Enter your mobile number or email address 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.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

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

Buy Used
$4.30
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: ELIGIBLE FOR *FREE* SUPER SAVER SHIPPING. AMAZON CUSTOMER SERVICE WITH DELIVERY TRACKING.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

And Now You Can Go Hardcover – August 26, 2003

3.0 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

See all 9 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover, August 26, 2003
$3.99 $0.01

2016 Book Awards
Browse award-winning titles. See all 2016 winners
click to open popover

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The premise of Vendela Vida's terrific debut novel, And Now You Can Go, seems at first a tad depressing, in a Bernard Goetz, New-York-in-the-1980s kind of way. The narrator, a young woman named Ellis, is walking in Riverside Park when she is held up at gunpoint. The man assures her he doesn't want her money, and he doesn't push her into the bushes to rape her. Ellis notices the designer name on his glasses: Giorgio Armani; she begins to obsess on this detail. Then she starts to recite poetry to him to cheer him up about life. The encounter ends as abruptly as it began, when the man simply runs away down the street. Even though no blood has been shed, Ellis's life is utterly changed.

In fast, clean, funny prose, we find Ellis slipping adrift from her routine as a Columbia grad student and falling into a series of mini-romances. When she goes home to San Francisco for winter break, her mom suggests Ellis join her on a medical mission to the Philippines. The work and the heat and the exhaustion settle her down for the first time since the attack, and she returns to New York a little refreshed. There's one more encounter with the gunman, which Vida plays more comic than tragic. In fact, the strength of this novel is in the way Vida toys with her priorities. The scenes that ought to be fraught and suspenseful have a goofy kind of oh-well voice to them; the scenes that ought to be dull--like Ellis's run-ins with her annoying roommate--exert a weirdly compelling narrative drive. Both the author and her protagonist charm us utterly. --Claire Dederer

From Publishers Weekly

Ellis, the 21-year-old narrator of Vida's lean, absorbing first novel, is forced at gunpoint to sit and talk with a man in a New York City park as he contemplates a murder/suicide. Like Scheherazade, she reels off half-remembered poems to try to distract the man and keep herself alive. Though nothing more happens on that park bench, she carries on as if treading water in an emotional whirlpool, waiting to get sucked under. A grad student at Columbia, Ellis goes through the various routines expected of the victim of violent crime: reporting the event to the campus police, seeking succor from friends, going to a therapist. But the problem of how to define herself-as a victim or not-lingers and begins to seep into other parts of her life. She ricochets among a handful of men: Tom, her well-meaning but needy boyfriend; the nameless "representative of the world," an enigmatic grad student; a rich, suicidal ex; and her only potential savior, a colorful, if chauvinistic, ROTC recruit full of chivalric gestures and inappropriate comments. Frustrated, Ellis returns to her home in San Francisco and then accompanies her mother on a charitable trip to the Philippines, where, in a series of surreal vignettes, she assists doctors giving eye surgery to the poor. While a more conventional novel would use this trip as a denouement-a kind of reconciliation with her own privilege-here it merely underscores the narrator's dreamlike detachment. Despite the high drama of the start, this is an unsentimental tale, in which the classic brush with death elicits a sense of awe as well as anger, and conventional notions of therapy and reconciliation are overturned. The end, unfortunately, arrives just as the book began-abruptly-and the reader longs for something more. Nevertheless, this remains an intriguing and auspicious debut.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; 1st edition (August 26, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400040272
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400040278
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.9 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,256,235 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
If you believe some of the reviewers here, creative writing (MFA) courses at American universities either remove any innate literary imagination and originality, or many of the students who successfully complete them don't possess any in the first place. At any rate, I'm not in any way competent to comment on the subject. I have grasped though that there's a lot of antagonism against Dave Eggers and the group of writers associated with his (defunct?) McSweeney's magazine, of which Vendela Vida is a part. Ignoring that, Vida's novel And Now You Can Go was interesting enough to me mostly because of the subtle humour and main character Ellis's inscrutability, which doesn't let up throughout the story. Vida's style has been passed off by some here as merely superficial and vapid, but I actually find that she convincingly describes a thoughtful, ironic woman in her early 20s, right about now. I think the story holds up as mild satire (the jaunt to the Philippines certainly contributes to that impression) but I agree with the oft-repeated criticism as to the choice of longer narrative form: And Now You Can Go would work better as a short story than a novel, or even novella. Some of the harsher critics go so far as to relegate this book to the 'Cosmo' or 'JANE' magazine fiction scrap heap. This I think is unfair: I would say Vida is a more serious, imaginative, talented writer than that.
Comment 20 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
I saw about eight million reviews of this book, so I bought it. Somebody needs to be sued. This is a classic pump-and-dump scheme. Vida must have some serious connections in the publishing world.
In the novel a single incident happens. Someone gets held up at gunpoint. End of story. But no. She writes an entire novel about it. This is the only thing that happens for a couple hundred pages. I'm not kidding. She wrote a whole damn novel based on one event. Boring.
Comment 30 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 A Customer on August 28, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I just barely made it through this book. I would have put it down, but I figured the rave reviews might have some merit. They didn't. The protagonist is shallow and self-conscious, and the novel lacks the subtlety of similar works--the prose was so pomo that I was thinking Vida is a pen name for David Foster Wallace--only it lacks David Foster Wallace's well-developed characters and interesting plots. Wait for it to show up in paperback, or browse through it at Borders.
Comment 25 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 Verified Purchase
I picked up An Now You Can Go by Vendela Vida not even knowing she was Dave Eggers' wife. Not saying that matters but it is interesting nonetheless as I realized after reading the book that they have some serious writing capability in that family! The book is a great read and I whipped through it hardly putting it down. The book is narrated by a young woman named Ellis who is walking in Central Park (presumably) one day and is accosted by a man who threatens to kill her. She fends him off by quoting poetry to him and he eventually goes away. At this point, I figured the entire book would be about her relationship with this man but in fact it ended up being more about how she recovered from that incident and processed it and lived with it. Which certainly is a topic that is relevant in society today unfortunately. We learn about her relationship with a series of boyfriends-some just hook ups while others more long term. We examine Ellis' relationship with her mom who is born in Italy and comes to the US to work in an operating room as a nurse. Together they go on a charity mission to the Philippines which in my opinion was one of the more exciting parts of the book. I highly recommend it and if you want an even better Vendela Vida book, go read Let the Northern Lights Erase You which is a 5-star book in my opinion.
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
Format: Hardcover
This is the worst novel I have ever read. It is laughingly bad, which almost makes it good. Nothing happens in it, save for a holdup. And not even a good holdup. Jsut a run-of-the-mill holdup.
Obviously, if you sleep with you-know-who, not only do you get a book published, but you get a literary magazine which helps intimidate the usual, useful idiots into giving good reviews. But the critics' lies can only go so far against Reality.
And so far, all the pomo indsiders have failed at creating characters bigger than themselves. Instead they have created caricatures of themselves.
Eternity is on truth's side, as thus as time goes by, the hypesters shall suffer in proportion to all they hype. This book will be forgotten. Don't waste your money on Knopf's vanity projects.
1 Comment 20 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
Aside from the language being as superfical and as workshopped as can possibly be, the book reads as a Readers Digest story drawn out into a novel. There is no weight here. There is no urgency here. It feels completely constructed.
There is a reason why American Fiction is on its deathbed with publications such as the New York Times pulling fiction reviews and replacing them with nonfiction reviews, and its because of these abominable MFA books.
I had a horribly difficult time doing this review because in the end, I just didn't know what to say about the book. There is nothing there. You come away with nothing. Maybe this is a new(or the reigning) genre of Anti-literature.
Comment 20 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

Most Recent Customer Reviews