The dazzling second novel in Ali Smith's essential Seasonal Quartet from the Baileys Prize-winning, Man Booker-shortlisted author of Autumn and How to be both.Winter? Bleak. Frosty wind, earth as iron, water as stone, so the old song goes. The shortest days, the longest nights. The trees are bare and shivering. The summer's leaves? Dead litter. The world shrinks; the sap si...
|Number of Pages||:||322 pages|
Martin Amis said that there seems to be a requisite period of time before one can write about historical events, especially catastrophes. He was referring to 9-11 and his first publication about it—The Second Plane—which did not appear until 2008. Ali Smith, however, in Winter, seems to be writing about Brexit and T.—may his name remain anathema—as it happens. Barely a month could have passed between the time Lord Soames in the House of Commons wolf whistled at a rather attractive female member ...more
This Ali Smith novel, the second of a seasonal quartet, may go down as my least favorite of hers, though being Ali Smith that doesn’t mean I didn’t like it and that I’m not looking forward to Spring, and ultimately, Summer. I envision appreciating it more if I reread it once the series is completed.
Perhaps Winter suffers in comparison to Autumn for me because there is no rendering of a lively, enticing (real) personage, such as Pauline Doty; though Barbara Hepworth and her art are used as a s ...more
OK I surrender. Upgraded to 5 stars as Ali Smith has made complete fools of us all, myself included.
Everyone spent so long looking for micro-links between the two novels, no-one (at least not in any review on GR as at 9 November 2017) had spotted (other than as the merest teasing hint) the glaring and very explicit link between the two books - the Daniel-Sophie tryst in Paris that is in the first pages of Autumn and the last pages of Winter, complete with dates and details.
The more mundane truth ...more
But we were wounded, I was wounded, all the same. And I love my family, I love them, but when I'm with them, my wounds reopen. So I can't live with them. I can't be with them. So I came here.
”God was dead: to begin with.
“And romance was dead. Chivalry was dead. Poetry, the novel, painting, they were all dead, and art was dead. Theatre and cinema were both dead. Literature was dead. The book was dead.”
“Love was dead.
Death was dead.
A great many things were dead.
Some, though, weren’t, or weren’t dead yet.”
“Imagine being haunted by the ghosts of all these dead things. Imagine being haunted by the ghost of a flower. No, imagine being haunted (if there were such a thing as being ...more
A Winter Thaw
Autumn, the first volume in Ali Smith's tetralogy-in-progress, was #2 on my Top Ten list for 2017. At first, reading Winter, its successor (how fast she writes!), I was pretty sure that it would not reach a similar standard; it seemed haphazard and jokey, strung-together rather than composed. And yet my sadness at coming to its end makes me think again. If this is the scherzo of a four-movement symphony, it is one of those movements where the playfulness feeds into a lovely long tun ...more
I think this is very, very good and I love it very, very much. Video review coming soon.
An adult son returns home to visit his mother for Christmas. Winter is a clever, elusive and moving novel about family and relationships where nothing is quite what it seems. Smith's language is so vivid that images materialized in front of me as I was reading.
I'm looking forward to Spring!