David's Reviews > There but for the

There but for the by Ali Smith
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's review
Feb 02, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: funny, read-in-2012, unexpectedly-terrific
Read in January, 2012

Ali Smith is one of those writers who is in constant danger of being too clever for her own good. This book follows a structure that is self-consciously clever, is loaded down with all kinds of puns and wordplay, has a central character who remains maddeningly opaque, and one of its four narrators is a ridiculously precocious eleven-year old, who would be completely toxic in the hands of a less gifted author. But, despite all this baggage, it works brilliantly. I found it completely engrossing, very funny, and extremely moving. It's one of the two best works of fiction I've read so far in 2012 ("Wolf Hall" being the other).
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