Reviews

The Fraud by Zadie Smith

betsyemany's review

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challenging reflective slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

jadeliizabeth13's review

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emotional reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0

timna_wyckoff's review

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3.0

I got about half way through and decided to bail. Each short chapter was a complete and utter delight. The sum of the parts, however, became tedious. What a bizarre combination.

miss_blackbird's review

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dark funny reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

The fraudulous truth.

drdreuh's review against another edition

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3.5

(3.5) "The Fraud" is one of those books that really requires easy access to Google as you read. It hovers quite in the weeds - of Victorian era (I guess?) literature and the end of the slave trade in the UK. Zadie Smith seems not to deem it necessary to clue the under-educationed reader into the big picture.

There its lots to love in "The Fraud", especially in the prose - its full of little poignent observations, not a small amount of salaciousness, and truly laugh out loud snarks - but it can also be quite tedious. The compilation of media - and the topic of fraud - and setting hearkens Hernan Diaz's pulitzer-winning "Trust". Similarly, it seems excruciatingly well researched, but hits a little hollow. I kept waiting to fall in love with story, but never did. 

I wondered, at times, whether the story was somewhat intended as allegory. (I submit as evidence the poem at the start of VOLUME EIGHT.)

Lines I loved:
She did not care for organized leisure nor the kind of people who sought it out.
The other life she might have lived, had only every single thing been different.
Prayer was the only power they had to modify the world.
It is hard indeed to judge a respectable woman on her source of income, ... when so very few means of procuring an income are open to her.
Children are children, easily influenced by the adult mood.
It is the perverse business of mirrors never to inform women of their beauty in the present moment, preferring instead to operate on a system of cruel delay.
Why the Sisyphean task of breakfast, lunch and dinner, made and cleared and made again?
Wise people nevet consider the question of love without also considering the question of money.
Children are sometimes a bitter harvest.
She wished that life's pages could be flicked forward as in a novel, to see if what followed was worth attending to in the present.
'Feminine Troubles' remained a demigod ... and met with no opposition or questions of any kind, ever.
Justice takes time, and ... the freedoms of a minority are rarely self-evident to the majority.

kulera's review

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Too character-focused for my short attention span 

bosmith13's review

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slow-paced

2.0

beccarwolf's review against another edition

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I think I’ll try the physical book if I try again. The audiobook was a hard to follow - at least while I was doing other things. 

anniebh's review

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adventurous challenging emotional funny informative medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.25

jo_22's review against another edition

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Will try again not on audiobook— doesn’t seem like a good one to read via audio