fall in love hard with the second half, validating my rule of finishing every book I start. TRANSIT was a revelation to me and picked up where OUTLINE left off and now KUDOS has given the perfect conclusion. Cusk has done something truly spectacular with this trilogy.
Jun 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Quite possibly my favorite novel of the year (so far?).
Sep 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In this last volume of Cusk's trilogy (the first two being Outline and Transit), the issues of these novels (including the purpose of suffering, child rearing, marriage--and divorce--and identity) are once again explored through the use of conversations. In this novel, our heroine, author Faye (we never learn her last name and her first only occasionally appears) is in Europe at some undisclosed location (perhaps Portugal) at some kind of literary festival.

One of my favorite passages concerns a
Robert Wechsler
Jun 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: british-lit
The third volume of a trilogy, this novel is as wonderful as it is difficult to describe. There is more beauty in this volume, but also a couple of sequences that I found below an incredibly high average. This is the most literary novel, because the narrator is at a literary event, but the literariness is comically undermined again and again by individuals’ desire to tell the narrator stories rather than learn about the narrator’s fiction writing. This is also the most humorous of the three.

In a
Kasa Cotugno
Thus ends the trilogy that Rachel Cusk began with Outline, continued in Transit. Concludes here. As with the previous two, there is very little action on the part of the narrator. The action arises from the life stories related to her by people encountered on planes, over drinks, in the course of attending a literary festival in Germany in, I think, Cologne. The only glimpse into the writer's own personality is when she admits to being a writer and when asked "of what?" responds ambivalently, sa ...more
Tournament of Books, Summer 2018
Kudos is the ultimate book in Rachel Cusk's Outline trilogy. It follows a middle-aged female author as she travels to a writers conference. The book is neither plot driven nor an in depth character analysis of one persona. Instead the characters flit in and out as they cross paths with Faye. Some remain nameless as the omniscient narrator recalls conversations about the human experience including the creative process, the definition of freedom, and the costs of th
Jun 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Kudos is a strong finish to this trilogy of novels that started with Outline and continued with Transit. I’ve enjoyed all three novels, but they are difficult to describe. Really, the novels are nothing more than a series of conversations with people Faye, the protagonist, comes into contact with. The conversations in each novel touch on some similar themes so that there are some connections between conversations (in Kudos, the commitment of marriage and negligent parenting resurface regularly), ...more
Jun 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
It happens less frequently than I’d like that I read a book and am impressed with how unique it is. Her writing is beautiful and complex. I wish, however, that I could have read all three at one time because I think I would have enjoyed it even more.
A number of my GR friends have reviewed this novel and some of them suggest it would be a good choice for the Man Booker 2018 longlist. All their reviews are excellent and provided me with much useful information about the author and the trilogy, of which this book is the third, e.g., and
I have not read the other books in the trilogy
Alison Hardtmann
Jul 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-library
There's not much plot to the final novel in Rachel Cusk's trilogy. A middle-aged woman author attends a few writers's conferences in Europe and has conversations with people. But the plot is beside the point, here the protagonist is almost absent, instead, she's a witness, someone who listens as others reveal themselves to her. And each person's monologue addresses in some way how children are affected by the relationship between parents. The format allows Cusk to come at this from different ang ...more
Joe M
Finishing Rachel Cusk's "Outline" trilogy today with a little bit of sadness and large amount of awe and admiration. Kudos is the third book in this knotty, cerebral, but remarkable series, and picks up once again with Faye, a novelist who over the course of a few days, meets and engages with various strangers and characters who cross her path on airlines, at literary events and other engagements. Conversations tend to revolve around issues of modern life: careers, relationships, political anxie ...more
Nicci Carrera
Oct 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literary-fiction
I enjoyed the conclusion of Rachel Cusk's trilogy. I had a couple good laughs in this book. For very dry wit, you can't beat the British.

While I don't like the ending as much as the ending of Transit, which was gorgeous, it's possible this is my favorite of the three. These novels are all about the narrator moving through her literary life and listening to the people she encounters who tell her essential things about their lives. Some of the philosophical tangents don't resonate or I just don't
miss.mesmerized mesmerized
Faye, a British writer, is on her way to a book conference somewhere in southern Europe. She is expected to give several interviews and to take part in social events. The people she meets all have a story to tell – and they do. Faye herself hardly ever talks, especially not about herself, she somehow makes people around her open up and share their thoughts with her. First, it’s the passenger seated next to her in the plane leaving London. Later she meets interviewers who much rather talk about t ...more
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The Mookse and th...: 2018 Goldsmiths Prize shortlist - Kudos 74 66 Nov 06, 2018 05:01PM  
Rachel Cusk was born in Canada, and spent some of her childhood in Los Angeles, before her family returned to England, in 1974, when Cusk was 8 years old. She read English at New College, Oxford.

Cusk is the Whitbread Award–winning author of two memoirs, including The Last Supper, and seven novels, including Arlington Park, Saving Agnes, The Temporary, The Country Life, and The Lucky Ones.

She has

Other books in the series

Outline (3 books)
  • Outline
  • Transit
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“You can't tell your story to everybody, I said. Maybe you can only tell it to one person.” 2 likes
“She had to admit this journalist was one of her trickier customers, and his interviews nearly always ended with the same argument, since he seemed to take such a long time to get round to asking a question and when he did, discovered that he himself had the best answer for it.” 1 likes
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