Kindle Price: $9.99

Save $3.96 (28%)

These promotions will be applied to this item:

Some promotions may be combined; others are not eligible to be combined with other offers. For details, please see the Terms & Conditions associated with these promotions.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Before (Vintage International) by [Spanidou, Irini]
Kindle App Ad

Before (Vintage International) Kindle Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
$9.99

Length: 226 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

click to open popover

Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.


Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Spanidou's fascination with young women in peril shaped God's Snake (1986) and Fear (1998). Here she evokes with a deft hand the swirl of egoism, ambition, political turmoil, and sexual tension at loose in New York City in the mid-1970s, a milieu trust-fund-baby Beatrice, 25, finds untenable. Not that she has ever been at home anywhere, given that her 19-year-old mother died in childbirth. Beatrice longs to be a writer, but she is betrayed by her radiant appearance. Her cruel painter husband feeds on her unhappiness; men, including her Vietnam vet brother-in-law, lust after her; and something ugly is going on next door. Spanidou's dark psychological portrait of a vulnerable woman under siege is stylishly suspenseful and metaphysically sad. There's nothing new in this cinematic fable of one circle in urban hell, but the angst is elegantly rendered; the stark vision of beauty as a liability is affecting; the ambience is gothic; and the nearly romantic view of evil will satiate readers who seek chiseled tales of sexual adversity and survival. Seaman, Donna

Review

“Spare yet penetrating. . . . Before presents a haunting three-month snapshot of a 20-something teetering recklessly on the edge of ruin.” —The Washington Post“Spanidou possesses a poet's gift for language and an ability to capture a sense of time and place with strobe-lit images.”—The New York Times"Powerful. . . . Before is a short book, yet it ends up seeming much larger, even as it remains bracingly compact, tightly coiled."—San Francisco Chronicle “Shimmering, hypnotic. . . . [Spanidou's] sentences have just the right measure of elegant lassitude, of quiet, humming sexiness, and of a singular devotion to seeing things deeply, no matter what the cost.”—O, The Oprah Magazine


From the Trade Paperback edition.

Product Details

  • File Size: 461 KB
  • Print Length: 226 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (November 26, 2008)
  • Publication Date: November 26, 2008
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001M5JVR0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,795,747 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images or tell us about a lower price?

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Susan L. Martin on September 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There were infrequent interesting phrases and images in this book,but judging from previous reviews,
I expected much more. Languid, aimless, slow motion events provide the plot. The self-involved,
indolent protagonist didn't grab my interest. Maybe it's generational, but she should have gotten off her butt
and gone out and made something of her many opportunities. It's kinda boring to see someone with lots
of advantages just do a big fade from life.
Comment 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
The writer knows how to write. I was impressed. It does lack plot but its a book that each part needs to be examined. I felt like this would be an excellent book to discuss in English class. This is not a book for everyone. You will have to appreciate the art of writing and not so much the story.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By Duende on March 21, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Beautifully written and compelling portrait of a young
woman's self-destruction...Takes place in the Soho Art
world of the 1970's and captures that era's social and
physical landscapes...Brings you inside the psyche of
an alluring muse who is undone by the power of her
beauty.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By C Seher on September 1, 2007
Format: Hardcover
A great read, almost terse, but not light. The themes were resonating in my head long after I finished it: stark, poetic, insistent. The counterpoints are neatly arranged to entrap the reader to be Both judgemental And sympathetic---good tragic art. In a visionary way, the evocation of time and place is sharper than that in a poem, and better than science fiction constructions. The story starts out Very grim, but, after a flash of giddy comedy, one gets to guess at Beatrice's future: and it may not look as grim, after all. I am tempted to read it again.
Comment 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have never heard of Ms. Spanidou, and would not have picked this book up, except I saw the blurb on the back of the book from Mary Gaitskill.
The characterization is amazing, and the writing is near perfection. The only negative thing I can say is that it's only 200 pages.
Comment 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By MBF on September 7, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is a gift-a wonderfully written book which evokes an era past with vibrancy and intensity. The scenes Ms.Spanidou depicts and the complex characters that unfold left me immersed and compelled to keep reading. Ms.Spanidou's writing is precious-each word, each image so perfectly drawn. She is an artist and a poet with a keen ability to draw in the reader. Her characters are compelling in their evolution and depth. A must read that will resonate and resonate.
Comment 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought the book because the beginning was excerpted on the NPR website. The first few pages are indeed hypnotic, beautiful - everything other readers mention in their (surprisingly positive) reviews. The rest is junk. The fact that this was published by Knopf shocks me. The characters are not developed, and the main protagonist (Beatrice) is so self-centered I could never care about her. I agree with "readernyc": everything following the stellar beginning comes across as a huge disappointment. This book is quite plainly boring. I disregarded the review in the New York Times and bought the book anyway - for those of you considering a purchase, save yourself the money and look up the review on the Web. I won't excerpt it here, but the reviewer nailed the book's flaws on their head.
Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Before (Vintage International)
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: Before (Vintage International)