The Accidental

The Accidental

by Ali Smith
3.2 6


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The Accidental by Ali Smith

Filled with Ali Smith's trademark wordplay and inventive storytelling, here is the dizzyingly entertaining, wickedly humorous story of a mysterious stranger whose sudden appearance during a family’s summer holiday transforms four variously unhappy people. Each of the Smartsparents Eve and Michael, son Magnus, and the youngest, daughter Astridencounter Amber in his or her own solipsistic way, but somehow her presence allows them to see their lives (and their life together) in a new light. Smith’s narrative freedom and exhilarating facility with language propel the novel to its startling, wonderfully enigmatic conclusion.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780375422256
Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/10/2006
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 5.83(w) x 8.52(h) x 1.16(d)

About the Author

Ali Smith is the author of many works of fiction, including the novel Hotel World, which was short-listed for both the Orange Prize and the Booker Prize and won the Encore Award and the Scottish Arts Council Book of the Year Award, and The Accidental, which won the Whitbread Award and was short-listed for the Man Booker Prize and the Orange Prize. Her most recent novel, How to be both, was a Man Booker Prize finalist and winner of the Bailey Women’s Prize for Fiction, the Goldsmiths Prize, the Costa Novel Award, and the Saltire Literary Book of the Year Award. Born in Inverness, Scotland, Smith lives in Cambridge, England.

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Accidental 3.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
NYBeachgal More than 1 year ago
Though I absolutely adored Ali Smith's short story collection entitled _The First Person_, I was very disappointed in _The Accidental_, which was the first novel of hers that I've read. The ending made very little sense to me, but neither did most of the actual story! I found the book frustrating and, often, annoying. The characters were deep and believable, and many of the issues she brings up are very topical and could be fascinating, but there are so many disjointed, confusing, and totally unbelievable situations and storylines that the book just fall apart. Smith's an excellent short-story writer but I believe she shouldn't write novels without an editor who will pare everything down and get rid of unnecessary information. About 2/3 of the time, this novel read like someone's stream of consciousness practice for a basic creative writing course. Shame!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
After all the hype and awards this book has received, I couldnt wait to start this. I have tried for weeks to attempt to read this and simply put, I couldnt stand it. the flow of the book is atrocious and the main character Ambers thoughts/actions seem almost schizophrenic and impossible to follow-do find yourself thinking are these ramblings happening now or it in all in her mind? I read at least two books a week and this by far has been the worst let down. The book rambles, and has no flow to the story line. If you must try it for yourself, check it out at the library-dont waste your money!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Outstanding performances by a superb ensemble cast add luster to this intriguing, richly imagined story of a family on tender hooks, stripped of pretense following the arrival of an unexpected visitor. The Smarts, a family whose home is London, have rented a cottage for the summer. They're surprised late one afternoon by a knock on the door - it is a beautiful, barefoot thirty-something woman who calls herself Amber. By dint of charm and determination she enters the home, and remains for much longer than dinner. She's a sham, yet she manages to turn the entire family on its collective ears. Actress Heather O'Neill is by turning winning and wanton, especially effective in the monologues that give some insight into what occupies Amber's mind. Simon Prebble, he of the easy-on-the-ears tenor voice and British accent, is the perfect choice for Michael, the rather haughty head of the household. A professor, he is self-absorbed to the point that he misses the throes of those closest to him. Michael can be so remote that all he knows of Amber is that she had car trouble. Eve, his wife, is almost driven to distraction with worry about the completion and success of her latest literary effort. It's her belief that Amber is one of Michael's former lovers who has followed them here, perhaps to make trouble between husband and wife. Actress Ruth Moore reflects Eve's simmering emotions with chaste diction. There are two young ones in the Smart household. Magnus, as performed by Jeff Woodman, is almost a basket case due to guilt and fear. An ill-conceived prank of his has backfired, and he suffers for it. He's 17, on the brink of manhood, yet terrified of becoming adult. Astrid, is a 12-year-old half-child, half-woman who is by turns acerbic and angelic. She is ably read by Stina Nielsen. As presented by these talented performers 'The Accidental' is theater t its best. Treat yourself! - Gail Cooke