No Time Like the Present by Nadine Gordimer

60%

15 Critic Reviews

No Time Like the Present is written in grammar-flouting stream-of-consciousness prose that is sometimes only comprehensible when you take a run at it.
-Toronto Star

Synopsis

A sharply observed new novel about post-apartheid South Africa from the Nobel Prize winner

Nadine Gordimer is one of our most telling contemporary writers. With each new work, she attacks—with a clear-eyed fierceness, a lack of sentimentality, and a deep understanding of the darkest depths of the human soul—her eternal themes: the inextricable link between personal and communal history; the inescapable moral ambiguities of daily life; the political and racial tensions that persist in her homeland, South Africa. And in each new work is fresh evidence of her literary genius: in the sharpness of her psychological insights, the stark beauty of her language, the complexity of her characters, and the difficult choices with which they are faced.

In No Time Like the Present, Gordimer trains her keen eye on Steve and Jabulile, an interracial couple living in a newly, tentatively, free South Africa. They have a daughter, Sindiswa; they move to the suburbs; Steve becomes a lecturer at a university; Jabulile trains to become a lawyer; there is another child, a boy this time. There is nothing so extraordinary about their lives, and yet, in telling their story and the stories of their friends and families, Gordimer manages to capture the tortured, fragmented essence of a nation struggling to define itself post-apartheid.

The subject is contemporary, but Gordimer’s treatment is, as ever, timeless. In No Time Like the Present, she shows herself once again a master novelist, at the height of her prodigious powers.
 

About Nadine Gordimer

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Nadine Gordimer, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1991, is the author of fourteen novels, more than ten volumes of stories, and three nonfiction collections. She lives in Johannesburg, South Africa.
 
Published March 27, 2012 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 432 pages
Genres: Current Affairs, Political & Social Sciences, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for No Time Like the Present
All: 15 | Positive: 8 | Negative: 7

Kirkus

Excellent
Mar 05 2012

Gordimer writes movingly and piercingly about the struggles after the Struggle.

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Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Gillian Slovo on Mar 23 2012

In these scenes, as well as in the visits by the children to their grandfather's lands, the curious dispassion of Gordimer's prose gains power.

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NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Francine Prose on Apr 06 2012

The scenes in which these shifts of allegiance transpire provide a perfect example of what literature can give us that history books cannot.

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NPR

Good
Reviewed by Maureen Corrigan on Apr 11 2012

No Time Like the Present is not so much a novel about "selling out" as it is about sanely navigating around the pitfalls of normalcy; about remaining committed without fossilizing into a zealot.

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Book Reporter

Excellent
Reviewed by Michael Magras on Apr 27 2012

NO TIME LIKE THE PRESENT is a reminder of what fiction can be: complex, committed and thoroughly absorbing.

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Toronto Star

Below average
Reviewed by Emily Donaldson on May 05 2012

No Time Like the Present is written in grammar-flouting stream-of-consciousness prose that is sometimes only comprehensible when you take a run at it.

Read Full Review of No Time Like the Present | See more reviews from Toronto Star

LA Times

Above average
Reviewed by Martin Rubin on Apr 08 2012

Artfully done, but can it mask (or compensate for) outbreaks of an abrupt, careless style, a throbbing undercurrent of arrogance evident in her novelistic methodology?

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Globe and Mail

Excellent
Reviewed by Darryl Whetter on Jun 22 2012

Nadine Gordimer continues to write some of the – if not the – most nuanced, attentive and vibrant political novels in English. She forcefully, yet never didactically, reminds...readers of the freedoms and privileges so many of us take for granted.

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The Independent

Excellent
Reviewed by Boyd Tonkin on Mar 16 2012

...her free-style, high-velocity storytelling delivers a visceral immediacy and intensity that lets us inhabit the minds, and share the views, of her characters with the minimum of novelistic fuss.

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Denver Post

Below average
Reviewed by John Broening on Apr 29 2012

The novel seems to have been written in great haste, without correction or revision. Gordimer writes an artless, jargon-ridden, run-on prose, full of political pamphlet language

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Chicago Tribune

Below average
Reviewed by Martin Rubin on Apr 25 2012

Even the most seasoned students of South African culture might find themselves at sea, so what about the less informed?

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Newsday

Excellent
Reviewed by Susan Reynolds on Apr 24 2012

"No Time Like the Present" is Gordimer's best novel since her first, "The Lying Days," written in 1953.

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Business Week

Below average
Reviewed by Craig Seligman on Apr 09 2012

At some point I realized that what had been an intelligent pleasure had turned into a slog.

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Tulsa World

Below average
Reviewed by Gordon Houser on Apr 29 2012

It sometimes reads like notes taken in haste. Such complexity will put off many readers, who may struggle to get through this novel.

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Pieces Blog

Below average
Reviewed by Michelle on Apr 04 2012

...the way Gordimer tells this story makes the book an important artifact, perhaps even an important literary artifact, but, for me at least, it didn’t make the book an excellent piece of fiction.

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Reader Rating for No Time Like the Present
57%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 51 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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