There but for the

Ali Smith


There but for the

There but for the

  • Title: There but for the
  • Author: Ali Smith
  • ISBN: 9780375424090
  • Page: 480
  • Format: Hardcover



From the award winning author of Hotel World and The Accidental, a dazzling, funny, and wonderfully exhilarating new novel At a dinner party in the posh London suburb of Greenwich, Miles Garth suddenly leaves the table midway through the meal, locks himself in an upstairs room, and refuses to leave An eclectic group of neighbors and friends slowly gathers around the housFrom the award winning author of Hotel World and The Accidental, a dazzling, funny, and wonderfully exhilarating new novel At a dinner party in the posh London suburb of Greenwich, Miles Garth suddenly leaves the table midway through the meal, locks himself in an upstairs room, and refuses to leave An eclectic group of neighbors and friends slowly gathers around the house, and Miles s story is told from the points of view of four of them Anna, a woman in her forties Mark, a man in his sixties May, a woman in her eighties and a ten year old named Brooke The thing is, none of these people knows Miles than slightly How much is it possible for us to know about a stranger And what are the consequences of even the most casual, fleeting moments we share every day with one another Brilliantly audacious, disarmingly playful, and full of Smith s trademark wit and puns, There but for the is a deft exploration of the human need for separation from our pasts and from one another and the redemptive possibilities for connection It is a tour de force by one of our finest writers.


Recent Comments "There but for the"

*floating this to irritate the person who irritated me with her comment.*i did this book a great disservice first, i plowed through it like a maniac, loving every minute of it. then, i put it down for about two days and totally lost my momentum, and when i returned, the shine was off the apple. completely my fault has been nearly a week since i have written a book review, and this feels like a less-than-triumphant return, but it is fitting - i need to be punished for my weekend hedonism and non- [...]

There might have been other ways to write this book, perhaps. Siri Hustvedt, for instance, would have made all the disparate perspectives mirror an overarching preoccupation with the self, nearly indistinguishable from each other in terms of their pedantic, self righteous theorizings. She would have hurled fact after fact which lead up to some grandiose declaration, impatient to broadcast the breadth and depth of her scholastic achievements, her research. A character's whiteness, blackness, woma [...]

Reviewed in February 2013There is no doubt in my mind that Ali Smith is a fine writer, a reader’s writer, maybe even a writer’s writer, although I suspect there are writers out there who think she makes it all look as easy as an unmade bed. There you go, people differ hugely in what they rate as interesting or significant, but whatever kind of writer Smith is, she’s definitely my kind, and for the long term. There will be, I hope, many more of her books to enjoy since she is one of the rar [...]

Will you remember me in a months time?Yes.Will you remember me in 6 months time?Yes.Will you remember me in a years time?Yes.Will you remember me in 2 years time?Yes.Will you remember me in 3 years time?Yes.Knock knock.Who's there?See, you've forgotten me already.I used to work at a video store in college. It was a small mom and pop shop, and it was a great place to work. Since it was such a small operation, there were only a handful of other employees and I knew everyone pretty well. So you can [...]

I'm going to start ignoring ratings. Not stop using them, but ignore them, for there is my own and then there are others and neither should have anything to do with the other, really. Humanity gets me but it's the humans that get me in two senses of the word that both don't directly point out the to get in to get. I got this book, someone got my money, somewhere together we're getting.I thought this book would be harder. I thought I would have trouble. I thought I wouldn't be reading Women and M [...]

There But For The is stylized, literary fiction. It makes extensive use of: wordplay emails stories headlines text messagesconversationslyrics handwritten notes allegory symbolsThe fact is, imagine a man sitting on an exercise bike in a spare room. He’s a pretty ordinary man except that across his eyes and also across his mouth it looks like he’s wearing letterbox flaps. Look closer and his eyes and mouth are both separately covered by little grey rectangles. They’re like the censorship st [...]

I hate to resort to crude Americanisms, but Ali Smith is the motherfucking BOMB. Her latest novel, circa October 2011, shares a structure all but identical to The Accidental—four sections with little one-two-page prefaces—but also shares its masterful grasp over narrative voice, language, style, humour, and subtly heartbreaking strangeness.The title refers to the first word in a significant phrase deployed in each section of the novel. For example, in the first part ‘There I was’ is used [...]

THEREis no there there, Gertrude Stein famously wrote in 1937, a sentence that loops back on itself in order to question its own grammar. Maybe what she meant was that the first there has no antecedent. But the sentence also pushes out, questions the world, questions the idea of a place in time, a time in place, that exists only because it is not here, relatively speaking.This novel has a similar trajectory. Broken down into four sections titled There, But, For, and The, it tells an abstract sto [...]

There, but for the grace of God, go Iid John Bradford. A sentence merely nine words long, yet easily conveying a quality hard to come by. The ability to understand another’s misfortune when one could ignore it and keep going their own merry way. The ability to reach out to another via an empathetic bridge, instead of only offering sympathy.The humility and acceptance that not every shoe is meant to fit a special Cinderella, being in another’s shoes is a common fate.There but for the, a novel [...]

If you're new to Ali Smith and think you might like her (I can easily see that she's not everyone's 'thing'), read her brilliant short stories, or the novels Hotel World or The Accidental first. I loved those. And if you have read all of Ali Smith, as I have, I think you will find that this book is merely okay, even tedious near the end, and that maybe instead it could've been another brilliant short story. Because what feels like excessive padding and way too much language-play (especially with [...]

There are things I now know. I now know that rabbits like licorice. I now know that Harold Arlen couldn't think of a middle-eight for the song he was writing, Somewhere Over the Rainbow. But he had a little, badly-behaved dog that kept running away. So he whistled for the dog to come back: De da de da de da de da. And now we all sing: Some day I'll wish upon a star.But I don't know why Miles Garth left the dinner party and went upstairs and locked himself in the guest room. And I don't know why [...]

“Imagine if all the civilizations in the past had not known to have the imagination to look up at the sun and the moon and the stars and work out that things were connected, that those things right in front of their eyes could be connected to time and to what time is and how it works.” Imagine the things in front of our eyes connected to time, to what time is and how it works in connection with memories of past or moments of present or thoughts about the future. The time; dictated by the sun [...]

I just don't know. I don't know about this book. Believe me when I say that I really wanted to love it. I 'saved' it for some time before beginning, and when I didn't feel much into it on the first try, I left it for a while and tried again. Everything (the premise, Smith's reputation, great reviews in the press and here on ) suggested it would be a wonderful, even revelatory read, and yet I mean, maybe I've shot myself in the foot by reading so many books this year. Maybe I've got some sort of [...]

"But the fact is, how do you know anything is true? Duh, obviously, records and so on, but how do you know that the records are true? Things are not just true because the internet says they are. Really the phrase should be, not the fact is, but the fact seems to be."It is incredibly difficult to write about Ali Smith's books. I mean where do you start? Plots are not what they seem. Plots are merely vehicles to convey sub-plots, ideas, sentiments, and impressions of the world around us. So writin [...]

Once there was an anchorite, a cleverist, a once upon a time, and a woman lost in the confines of her head.“There was once, and there was only once; once was all there was.”There but for the grace of god go I….This is about compassion, empathy, understanding, putting yourself in another’s shoes. Walk a mile in his shoes. Miles’ shoes. It's about Miles. Miles of Miles. Miles towards Miles. Miles is miles away. Anna did it. She was overwhelmed in others' shoes. Words words words. “…t [...]

Oh, Ali Smith. You are an infuriating lover.I know Frustration is half the fun. And I had so much fun. But could you please just TRY to write in goddamned paragraphs?I saw and felt the Disorientation, Stream of Consciousness and Frustration. But I majored in poetry, and therefore I do not believe but KNOW that space allows for lyricism in all the ways your Matrix layout did not.It's just a suggestion. Because otherwise I loved it all. And to be honest, I don't know if I know how to love you with [...]

Another great one from Smith. I would recommend this book on the basis of the fantastic conversion on art history in the middle of this alone. Smith's profound and incredibly unique narrative voice is ever present here. Very enjoyable.

This is another one of those books getting good reviews, but for me, it didn't live up to the hype. This isn't your typical book in that there's not a plot per se. The author sometimes does away with punctuation and linear notions, and even though it centers around Miles Garth who locks himself up in a guest room during a dinner party, we never truly learn about him or his motivations.Instead, we get the perspectives of four different people who had a brief interaction with him. Mostly, each nar [...]

Wow. I just want to hug this book. That incredibly rare thing, in the 2010s, a totally contemporary novel that isn't cynical or bitter or cute. Clever, yes. Very. What's it about? I'm not sure I can articulate an answer. It might be about martyrdom. Or it might be about losing one's humanity, and trying to get it back. Or it might be about boredom and frustration and loss. It might be about horrible dinner parties filled with dreary backward privelged snobs. Or it might be about compassion, fell [...]

I was robbed by a British author. Not cool, Ali Smith. The masses were bleating favorably about the novel “There But For The” and frankly the premise seemed so intriguing: A man at a dinner party with a collection of strangers gets up, goes upstairs and locks himself in a spare room -- luckily one with a bathroom, unfortunately at a house not very sympathetic to his vegetarian diet. He refuses to come out for days, for weeks, until he becomes a folk hero and the locals camp out and wait for [...]

If you played a drinking game while reading this awful novel—taking just a swig of beer for every time the word 'says' is said, you'd be dead. D. E. A. D. No joke. So I wouldn't advise it. I'm convinced that a quarter of the drab content (79,360 words in total apparently) consists of says/said. Is Ali Smith allergic to variety?? Anyway. Here's a helpful hint to the author: when a character asks a question, have them ask it. Don't have them SAY it! This happens constantly. Illogical and irritat [...]

Comprei este livro apenas porque gostei do título (não costumo fazer isso mas, às vezes, tenho que ser inovadora) depois, arrumei-o e esqueci-o. Há dias, quando li uma crítica (com cinco estrelas) ao último livro de Ali Smith, Outono, lembrei-me deste "coitado", que tinha encafuado no "monte dos não quero ler isto". Pois podia lá ter continuado li metade e oh, céus! já me esqueci de tudo! Bom acho que eram só umas letras que de tão aborrecidas não passaram disso: letrasMas creio que [...]

Life-as-lived, 'Amores Perros"-turn-of-century multi-structured-prism--Ali Smith is the Virginia Woolf of our times (22% Wilde satirist)--i.e. Modernist! Her brush strokes are irreverent (also British!) in One Solid Faulkerian Experiment. Smith evokes the sensation of absorbing everything while reading about nothing; she succeeds in immersing us fully in her deviations from standard plot or character (but remaining faithful to tropes, like the man hidden within the house, the sensitive visionary [...]

Sometimes you just read a book that makes you say BLAAARRGH SO GOOD!!!!and for me this was one of those books. I've placed Ali Smith into the mad genius category.As suggested by the titular adage of "there but for the [grace of god go I/we]" this is a book about time, history, memory, chance/coincidence, staying vs. going/leaving, loss generally, and, most importantly, empathy. But delivered, of course, "Ali Style." So, the framework of the novel, on which these themes hang, is that a dinner gue [...]

I really liked the premise of this book. A man is invited to a dinner party. He doesn't know the hosts. In the middle of the party, he locks himself in the upstairs guestroom and refuses to come out. He stays in there for months, and becomes somewhat of a local celebrity because of this.This man - Miles - is the nucleus of the story. The reader are invited into the lives of people surrounding him, mostly people he doesn't know very well. Acquaintances. People who have crossed paths with him some [...]

If you look really closely, this book does have a plot; it would go something like this: Man withdraws from dinner party to barricade himself in a guest room at his hosts’ house, stays for several months, then leaves without telling anyone. Which, no matter how you view it, really is not much in the way of a plot – but then plot is not what Ali Smith’s novel There but for the is about.What the novel is about is history, both public and private, about knowledge of the world, of ourselves an [...]

You're going to have to help me out with this one, because my Not A Real Reader neurosis has turned out in droves. What's the deal with this book?This is my first foray into Ali Smith's fiction, and I've variously heard her described as experimental, one of fiction's enthusiasts, erudite and off-beat, and groundbreaking. This book in particular is apparently "sparklingly satirical". Did someone replace it with a different book when I wasn't looking? I'm not asking for a State of the Nation addre [...]

Anyone denying Smith's genius at this point is either a) doing so as a reaction to her popularity; or b) just trying to be contrarian. Heaven forbid someone sells some books! The 'but' section alone should merit Smith winning the fucking Booker already.

Scottish writer Ali Smith is a veteran writer of the unwanted house guest. In THE ACCIDENTAL, an uninvited woman shows up at a residence and turns the family upside down. In her latest novel, Miles Garth, a dinner party guest in Greenwich, leaves the dinner table, exits upstairs, locks himself in the spare room, and declines to leave. Miles is the nominal central figure of the novel, yet it is his “absent presence” and other paradoxes of human nature that are pivotal. His silence is the roar [...]

This is just okay. I admire the humorous writing and the wordplays, the puns. I love the 10-y/o Brooke especially the chapter in the end and also her first encounter with Anna. I also love the cover: a painting of a chair with some clothes on it. My edition of this book is a pocketbook and it feels cool to bring around especially because it is not available here in the Philippines and I ordered my copy from Book Depository. This is one of the 2012 new additions to 1001 Books You Must Read Before [...]


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    Published :2019-02-09T09:14:11+00:00