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26 Reviews
5 star:
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2 star:
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5.0 out of 5 stars A novel in an almost-McSweeney's mode
It's funny how infectious some of the little "tics" of the McSweeney's crowd are. For example, the title of this novel, "And now you can go," is very much in the McSweeney's idiom. It's kind of like the way the McSweeney's-ites think it's just a riot to end a letter with, "That is all." Beginning the title with "And" partakes of...
Published on April 28 2004

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Reads like a first novel...
"And Now You Can Go" is a novel that seemed to have been written in the same style that so many other first novelists select. The usage of first person narrative guiding us through an assortment of experienced events informed by a place or life changing experience. It's a story of a woman's life after being attacked by a stranger and how the effects of this...
Published on Nov. 21 2003 by L. Lucas


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5.0 out of 5 stars A novel in an almost-McSweeney's mode, April 28 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: And Now You Can Go (Hardcover)
It's funny how infectious some of the little "tics" of the McSweeney's crowd are. For example, the title of this novel, "And now you can go," is very much in the McSweeney's idiom. It's kind of like the way the McSweeney's-ites think it's just a riot to end a letter with, "That is all." Beginning the title with "And" partakes of that same twee, ironic spirit.
If you love that twee, ironic spirit--if that's your idea of literary quality--this is just the novel for you.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Crazy World, March 10 2004
This review is from: And Now You Can Go (Hardcover)
What do you do with yourself when something so terrifically frightening engages you & then walks away as if nothing happened? Would you go a bit kooky? Ellis does.
But, perhaps Vendela Vida lets Ellis get a bit too whacked out. A man points a gun at Ellis in the park, she talks him out of hurting her, & then every nutball in her universe, past, present & future begins clammoring the walls around her.
Her roommate writes poems about taking out the garbage, Ellis has sex with some questionable guys, she goes home to visit her strange (kind of unbelievable) family, she travels to the Phillipine's, her doorman is a drunk, she hides in cabinets, she cuts her hair into a mullet... it goes on & on & on- it's as if the author was afraid that if she didn't use all of her good ideas in this slim volume, they might fade away forever.
Although at times I was slightly aghast at the world Ellis inhabits, I had to admire the quirky prose & the author's ability to have fun with the page.
Be prepared to suspend your disbelief & enjoy!
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2.0 out of 5 stars clever prose, March 3 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: And Now You Can Go (Hardcover)
On the whole, depressing. Some great writing and clever lines interspersed in an "okay" story. I never came to care for any of the characters. And you'll certainly see why she and Mr. Dave Eggers get along - they write in the same style.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Go get a pencil!, Feb. 18 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: And Now You Can Go (Hardcover)
With this debut novel, Vendela Vida has claimed a place on my very short list of the authors I must read with a pencil in hand (for underlining the good parts and marking the margins with stars of gratitude and exclamation points of delight.) When I finished And Now You Can Go, I tried to move on to another (acclaimed, prizewinning) novel but I couldn't stop thinking about that little book, that Ellis with her increased moral depth perception and bad haircut. So I read it again.
The story of Ellis's journey into "the world of people dealt unexpected blows" is full of gracefully rendered questions about guilt and innocence, strength and vulnerabilty, hurting and healing, and giving and receiving. For a new author and (I think) a young-ish person, Vendela Vida is preternaturally insightful about relationships. Actually, she's a little scary, but in a really good way!
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1.0 out of 5 stars Embarrassing, Feb. 17 2004
By 
HumbleReader (Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: And Now You Can Go (Hardcover)
I think that good reviews must be written based on things such as how quickly a book can be read. Maybe good is measured by how many pointless observations a narrator can make, or how shallow a character can be. It's embarrassing that such a boring, flimsy story can receive such positive reviews, but maybe the fact is simply that it's good to have friends in high places.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Cosmo Girl, Feb. 17 2004
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This review is from: And Now You Can Go (Hardcover)
Aside from the language being as superfical and as workshopped as can possibly be, the book reads as a Readers Digest story drawn out into a novel. There is no weight here. There is no urgency here. It feels completely constructed.
There is a reason why American Fiction is on its deathbed with publications such as the New York Times pulling fiction reviews and replacing them with nonfiction reviews, and its because of these abominable MFA books.
I had a horribly difficult time doing this review because in the end, I just didn't know what to say about the book. There is nothing there. You come away with nothing. Maybe this is a new(or the reigning) genre of Anti-literature.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Vida Cafe Vendela Mocha With Skim (Decaf), Feb. 14 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: And Now You Can Go (Hardcover)
This is the worst novel I have ever read. It is laughingly bad, which almost makes it good. Nothing happens in it, save for a holdup. An not even a good holdup. Jsut a run-of-the-mill holdup.
Obviously, if you sleep with you-know-who, not only do you get a book published, but you get a literary magazine which helps intimidate the usual, useful idiots into giving good reviews. But the critics' lies can only go so far against Reality.
And so far, all the pomo indsiders have failed at creating characters bigger than themselves. Instead they have created caricatures of themselves.
Eternity is on truth's side, as thus as time goes by, the hypesters shall suffer in proportion to all they hype. This book will be forgotten. Don't waste your money on Knopf's vanity projects.
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5.0 out of 5 stars extremely witty, well-paced novel lives up to the hype!, Feb. 6 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: And Now You Can Go (Hardcover)
Unlike some close-minded readers, I found the premise of basing an entire novel around one incident fascinating and was hooked after the first page. However, it was El's dry wit and sharp, detailed observations that I quickly found I could laugh out loud at and even identify with. The often sarcastic and self-deprecating tone kept me chuckling, even at seemingly serious, inappropriate moments. Unexpected moments like that are what make a story truly stand out to me. This is a terrific first novel that keeps up a swift, satisfying pace, which kept me up, finishing the book late in the night.
I recommend this highly to those who are open to examining a potentially harrowing incident from a fresh, and often very witty, perspective.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the least artistic novel I've read in three years, Jan. 23 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: And Now You Can Go (Hardcover)
Vida's first novel reads like a drawn-out workshop exercise. One can almost imagine a professor telling her, "Have one of your characters held up at gun point and see where it goes."
Unfortunately it doesn't go anywhere, other than for an aimless stroll through the extremely shallow, bland psyche of our dimwitted narrator. There is no depth here--the characters are flat, the potential emotional complexity engendered by this sort of traumatic event is basically ignored, and the first-person, present tense narration gives the book all the heft of an overwrought teenager's diary.
On the plus side, the book is so threadbare, provokes so little introspection or contemplation, that one can read it and cast it aside in a couple of hours--though it did pain me to place it back on the shelf between Updike and Voltaire.
Spend your time and money elsewhere.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Uncanny and True, Jan. 17 2004
By 
Lola (San Francisco) - See all my reviews
This review is from: And Now You Can Go (Hardcover)
I did not expect to like this book because of all the media hype around its author, who is married to wunderkind Dave Eggers and edits the ridiculously trendy journal The Believer. I took it off the shelf on a whim and was immediately absorbed. The narrative has such fluidity and the author writes with such unaffected verve that the story seems to happen in real-time. Vida has captured something uncannily true about what is at risk in a society and its people when belief is no longer necessary to being. Her particular talent is in the seeming artlessness of her style, which is so plain it approaches lyricism. The observations are without guile; the interactions hopeless, ambivalent, and honest. Very little happens in this story, but the resonance of the narrator's emotional paralysis is powerful and stays with you long after the story ends. I have great admiration for Ms. Vida and this fine novel.
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And Now You Can Go: A Novel
And Now You Can Go: A Novel by Vendela Vida (Paperback - Aug. 24 2004)
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