not ghost world

hotel world by ali smith

this book has a bad cover whenever i read it on trains i would be conscious of holding it and of people who might be thinking 'jesus that girl is reading dorothy koomson/jodi picoult/kinsella'. i mean it is not a badass book that would be a total opposite of the books written by the aforementioned authors but the cover is visually horrid and doing the content a subjective disservice. similar disaster happened to a certain version of eugenides' the virgin suicides, i failed to comprehend why they thought it would be a good idea to attract readers who would be drawn to such cover

this is my first ali smith book and i shall say her voice is one that i could understand with partial comprehension and full appreciation. the novel consists of five different parts stitched together--not something entirely new but it is done better than the majority of similar works out there. each part has its own specific style, that of course is still similar to one another, but independently distinctive (ie can stand as a piece of work on its own)

i thought the first two paragraphs were the lyrics to blur's song whose title i now can't remember and i tried to sing to it and found it very odd (it was not a song)

the first part tells of the tale of sara wilby who just dies from falling. we are guided by the equally clueless wilby and learn the rough outline of what befalls her, meet her family members, and follow her spiritual self to meet her physical self. i really liked the part where sara forgot some words and tried to describe them instead, and an empty space was left for the intended word--reserved. it denotes the importance of having such a practical shortcut that is of having a single word for something, albeit being arbitrary. also i was wondering will this thing happen when i die

i do not wish to forget

the second part reminded me of chuck palahniuk's books, whereby smith elaborates a kitsch daily encounter of a homeless couple infused with general knowledge and shock value, and the life of the homeless lady too

the fifth part was my favorite. each paragraph starts with the word 'and' and there is no punctuation mark being used. i read half of this part aloud in a whisper and meanings began to surface i guess it was up to me but not really, when i read it out loud it was like i was being shown, exposed to the nakedness of truth and it was very beautiful my voice shook a little but i did it in whispers so only a few people turned their heads around

quotation marks are omitted completely from the book; but unlike in caribou island where such occurrence gives way to a more 'immediate' effect here it seamlessly blends thoughts and words uttered and adds to the book's modern poetic quality

that would be the word i use to sum up the whole book: modern.

this book at first seems like it is about an incident but it spans over how such incident in one's life affects people s/he has not even met before, each world is interdependent without us knowing it, i mean of course it was nothing new but smith portrays this not in a cliche 'moving' manner it is like benjamin button but more concealed not really in the face not really deliberate

wikipedia talks about how the whole story is a metaphor you could look it up yourself if you feel intrigued

i would recommend this book but maybe not to everyone

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