Winter: Book summary and reviews of Winter by Ali Smith

Winter

A Novel (Seasonal Quartet)

by Ali Smith

Winter by Ali Smith X
Winter by Ali Smith
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' rating:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Published in USA  Jan 2018
    336 pages
    Genre: Novels

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this book

Book Summary

Smith's shapeshifting novel casts a warm, wise, merry and uncompromising eye over a post-truth era in a story rooted in history and memory and with a taproot deep in the evergreens, art and love.

WINTER. Bleak. Frosty wind, earth as iron, water as stone, so the old song goes. And now Art's mother is seeing things.

Come to think of it, Art's seeing things himself.

When four people, strangers and family, converge on a fifteen-bedroom house in Cornwall for Christmas, will there be enough room for everyone?

Winter. It makes things visible. In Ali Smith's Winter, life-force matches up to the toughest of the seasons.

Read a Sample

Click to the right or left of the sample to turn the page.
(If no book jacket appears in a few seconds, then we don't have an excerpt of this book or your browser is unable to display it)

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. This second installment in Smith's seasonal quartet combines captivating storytelling with a timely focus on social issues. Enthusiastically recommended; we're now eagerly awaiting Spring." - Library Journal

"Starred Review. Stunning prose...A sprightly, digressive, intriguing fandango on life and time." - Kirkus

"Though the approach misses more than it hits this time out, it's still an engaging novel due to the ecstatic energy of Smith's writing, which is always present on the page." - Publishers Weekly

"A capacious, generous shapeshifter of a novel ... [A] book with Christmas at its heart, in all its familiarity and estrangement: about time, and out of time, like the festival itself." - The Guardian (The Best Fiction of 2017)

"[There are] glimmers of life, laughter and love. ... Smith threads passages of delicately observed natural beauty throughout the ephemera. She often lets the language itself lead her (hence her love of puns), and the intricate narrative rolls back and forth smoothly in time." - The Times Literary Supplement (UK)

"The novel is lucid and tightly constructed. ... [I]ts disparate strands converge tautly to convey and deepen Smith's powerful political message. ... This wintry spirit of benevolence animates Smith's vision of a world where empathy overrides divisions and where animosity can melt like snow. ... Smith's voice, so wise and joyful, is the perfect antidote to troubled times: raw and bitter in the face of injustice, yet always alive to hope." - New Statesman (UK)

"Smith combines her state-of-the-moment themes with a preoccupation for how to behave in a meaningful way in an increasingly technocratic world - and she does so with an effervescent seriousness none of her peers can match." - Daily Mail (UK)

"Smith's prose - that trademark mischievous wit and wordplay, a joyful reminder of the most basic, elemental delights of reading - makes us see things differently ... The entire book is testament to the miraculous powers of the creative arts ... Winter firmly acknowledges the power of stories. Infused with some much needed humour, happiness and hope." - The Independent (UK)

"Combines comedy with social criticism, playfulness with political indictment...Structurally, the book is intricate: a collage of flashbacks, flash-forwards and interior monologues ... Smith is a self-consciously aesthetic writer who also has strong political convictions." - The Sunday Times (UK)

"If Ali Smith's four quartets in, and about, time do not endure to rank among the most original, consoling and inspiring of artistic responses to 'this mad and bitter mess' of the present, then we will have plunged into an even bleaker midwinter than people often fear." - Financial Times (UK)

"Refracted through the lens of a broken family in a broken home, Smith's vision is almost without redemption, but not quite; beneath the frozen ground, some hope exists." - The Times (UK)

"A novel of great ferocity, tenderness, righteous anger and generosity of spirit ... Winter is at its most luminously beautiful when the news fades and merges with recent and ancient history, a reminder that everything is cyclical. There is forgiveness here, and song, and comic resolution of sorts, but the abiding image is of the tenacity of nature and light." - The Observer (UK)

"(Smith) is cresting across the contemporary in a manner few novelists can manage. ... the end result is a book that makes one think, and thinky books are rare as hen's teeth these days." - The Scotsman (UK)

"One of Britain's most important novelists ... Winter is narrated with Smith's customary stylistic brio ... punctuated with clever word play ... Heartwarming." - The Irish Times

"Smith's deceptively unshowy writing evokes every shade of emotion. ... Themes and experiences entangle, making Winter a dense, satisfying read." - The Irish Independent

"Winter is typical of the Scottish writer's heart-starting (and often heart-stopping) fiction­: all spark, lark and jumper-lead, playful, witty and gloriously challenging. ... Balancing delicious and irreverent playfulness with deep seriousness, Smith's engineering of tone and mode is one of many facets of the novel's appeal." - The Australian

The information about Winter shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Author Information

Ali Smith Author Biography

Photo: Sarah Wood

Ali Smith was born in Inverness, Scotland in 1962 and lives in Cambridge. Her first book, Free Love and Other Stories, won the Saltire First Book Award. Her other short story collections are Other Stories And Other Stories (1999), The Whole Story and Other Stories (2003) and The First Person and Other Stories. Her novels include: Like (1997); Hotel World (2001), which won the Encore Award, the East England Arts Award of the Year and the Scottish Arts Council Book of the Year Award in 2002; The Accidental (2005), winner of the Whitbread Novel Award; and There but for the which was published by Hamish Hamilton in 2011. Her most recent work is Winter, published in the UK in 2017 and USA in early 2018.

Ali Smith also writes for the Guardian, the Scotsman and The Times Literary Supplement.

... Full Biography

Other books by Ali Smith at BookBrowse

7 more...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

More Recommendations

Readers Also Browsed . . .

more novels...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: La Belle Sauvage
    La Belle Sauvage
    by Philip Pullman
    Voted 2017 Best Young Adult Novel by BookBrowse's Subscribers

    I wasn't quite sure what to expect ...
  • Book Jacket: Leonardo da Vinci
    Leonardo da Vinci
    by Walter Isaacson
    The name Leonardo da Vinci is one of the most recognized in all of Western history, and his ...
  • Book Jacket: The Immortalists
    The Immortalists
    by Chloe Benjamin
    On a summer day in 1969 in New York City, the Gold children agree to seek out a mysterious ...
  • Book Jacket: The Kites
    The Kites
    by Romain Gary, Miranda Richmond Mouillot
    Published by New Directions for the first time in English, Romain Gary's The Kites tells a story of ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig

A story that is at once quirky, charming, heartbreaking, suspenseful and poignant.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Days When Birds Come Back
    by Deborah Reed

    A graceful testament to endurance, rebuilding, and the possibilities of coming home.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Mothers of Sparta

Mothers of Sparta: A Memoir

A dazzling literary memoir with shades of Mary Karr, Anne Lamott and Jenny Lawson.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

A J O A Thousand M B W O S

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.