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3.1 out of 5 stars
3.1 out of 5 stars
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Showing 1-8 of 8 reviews(5 star). Show all reviews
on April 28, 2004
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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on February 18, 2004
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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on February 6, 2004
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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on September 12, 2003
Vendela Vida's debut novel grabs you with the first sentence and doesn't let you go. The writing is unadorned and fast -- every word seems perfectly chosen. And the heroine is at turns charming, maddening, little-girl vulnerable, and old woman-wise. "And Now You Can Go" gets under your skin and stays there, long after you've turned the last page.
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on September 9, 2003
I absolutely could not put this book down once I read the opening page. It was everything I expected given Vida's brilliant work in the Believer (a fabulous magazine/journal)--The prose was fresh and insightful and it was full of the wonderfully constructed, beautiful sentences a reader is lucky to find even once in a book. Ellis was at once believable and easy to identify with, yet also was a portal to seeing a familiar world in a new way (in short, everything you could want in a protagonist). I highly recommend this book to anyone.
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on September 5, 2003
After seeing this book lauded in several magazines and newspapers I was curious to check it out for myself. This book is an unstoppable read with a lot of wit, a dash of thriller and fanstastic detail. Vida is a great storyteller. I agree with the other reveiws on the length - I was sad there wasn't more to savor.
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on August 31, 2003
This is a debut novel by an author who's destined to go places. Being Dave Egger's wife won't hurt, but I don't think she needs him as a ladder.
Ellis, a 21yo woman in NY, is sort of mugged in a park - but nothing really happens except that she scares him off by quoting poetry. Afterward, however, she carries on with her life acting like she's got PTS with the surreal, crazy-making behavior of someone who's been victimized, including quite a string of inappropriate men. She ricochets to the Philippines to - get this! - help doctors with eye surgery for poor people.
Only 200 pages long, Vida packs her book with lean, mean, and wonderful prose. At the end, you may find yourself wishing, as I did, that she'd gone on for another 200 pages.
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on August 30, 2003
This is a good book. It's very companionable, and the writing is straightforward and elegant both. I like it a lot.
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