NW is about four people who grew up in North West London and are in their early 30s now. Two women, two men. The two women are best friends, and the two guys are basically junkies (one is actually getting clean but he gets killed). Anyway they’re all wandering around trying to figure out what it means to be an adult.
Zadie Smith is a fun, poetic writer. There are winding sentences and odd images. There are rap lines sprinkled in. She’s fun to read even if you don’t know what’s going on for a moment sometimes. She plays around with the concept of time a lot–how does the time go by, how fast or slow time seems to go by sometimes, how waiting for someone can become a blur.
The book opens up tho with Leah, one of the women, getting suckered into giving a junkie money. Then that junkie turns out to be connected to one of the guys the women grew up with (not the one getting clean). That junkie chick is one of his runners. He’s kinda scammy but not for no reason and is probably linked to the killing of the other guy too. It’s really a mess and I guess that’s the point.
Best line: “The longer she spent alone the more indistinct she became to herself. A liquid decanted from a jar.” -Zadie Smith p321-2
P.S. This book is available at my bookstore if you click here.
My bookstore: Ten Dollar Books