Literary Fiction

Swing Time

by Zadie Smith

Quick take

The book feels like the culmination of all her talents: a gift for character and dialogue, a story rooted in a deep cultural and racial awareness

Why I love it

Zadie Smith means different things to different people. Some arrive at her novels first, like the ambitious family saga White Teeth, finding a self-assured voice that marked her as an immediate fiction talent. Others discovered Zadie Smith the versatile cultural critic who could write a loving review for the 50 Cent movie Get Rich or Die Tryin’. Smith is an ambidextrous writer'”perhaps just a natu...

Member thoughts

32% Love
45% Like
20% Dislike
  • Tanya A.

    Staten Island, NY


  • Anne G.

    Brooklyn , NY

    "Zadie Smith captures a friendship through all walks of life. Beautifully written, Swingtime shows us characters that are unpredictable, while simultaneously relatable. "

  • Karin N.

    Chicago, IL

    "About difficult friendship, wealth and globalization, fame and arrogance, proximity to talent. Perfect book for a book club or discussion group, this book warrants a reread."

  • Rebecca H.

    Minneapolis, MN

    "Great writing. The story went in a few directions I did not expect; pleasantly so! "

  • Tonja W.

    La Verne, CA

    "Wow! Follows the friendship of two "Brown" girls from childhood to adulthood. Takes the reader through time, cultures, and countries. Music and relationships the underlying theme. "

  • Kelsey M.

    Kent, WA

    "A story of two friends, and the way their friendship reverberates throughout their lives. Loved the complexity of the characters, and of course Zadie Smith's incredible writing. "

  • Megan A.

    Kansas City, MO

    "I am in constant awe of Smith's ability to step back and think through things clearly, bursting through my own personal cognitive dissonance and forcing me to look at the world from a different angle."

  • Suzanne N.

    Plymouth, MA

    "Really wanted these girls too succeed. Kept asking myself why they were making such bad choices but that's what made them real."

  • Anastasia Z.

    Baltimore, MD

    "I bought another Smith book before I was a quarter of the way through this one. Yes."

  • Ally T.

    Iowa City, IA

    "Compelling characters and brilliant writing."

  • Emily T.

    Brooklyn, NY

    "What can be said that hasn't been said already? Zadie Smith creates an amazing world for her unnamed protagonist. "