FREE READ ↠ The Accidental

CHARACTERS The Accidental

FREE READ ↠ The Accidental ✓ ❂ [EPUB] ✺ The Accidental By Ali Smith ➛ – Arresting and wonderful The Accidental pans in on the Norfolk holiday home of the Smart family one hot summer There a beguiling stranger called Amber appears at the door bearing all sorts of unexpecte Arresting and wonderful The AcArresting and wonderful The Accidental pans in on the Norfolk holiday home of the Smart family one hot summer There a beguiling stranger called Amber appears at the door. I really enjoyed Ali Smith’s How to be Both; this one for me was hit and miss A dysfunctional or normal family – pretty much the same thing nowadays – rents a holiday home in Norfolk One day a mysterious stranger a woman called Amber arrives and ends up moving in with them All four members of the family metaphorically are very much waiting for an amber light to turn to green and Amber’s redemptive role is to reveal how this light might be changed The first problem for me was Amber herself She’s something of a cliché as an inspirational free spirit More of a new age traveller than a sorceress or annunciation angel Her remedies for the supposedly stifling middle class malaise gripping the family this malaise isn't altogether convincing are somewhat hackneyed She introduces the son Magnus to sex and teaches Astrid to be hostile to public opinion and property In fact there’s a kind of hollow hippy philosophy at the back of this novel Amber doesn’t really have any convincing alternative reality to offer though Smith tries to convince us unsuccessfully for me that her belligerent ministrations are empowering redemptive life changing The other big problem is the unevenness of the characters Each of the family members gets an eual share of the narrative The females especially the young Astrid are compelling and penetratively imagined; the two males on the other hand are flat and unconvincing Husband and stepfather Michael is little than a cliché – it doesn’t matter that he himself comes to accept himself as a cliché a professor who serially sleeps with his students At one point he even decides he’s going to pick the prettiest checkout girl in a supermarket and sleep with her an hour later he implausibly achieves his ambition in the back of his car while she’s on lunchbreak At one point I remember thinking that Ali Smith is a bit like the British Nicole Krauss except there’s artistry in Krauss’ playfulness Smith by comparison can come across as both whimsical and pretentious Also thematically Krauss is rigorously masterful; she rarely loses control of her core material; Smith on the other hand tends to overreach herself go off on tangents as if she wants to include in her book everything she thinks about modern life Prime example of this is when Amber is given a voice and we get five pages of hugely pretentious prose about cinema as if therein lies the explanation for everything But for this novel to work you have to believe Amber leads the way to discovery in her disciples or victims and for me this only really worked with the pitch perfect Astrid There were times when I wished the entire novel was about Astrid with perhaps Amber as a presence only she could see and hear What saves the day is Smith’s writing which is always uirkily elouent and pulsing with vitality Her characterisation of a 12 year old girl is also one of the best I've ever come across However if you fancy reading her I’d recommend How to Be Both over this


Seemingly chance encounters irrevocably transform our understanding of ourselves The Accidental explores the nature of truth the role of fate and the power of storytelli. I adore Ali Smith’s Seasonal books looking forward to them every year The Accidental is my first foray into Smith’s backlist and it did not disappointIt is so interesting to compare this novel published than a decade earlier to her later ones Smith’s signature wordplay and exuberant style is all there and I find it such a joy to read It just tickles my brain on a specific wavelength that few other writers can match Another feature in common these books are completely grounded in their respective moment There’s an attentiveness to that as if the novels are carefully constructed time capsules This one is ‘2003’ At the same time you can really get a sense of how Smith has grown as a writer The Accidental comes across at times as a bit arch a bit glib and like Smith is performing for an audience whereas her later novels are welcoming And as much as I appreciated the meta commentary on clichés it’s a bold move to deliberately build a novel out of them This plot and these characters hold no real surprises but I say ‘who cares’ Ali Smith’s clever kinetic prose is irresistible to me

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The AccidentalBearing all sorts of unexpected gifts trampling over family boundaries and sending each of the Smarts scurrying from the dark into the lightA novel about the ways that. A flat out triumph of structure style shifting narrative voices rhythm and language A pitch perfect technical masterpiece Split into three components—the beginning the middle and the end—the story moves between four perspectives daughter son father mother Each section describes various events around a holiday trip to Norwich and the arrival of Amber a charismatic drifter who changes her behaviour to accommodate each personA very tight free indirect style is deployed to bring the third person narrator as close to each character as possible from Astrid sulky teenager daughter and her show off vocab Magnus sulky teenage son and his mathematical attempts to work through grief Michael philandering father and his embarrassing poetic endeavours and Eva writer mother and her resigned melancholy her cosy middle England spirit Each voice is rendered with tonal precision and demonstrates a mastery instructional to all writersAmber is the central catalyst of the book little portions between each section are devoted to her voice or what is assumed to be her voice the one trigger that sends the story and characters into strange spirals while their mundane domestic dramas continue undisturbed She steps into the novel as an unrestrained truly free individual and compromises the stifling repression rippling at the heart of this typical familyThe techniue is very close to Sorrentino’s Aberration of Starlight another complete triumph of structure and style If you care about truly spectacular writing and appreciate a writer successfully spinning plates than is frankly human The Accidental will knock you flat on your ass as it did me Genius— The best definition of this can be found in James Wood’s How Fiction Works