#18 — Swing Time

Swing Time by Zadie Smith
Rating: 5/5
  • There are two young dancers who are close friends growing up– one is talented, the other is less so; as they grow older, life circumstances force them to take different paths in life
  • To just explain the plot does the novel a great injustice, as it is secondary to the characters. Each character has a distinct purpose as they offer slightly differing points of view
  • In many ways this novel is not unique. There are other fictional/non-fictional books out there that discuss the effects of race and class. While each character in Smith’s novel seems to neatly fall into familiar archetypes, the end result doesn’t seem quite so calculated. The story itself reads naturally and well; all of the characters are sympathetic despite the things that they do– Smith neither justifies nor disparages the people, their circumstances or their viewpoints, which is very hard to do and was done extremely well