This is the book I was supposed to never finish, abandon halfway through, and not like. Add to that the fact that I simply could not get through White Teeth when it first came out. But. That was 12 years ago. Apparently I am a different person know, or maybe Smith is a different writer, maybe both. I loved this book. Simply put, Smith is just so good with words. Her writing is so fluid, it's easy to just get through a hundred pages at a time and not notice. It is, however, a novel firmly tied to the place where it happens, starting from the very title. Yet even so, this local restriction somehow gives the novel a strange universality -- if you live in a large city, you probably know a similar neighborhood. For me, NW became a novel of a place I was somehow familiar with already.