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Publisher's Summary

Dazzlingly energetic and deeply human, Swing Time is a story about friendship and music and true identity, how they shape us and how we can survive them. Moving from Northwest London to West Africa, it is an exuberant dance to the music of time.
Two brown girls dream of being dancers - but only one, Tracey, has talent. The other has ideas: about rhythm and time, about black bodies and black music, what constitutes a tribe or makes a person truly free. It's a close but complicated childhood friendship that ends abruptly in their early 20s, never to be revisited but never quite forgotten, either....
©2016 Zadie Smith (P)2016 Penguin Books Ltd.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By FRANCINE TAFFIN on 01-07-17

A good story, shame about the narrator

Zadie Smith has not disappointed. I wouldn't have imagined following a main character (the narrator) that seems so clueless about the world around her, be it her family, her boss, the African village where she spends weeks, or her erstwhile bff Tracey, but Smith manages to get us to tag along. And at the end of the story, she does seem to connect with reality at last!

What really spoiled my enjoyment was the reader, with her soporific tone. But that wasn't the worst. I just wish she'd refrained from doing accents, they just sounded so off and daft.

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Customer Reviews

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5 out of 5 stars
By Margery on 05-17-17

Smith's best yet with perfect narrator

I choose Swing Time because all my friends were raving about it. They were right! This is a gripping, perfectly-paced read which explores our main character's challenging relationships with her mother, employer and - above all - her childhood best friend. There is a toxic dimension to all these key female relationships but Smith excels in showing the complicity and complexity of each. Bennett-Warner provides the perfect reading (especially of our insecure main character) and I hope this will be the first of many recordings for audible.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Patricia on 12-17-16

Couldn't stop reading

Loved the story, the subtlety of the characterisations and thoughtful insights into race celebrity, power of money. I think this is Zadie Smith's best book.

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3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Fiona O'Connell on 01-29-17

Mixed feelings

Beautifully written - I love her character details, observations on human nature, family, cultural identity. However the book frequently swings back and forth in time and place which I find difficult with an audiobook. I found the early 'Tracy' period very engaging but the later Aimee/Africa period was ho-hum. The narrator was outstanding.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Anonymous User on 02-18-18

Great reading, okay story

The voice narrator was excellent, especially handling so many accents. The story is uneven - one half of it is great, excellent characterisation, gripping plot, but the second half of the story involving a famous dancer and social enterprise in Africa was dull and the characters felt half-fleshed. It would have been a better book without that plot line!

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