Sunday Morning! “Swing Time” by Zadie Smith

Rufus F.

Rufus is an American curmudgeon in Canada. He has a PhD in History, sings in a garage rock band, and does many things. He is the author of the forthcoming book "The Paris Bureau" from Dio Press (early 2021).

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5 Responses

  1. Aaron David says:

    I have never read a Zadie Smith book, but I am familiar with her. White Teeth is supposed to be quite good, and she is oft mentioned as one of the up-and-coming British authors, though that has been 20 odd years now, so take that for what it is worth. All that said, true and good long term friendships are difficult, male or female. I remember watching my first wife deal with the differences, economically and temporally, with her high school friends; who are having kids at a given time, going to college vs. dropping out, that kind of thing. And there was a lot of bitterness along with the joy. I have also been thinking a bit on Joan Didion for many of the same reasons lately. Just so much that I cannon understand. And I think that is a good thing.

    Still slowly, languidly?, working my way through the Murakami. I was puzzled at first by the translation and its word choices, but am coming around to the idea that he is trying to tell a different type of story than many of his past works and the strangeness works quite well in this regard.

    I am also enjoying a bing of old Arkham House novels. The creepy, lowlight tales of the books, from the late 70s and early 80s, pairs nicely with holding a physically well-crafted object in the hand.Report

    • Rufus F. in reply to Aaron David says:

      Swing Time is very readable. It does read a bit like a synopsis for a Netflix series, but that seems to be pretty common now. I think it has been optioned for something or other.

      I don’t know if I’ve read enough of Murakami to know what’s different about the translation. I’m finding it to be less eerie than others I’ve read, but just as surreal. I like the emphasis on imagery and the visual. So, I’m enjoying it so far.

      Uh-oh, Arkham House is a whole new rabbit hole for me to go down…Report

      • Aaron David in reply to Rufus F. says:

        I think it has a more hard-edged, less dreamlike feel to the word choice. And due to some of the rougher imagery of the whole book, so far I would say that it is a good choice. The same person translated 1Q84, where I don’t think it worked. I am not sure if that is from Murakami’s own word choices as he made a pretty big change up in his career work for that, or if the translator was out of their depth at the time, but for whatever reason, it works this time around.

        Arkham House is one of those love-it-or-hate-it things. It’s cotton candy for me, much like watching Carpenters The Thing.Report

  2. Saul Degraw says:

    The daughter of the Sultan of Swat died recently at 102. It is fascinating to know that this connection was still around long after his death:

  3. Michael Cain says:

    I will probably be up late tonight finishing the seven-volume million-and-a-half word Throne of Glass fantasy series. It’s classified as YA, so unlike an author I could point my finger at (cough * GRRM * cough), none of my favorite characters die. I’m at the point now where I’m invested and want to see if I approve of how the author finishes it up.Report