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The Accidental by Ali Smith
  

The Accidental

Literary Fiction   All Shortlists and Winners   eBook Favourites   

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Category Winner of the Whitbread Novel Award 2005 and short listed for the Man Booker. The engrossing tale of a middle-class family and the events that unfold when a stranger steps into their midst. Amber's arrival changes the family's lives dramatically as she quickly bonds with the Smarts, bewitching them all. Smith's writing is fantastic, capturing the voices of all the characters superbly, but especially that of the adolescent Astrid who steals the show. Utterly compelling.

If you like Ali Smith you might also like to read books by Jennifer Egan, Julian Barnes and Monica Ali.

Synopsis

The Accidental by Ali Smith

14 year old Astrid is spending the summer with her family in a substandard holiday home in a substandard town in Norfolk, and she knows for sure nothingâs going to happen there all substandard summer. So sheâs started filming the dawn breaking each morning on her Sony digital camera.

Magnus, Astridâs older brother, has been pulled out of the upper-sixth early. He used to be form-captain, sickeningly excited about things like calculus, and how plants grow. Now he lies face down on the floor in his room like a beached whale. What happened? One month ago he and two friends took a picture of a lower-sixth girlâs head, fixed it onto another body, and sent it round everyoneâs email, then she killed herself.

Dr Michael Smart lectures in English Literature at a London university. Though spending the summer in Norfolk, heâs popping down to London, marking work, checking exam results etc, and secretly meeting his current special pupil, the alarmingly ambitious Philippa Knott.

Eve chose the Norfolk holiday home for its ‘elegant summerhouse with internet connection pointâ where she can get on with researching and writing her next book. But the advert turned out to be a fraud, the summerhouse is more of a shed really. But then Eveâs a bit of a fraud too. She hasnât written a word all summer.

Amber just arrived one day. Eve assumed she was Michaelâs student, Michael thought she knew Eve. Magnus thought she was an angel, sent to save him. Astrid thought that if Amber were a cartoon character, she would have been a superheroine, but also that she is definitely insane. And then Amber just didnât leave…


About the Author

Ali Smith

Ali Smith was born in Inverness in 1962. She is the author of Free Love and Other Stories, Like, Other Stories and Other Stories, Hotel World, The Whole Story and Other Stories, The Accidental, Girl Meets Boy, The First Person and Other Stories, There but for the, Artful, How to be both, and Public Library and other stories. Hotel World was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the Orange Prize and The Accidental was shortlisted for the Man Booker and the Orange Prize. How to be both won the Baileys Prize, the Goldsmiths Prize and the Costa Novel Award and was shortlisted for the Man Booker and the Folio Prize. Ali Smith lives in Cambridge.

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Book Info

Publication date

26th May 2005

Author

Ali Smith

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Publisher

Penguin Books Ltd

Format

Hardback

Categories

Literary Fiction
All Shortlists and Winners
eBook Favourites


ISBN

9780241141908

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