The Autograph Man Alex Li Tandem sells autographs His business is to hunt for names on paper collect them sell them and occasionally fake them all to give the people what they want a little piece of Fame But what do

  • Title: The Autograph Man
  • Author: Zadie Smith
  • ISBN: 9780375703874
  • Page: 119
  • Format: Paperback
  • Alex Li Tandem sells autographs His business is to hunt for names on paper, collect them, sell them, and occasionally fake them all to give the people what they want a little piece of Fame But what does Alex want Only the return of his father, the end of religion, something for his headache, three different girls, infinite grace, and the rare autograph of forties movieAlex Li Tandem sells autographs His business is to hunt for names on paper, collect them, sell them, and occasionally fake them all to give the people what they want a little piece of Fame But what does Alex want Only the return of his father, the end of religion, something for his headache, three different girls, infinite grace, and the rare autograph of forties movie actress Kitty Alexander With fries.The Autograph Man is a deeply funny existential tour around the hollow trappings of modernity celebrity, cinema, and the ugly triumph of symbol over experience It offers further proof that Zadie Smith is one of the most staggeringly talented writers of her generation.

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      Published :2018-09-27T03:56:37+00:00

    One thought on “The Autograph Man”

    1. One of those serendipitous moments for me: looking for another of Zadie Smith's books NW,, I chanced upon this one. What a find. It did take me a couple of pages to settle in with this story but I was hooked from then on. A novel about a young man, his friends and a few months in their lives shown deftly in the hilarious, droll, sometimes very serious but always brilliant words of Zadie Smith.Alex-Li Tandem is half Chinese, is Jewish, has a black girlfriend, a best mate who's a Rabbi and another [...]

    2. ORIGINAL REVIEW:James Wood in histhesis review covers all the thoughts I had on this one (and more and more) and is the most worthwhile review of this book around. For those who aren’t that interested, let me sum up the basics: lapsed Anglo-Chinese Jew Alex-Li is an autograph hunter fixated on Kitty Alexander, fictional Hollywood starlet of the 1950s. He spends his time writing a book on Jews v. Christians, spurning his faith, squabbling with rabbis, upsetting his bald girlfriend and cavorting [...]

    3. What started out as a promising read quickly turned into aally crappy one. I know this makes me sound somewhat like a whiny seventh grader when I say this, but god, this book was booooorring. I read the entire thing hoping that at some point it'd turn the corner and pick up the pace, but no, it just basically ground itself out into a completely anti-climactic ending. But before that we got pages and pages ofI don't even know what, I disliked this book so much that I immediately purged it from my [...]

    4. How can you possibly follow up White Teeth? Well you can't, but Smith gives us a very different but equally enjoyable novel. The plot of The Autograph Man is, shall we say, a bit more conventional than White Teeth. Smith's wonderful ability to capture speech in her prose is as admirable here as ever and importantly, it's funny! Sadly this novel has been relegated to the sidelines by all of her other novels but true Smith fans will read this and keep it as their dirty little secret.

    5. I enjoyed Smith's writing style far more than I enjoyed the plot (which promised some things but delivered others) or the characters (who are neatly drawn, but on paper that is very thin indeed); but even the sometimes whimsical, sometimes nervy, sometimes delightful turns of her prose weren't enough to save The Autograph Man from being something of a disappointment. It's more mature in some ways than White Teeth, darker, and I would imagine in many ways a reflection on Smith's part on the fame [...]

    6. Not Zadie Smith at her finest - but nonetheless a very accomplished, intriguing and of course brilliantly written novel as well as an interesting insight into the bizarre world of celebrity obsession and autograph trading.

    7. One of the single most memorable books I've ever read and totally underappreciated. It's so good. It's about a young man totally at a loss in his life and he has to do a lot of stupid things to realize he actually has it all pretty good. She chooses a very funny little adventure and a very special character to help him get his head sorted.It's hard for me to say why this book is so great. I think Smith just has a lot of talent but is often constrained by others expectations of her talent. I thin [...]

    8. My first acquaintance with Zadie Smith's work, The Autograph Man has left me convinced of her far-reaching talent. While this book has plenty of flaws, Ms. Smith's story-telling exuberance (for me) wins out and makes my beefs with it seem picayune by comparison. We follow Alex-Li Tandem, Chinese/English/confused Jew/young alkie/stoner/titular "Autograph Man" as he tries (mostly unsuccessfully) to get past the death of his father thirteen years prior. He's pretty much stuck in Schlub-land, gettin [...]

    9. She hopes for nothing except fine weather and a resolution. She wants to end properly, like a good sentence.Zadie Smith has been on my list of authors to read for several years, but I'd only heard of her more well-known novels, White Teeth and On Beauty. I found The Autograph Man on a bookshelf in the teacher's lounge at my school and immediately picked it up. The story was difficult to get into at first, as the main character, Alex Li-Tandem, didn't start off being too sympathetic or relatable. [...]

    10. I'd delayed reading this book for many years because of the mediocre reviews but there it was: a lone English novel, in a Spanish book shop, so I decided to take the plunge. Plus I had just finished rereading On Beauty, which is enjoyable and insightful, and works so well as an updated Howard's End.Unfortunately the reviews were right. This feels like it was difficult to write; you can sense the sections where Smith must have thrown up her hands in despair. It makes several clunky attempts to of [...]

    11. Ο συλλέκτης αυτογράφων είναι ένα βιβλίο που τελειώνοντάς το, μου άφησε μια αίσθηση γλυκύτητας. Έχει μια ιδιαίτερα φρέσκια και ενδιαφέρουσα αφηγηματική απόδοση της ιστορίας με πολύ ζωντανούς και καθημερινούς διαλόγους. Με γραφή που υμνεί την φιλοδοξία, την επιμονή, το πέρα [...]

    12. From The Book Hooligan“All fandom is a form of tunnel vision: warm and dark and infinite in one direction.” - The NarratorThere is nothing more treacherous than fame. At one point, it is an asset then, at the next, it is a liability. This is because nobody is the master of fame and everyone, even the Brad Pitts and the Angelina Jolies of the world will fade into obscurity. The only people who can profit and prosper from fame are those from the outside of fame, those that make the fame of oth [...]

    13. One of the problems with this book, is that it will inevitably be read with 'White Teeth' in mind, and unfortunately, it really doesn't compare. While it demonstrates Smith's tongue-in-cheek humour, it is incredibly slow to start, and the characters are such superficial creations, that it is often difficult to empathise with them. I agree with another reviewer who suggests that Smith seems to have packed too many ideas in here. This results in a novel which is not as satisfyingly complete as her [...]

    14. A thoroughly modern fable that seems to be about the over-identification with symbols, from the marks of Kabbalah to the titular autographs. It's brisker and more playful than White Teeth (which was plenty playful) but also lacks its human scope. It also suffers from a frequent Zadie Smith problem I have; she seems decidedly more capable of sympathy for her characters than I am. Note to self: reading about alcoholics is annoying if you want to care about their decisions at all.

    15. This book gives the international gesture of 1 finger down your throat.Appalling, I deserve a medal or an insanity check for finishing this.

    16. Ei Zadie Smithin Nimikirjoitusmiehelle voi antaa tähtiä. Välillä on nollaa ja välillä kaikkea ykkösestä vitoseen ja ylikin. Päädyin samaan epätaajuuteen kuin Swing Timeä lukiessa.Smith on kielensä kanssa uskomattoman taitava. Taitaisin jäädä kakkoseksi, jos joutuisin (tai pääsisin) mukaan Alex-Li Tandemin ja kavereiden dialogeihin.Nimikirjoitusmies on ihan reaaliaikaista kerrontaa ja vauhtia piisaa. Kun päähenkilöitäkin on vain yksi, kiinalais-juutalainen Alex-Li Tandem, tu [...]

    17. Of all of Ms. Smith's books, "The Autograph Man," her second novel, garnered the most mixed reaction, which is why I read it last. I can certainly understand the disappointment for those critics and fans who awaited its arrival after her stunning debut, "White Teeth." Its tone, especially in the first half, is somber and claustrophobic, as the reader follows the protagonist, Alex Li-Tandem, through the aftermath of a drug-induced hangover as he prepares for the anniversary of his father's death. [...]

    18. This book has performed a necessary feat--revived my love of literature and STORY post a 3-year, year-round, purely academic stint. An unmatched feeling (exclusive to the luxury of reading for pleasure) constantly arises: I read, I stare at a household object or tree and repeat the gifted string of words, thinking, how in the world did anyone know to write this? How did Smith know to wrap up the humour of philography, the elusiveness of fame, the over-the-top sanctity of religious belief, and th [...]

    19. I am so glad that this is the second zadie smith book that I have read, for rest assured, if it had been the first it would have been the only.This is appalling and I am not sure what kept me going through its 410 pages.Its starts Ok with a prelogue that reads as though it has been tagged on. Three kids and a father go to a wrestling match between Big Daddy and Haystacks and the one child gets an autograph. Only by reading reviews of the book did I realise that the father died during the scrambl [...]

    20. Zadie Smith certainly has a way with characters and dialogue. Her characters live. (The only character I found a bit underdeveloped was Esther, but this may have been intentional as we only see her through Alex's thoughts and what others say to him for most of the book.)The plot is inventive and, despite one early section, kept my interest throughout. I will certainly forgive the only one or two quirky areas where I thought some editing might've been good in order to have the exuberant, delibera [...]

    21. The Autograph ManAlex Li Tandem is an obsessed fan of the Hollywood actress Kitty. Alex is an autograph man who wants to meet his idol. But will Kitty recognize her fan? And what happens when there are allegations that his prized possession of Kitty's autograph is a fake?This is a heavy piece of writing. Alex is a Chinese Jew who divides the world into Jewish and Goyish. He writes heartfelt fan letters to Kitty for thirteen years while being unable to have an effective communication with his gir [...]

    22. I was trying to decide between four and five stars which is kind of ridiculous because Smith is an extraordinary writer. She takes the scenes and actions of everyday life and describes them with words I would never think of using but when I read them I think there is no other away to describe what she is talking about. She and her prose are whip smart. I thought I would finish the book in two days, but I got bogged down a bit in the characters. The plot and the message being delivered seemed to [...]

    23. I really enjoyed White Teeth, so expectations were high for this one. But the Autograph Man is nothing like White Teeth. Sure Zadie Smith's impressive writing style is still there, thank god, but though the plot sounded interesting, I think the book still needed a bit more time to really pull it off. I much preferred the second part to the first but not enough to say that I would read it again or recommend it. It's ok, but there's better out there.

    24. despite all the negative things i've heard about this book (eg the james wood review in lrb), i really enjoyed it as an exploration into the weird (and unhealthy) ways reverence can manifest, and the way someone put their smartness to very shallow use. even tho as wood says, smith's characters often verge on cartoonish, they still remain believable to me and i think this is actually an intelligent way of pointing out the absurdity of so much of human life/culture??

    25. i’m going to pretend this wasn’t zadie smith and was instead some strange debut from someone i probably won’t read again

    26. Sometimes hilarious, often frustrating, and at rare times giving thought for pause, I felt it was an enjoyable read. The plot, as it often is in these types of books, is subversive to excellent characters and situational descriptions.

    27. liked it a little less than her previous book probably because the main character was such a tool. but i got into it enough.

    28. Le lecteur ien moyen n'est pas particulièrement enthousiaste face à ce livre. C'était le deuxième roman de Zadie Smith, après White Teeth (qu'il faudrait vraiment que je relise), & on voit que le lectorat avait pas l'intention de lui en laisser passer une. Je suis contente de ne pas l'avoir lu au moment de sa publication. Je suis contente de l'avoir découvert à tête reposée, loin des attentes qui pesaient sur sa pauvre petite reliure. C'est le dernier roman de Zadie Smith qu'il me r [...]

    29. Truthfully, I'm really not sure how to review this book. Smith writes as if she were trying to be your cool pal from high school -- the one with all the latest dirt and the the right attitude. I found it off at first, but I have come around to it a little. But there are still questions, like: Why does she concentrate so exclusively on her male characters? Does the incessant smoking of joints and drinking too much ring false at times because it is something she knows too well or not enough? Plent [...]

    30. not a flawless work of fiction (whateverthatmeans) but i've got a soft spot for zadie smith. the thing is, i have taken it upon myself to handle this thing called literature in a logical and thoroughly disciplined manner. this means i do not usually forray into the 21st century, not until i get my head around what shaped it. but then come those moments when i need a breather from all the high brow genius and all the modern classics or, as i call it, 'books unsuitable for my daily commute'. so th [...]

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