“She likes to read, she reads all the time, and she prefers to be reading several things at once, she says it gives endless perspective and dimension.” – Ali Smith
Autumn by Ali Smith was a pleasant surprise. Jumping between past and present, Autumn follows Elisabeth and her elderly neighbour Daniel forming an unlikely but tender friendship.
To be honest, I had no idea what I was reading the first couple of chapters but this changed after searching, with the help of my dear friend Google, what the hell exactly was going on in the book. After that, I did enjoy the story quite a bit!
“I’m tired of the news. I’m tired of the way it makes things spectacular that aren’t, and deals so simplistically with what’s truly appalling. I’m tired of the vitriol. I’m tired of anger. I’m tired of the meanness. I’m tired of selfishness. I’m tired of how we’re doing nothing to stop it. I’m tired of how we’re encourageing it. I’m tired of the violence that’s on it’s way, that’s coming, that hasn’t happened yet. I’m tired of liars. I’m tired of sanctified liars. I’m tired of how those liars have let this happen. I’m tired of having to wonder whether they did it out of stupidity or did it on purpose. I’m tired of lying governments. I’m tired of people not caring whether they’re being lied to anymore. I’m tired of being made to feel this fearful.” – Ali Smith, Autumn
This book is beautifully written! You’ll definitely see me reading more of Ali Smith’s books. The writing style is one that draws you in and doesn’t let go, it’s like you’re under water, like something that wraps its arms around you and makes you feel safe.
However, there were a lot of things I didn’t get. I needed some knowledge about the (historical) references she made about Britain. Hence, the Google search. After reading some other reviews of the book I found out I wasn’t the only one having trouble getting into the book. Though the writing style may have been beautiful, the references I didn’t get, distracted from the overall story.
Furthermore, there are some chapters that take place in the past while others talk about what’s happening right now, but this is something I actually really loved once I caught up with it. It keeps you searching until you put the pieces together of how the story proceeds chronologically.
“Always be reading something, he said. Even when we’re not physically reading. How else will we read the world? Think of it as a constant.” – Ali Smith, Autumn
Autumn is a completely different novel than I’m used to reading nevertheless it was a fascinating one and I can’t wait to discover more in this seasonal quartet of Ali Smith!
Have you read Autumn by Ali Smith or any of her other books? Are you interested in reading them?
If not, what’s your favourite book to read in Autumn? Or to ask the question Daniel is always asking Elisabeth: What are you reading?
Let me know in the comments down below!
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