Ali Smith’s There but for the is a whimsical, poetic and playful story about a man who, in the middle of dinner, decides to lock himself in the host’s guestroom for several months. Somewhat Kafkaesque, but with a sense of humour to bring out the cynicism. We learn about Miles Garth, the elusive, enigmatic guest, through the stories of four personalities connected to him .Wordplay and puns are aplenty in this novel that celebrates life and language. There is a truth somewhere too, but it is approached sideways, and is felt rather than articulated.

Book Review

Book Review: There but for the by Ali Smith

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