The Autograph Man - Zadie Smith


This is dreadful - goes to show what happens when a young author is forced by pressure of hype to write a second novel too quickly. 'White Teeth', or the first two-thirds of it, anyway - was clever, charming and emotionally mature. By contrast, this is a collection of jottings unconvincingly strung together to form a kind of story. The Jewish backbone could have been interesting, but really seemed to be just a display of research. A little more warmth, a little less intellectualising would have helped no end. [Ed: the grading seems too high for this review but as usual I can't change it unless I read it again. Which I'm not planning on doing.]

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