Rachel Cusk, the award-winning and critically acclaimed author of Outline and Transit, completes the transcendent literary trilogy with Kudos, a novel of unsettling power.A woman writer visits a Europe in flux, where questions of personal and political identity are rising to the surface and the trauma of change is opening up new possibilities of loss and renewal. Within the rituals of literary culture, Faye finds the human story in disarray amid differing attitudes toward the public performance of the creative persona. She begins to identify among the people she meets a tension between truth and representation, a fissure that accrues great dramatic force as Kudos reaches a profound and beautiful climax.In this conclusion to her groundbreaking trilogy, Cusk unflinchingly explores the nature of family and art, justice and love, and the ultimate value of suffering. She is without question one of our most important living writers....
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Kudos (Outline #3) Reviews
I had thought while I was reading it that I preferred the second book in the trilogy, Transit, which had helped me to "get" the first book, Outline, in a way I hadn't previously -- but then the last bit, maybe 20 pp., blew me away, first Faye's meal with her publisher and translator, then her phone call from her son, and then the final, indelible image of her on the beach. I don't know what to think, and I don't really know what it was all about, except that it was more about the perception ...more
Lang geleden dat ik zo ben gegrepen door een verhaal. ‘Kudo’s’ is een aaneenschakeling van gesprekken die hoofdpersoon Faye heeft met personen die ze ontmoet: van haar buurman in het vliegtuig tot de gasten op een literatuurfestival en haar eigen zoon. Ze beschrijft alles wat gebeurt met dezelfde intensiteit; alles lijkt even belangrijk: hoe iemand zich beweegt, of hoe iemand het leven ziet. Ze legt karakters genadeloos bloot, en ik blijf achter met de vraag: wie is Faye zélf, en welke vragen he ...more
The third volume of a trilogy, this novel is as wonderful as it is difficult to describe. There is more beauty in this volume, but also a couple of sequences that I found below an incredibly high average. This is the most literary novel, because the narrator is at a literary event, but the literariness is comically undermined again and again by individuals’ desire to tell the narrator stories rather than learn about the narrator’s fiction writing. This is also the most humorous of the three.
In a ...more
The Greek word “kudos” was a singular noun that had become plural by a process of back formation: a kudo on its own had never actually existed, but in modern usage its collective meaning had been altered by the confusing presence of a plural suffix, so that “kudos” therefore meant, literally, “prizes”, but in its original form it connoted the broader concept of recognition or acclaim, as well as being suggestive of something which might be falsely claimed by someone else.
Unlike with Outline an ...more
ok this book is...bonkers! bewitching! i feel like this one had some exceptionally strong moments but didn’t have the like all encompassing liminality of “outline” or “transit”. i imagine this is intentional because you can like feel cusk weaving herself in “kudos” more than ever. i devoured the scene near the end when faye, paola, and her translator felicia are talking over wine at a restaurant after trying to get into a burnt church. the finale of “kudos” is absolutely absurd and i loved it. i ...more
Faye, a British writer, is on her way to a book conference somewhere in southern Europe. She is expected to give several interviews and to take part in social events. The people she meets all have a story to tell – and they do. Faye herself hardly ever talks, especially not about herself, she somehow makes people around her open up and share their thoughts with her. First, it’s the passenger seated next to her in the plane leaving London. Later she meets interviewers who much rather talk about t ...more
It took me a bit longer to appreciate this one than it did with the first two, I suspect because I read those two right in a row and was captivated by the style. For some reason I struggled with that style in this one, at least for the first half, and then it drew me in again like the others. The ending . . . either I'm not perceptive enough to see the deep significance of the ending, or the symbolism of the ending is so obvious to be a little insulting to the reader. At any rate I think Rachel ...more