Kudos by Rachel Cusk


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 ...

Details Kudos

Release DateMay 3rd, 2018
PublisherVintage Digital
GenreFiction, Contemporary, Novels, Literary Fiction

Reviews Kudos

  • Gumble's Yard
    I met with a number of my Goodreads acquaintances – to share with them my thoughts on the concluding part of Rachel's trilogy of books.The first to speak was Meike – she was very keen, she said, to understand my views on the book. She herself was a dog lover from a European country, but could read books in at least two other languages including English. She could not she said, tell us, which country she came from or which languages she spoke,...
  • Meike
    Welcome to my Goodreads review of a novel that mocks Goodreads reviews! :-) (More about that later.) "Kudos" is largely dialogue-driven and set in the world of literary festivals and book marketing - and while Cusk only alludes to the events and places where she does actually take us, I think I solved some of her riddles. But let me start by outlining (haha, sorry) the story:Faye, a writer and divorced mother of two (just like Cusk; Faye is also ...
  • Trish
    Wow. What power this author has. I’d not read anything by Cusk before this, though part of her trilogy had been noted on my to-read list. She is another thoroughly unique and powerful Canadian voice now hailing from the British Isles. What about that last scene? Is that a statement completely in tune with the state of the world today? Or not?I cannot speak to what the book means in the larger trilogy, and can’t even speak to what this book me...
  • Hugh
    This is the third part of the trilogy that started with Outline and Transit, and was an obvious choice when I was asked for hardbacks I might like as a birthday present.This has more in common with Outline, in that its settings are literary events abroad, and it starts with a conversation on a plane. Once again the narrator Faye only offers occasional glimpses of her own life, and the focus is largely on the people she talks to, who are mostly wr...
  • Esil
    3+ starsKudos started off really strong, but then it petered out. It is the third book in a trilogy. While I haven’t read the previous books, my understanding is that this isn’t a problem. The books are linked by concept rather than by plot. The narrator in Kudos is an author attending a writers’ event in Germany. The narrator recounts the numerous conversations she has on the way and at the event. The conversations are fairly one sided— ...
  • Jonathan Pool
    This is my sixth Cusk novel, and completes the Outline ‘trilogy’I have been enthusiastic enough about Rachel Cusk’s writing to greet a new release as an exciting prospect; furthermore many respected Goodreads friends rate Cusk very highly.That said,I was starting to have some doubts when I read TransitI didn’t enjoy Kudos one little bit, and my sense of foreboding set in early."He wore new-looking leather shoes on his feet”(3) Where el...
  • Doug
    My five star rating is more for the entire trilogy as a whole, for after reading the three volumes back-to-back-to-back, I really consider it to be one book, since there are few distinguishing characteristics for the separate volumes. But this book, like Outline, is really more of a 4 star - I was slightly disappointed that there WAS no real epiphany - or even much of a conclusion - at the end, but then realized that would somewhat have defeated ...
  • Elyse
    “The other day, he said, my son and I were talking about politics, and he observed that in the current situation the possibility of destruction seemed genuinely to be upon us, to the extent that he couldn’t see what move on the chess board would get us out at this corner. I replied that this was something all of us had felt in our turn, as we passed into adulthood and recognized the role of outside events in shaping history and their capacity...
  • Roger Brunyate
     Déjà vu, with Gleams of LightA writer sits on a plane on her way to a literary festival in Southern Europe. The man next to her has difficulty fitting into his seat. She switches with him, and soon is listening to him talk about problems with his family dog and his feelings about his daughter, who is playing the oboe in a concert where he is now headed. Wait a minute—is this not how Rachel Cusk began Outline, the first book in what one migh...
  • Paul Fulcher
    'Faye', he said fractiously, 'will you just listen?'In 1911 the photographer Herbert Ponting joined Captain Scott's, ultimately ill-fated, Terra Nova Expedition, the first professional to join an Antarctic expedition.He didn't go on to the later, fatal, part of the journey over the ice-fields to the South Pole since, as he explained in his book The Great White South: Traveling with Robert F. Scott's Doomed South Pole Expedition, there would be no...
  • Julie Ehlers
    What's the problem here? After loving Outline, I wasn't super enthused about Transit, and I may have liked Kudos even less. The magical feeling I had wandering around Greece in Outline has definitely not been replicated in these later volumes in the trilogy. Is it the change of setting? The fact that some of the characters our protagonist, Faye, speaks with in Transit and Kudos are completely random and therefore it makes no sense that they would...
  • Neil
    "'But then I noticed,' she said, 'that in certain places where statues had obviously been, new lights had been installed which illuminated the empty spaces. These lights,' she said, 'had the strange effect of making you see more in the empty space than you would have seen had it been filled with a statue. And so I knew,' she said, 'that this spectacle was not the result of some monstrous neglect or misunderstanding but was the work of an artist.'...
  • Lee
    Started wonderfully. I kept saying "this is great" aloud as I read the parts about the countess in Italy and her writer's retreat (I'm 95% sure I know who it's based on). Loved the part with the editor talking about successful novelists who've figured out how to write what are essentially enjoyable entertainments that suggest the literary tradition -- the suggestion itself is all readers can really handle now, like a few antiques in an otherwise ...
  • Dan Friedman
    "As it happened I was no longer interested in literature as a form of snobbery or even of self-definition -- I had no desire to prove that one book was better than another: in fact, if I read something I admired I found myself increasingly disinclined to mention it at all. What I knew personally to be true had come to seem unrelated to the process of persuading others. I did not, any longer, want to persuade anyone of anything."—Rachel Cusk, Ou...
  • Krista
    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 mig...
  • Katia N
    “The character is sitting by this river just looking at the shapes the dark and light make on the water, and at the weird shapes of what might be fish beneath the surface, there for a second and then gone again, and he realises that he’s looking at something he can’t describe using the language. And he sort of gets the feeling that what he can’t describe might be the true reality. “This is the last part of Rachel Cusk’s experimental t...
  • Ellie
    In this last volume of Cusk's trilogy (the first two being Outline and Transit), the issues of these novels (including the purpose of suffering, child rearing, marriage--and divorce--and identity) are once again explored through the use of conversations. In this novel, our heroine, author Faye (we never learn her last name and her first only occasionally appears) is in Europe at some undisclosed location (perhaps Portugal) at some kind of literar...
  • Kasa Cotugno
    Thus ends the trilogy that Rachel Cusk began with Outline, continued in Transit. Concludes here. As with the previous two, there is very little action on the part of the narrator. The action arises from the life stories related to her by people encountered on planes, over drinks, in the course of attending a literary festival in Germany in, I think, Cologne. The only glimpse into the writer's own personality is when she admits to being a writer a...
  • Robert Wechsler
    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 wri...
  • Gwendolyn
    Kudos is a strong finish to this trilogy of novels that started with Outline and continued with Transit. I’ve enjoyed all three novels, but they are difficult to describe. Really, the novels are nothing more than a series of conversations with people Faye, the protagonist, comes into contact with. The conversations in each novel touch on some similar themes so that there are some connections between conversations (in Kudos, the commitment of ma...
  • LindaJ^
    A number of my GR friends have reviewed this novel and some of them suggest it would be a good choice for the Man Booker 2018 longlist. All their reviews are excellent and provided me with much useful information about the author and the trilogy, of which this book is the third, e.g., https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... and https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
  • Jill
    It happens less frequently than I’d like that I read a book and am impressed with how unique it is. Her writing is beautiful and complex. I wish, however, that I could have read all three at one time because I think I would have enjoyed it even more.
  • Alison Hardtmann
    There's not much plot to the final novel in Rachel Cusk's trilogy. A middle-aged woman author attends a few writers's conferences in Europe and has conversations with people. But the plot is beside the point, here the protagonist is almost absent, instead, she's a witness, someone who listens as others reveal themselves to her. And each person's monologue addresses in some way how children are affected by the relationship between parents. The for...
  • Joe M
    Finishing Rachel Cusk's "Outline" trilogy today with a little bit of sadness and large amount of awe and admiration. Kudos is the third book in this knotty, cerebral, but remarkable series, and picks up once again with Faye, a novelist who over the course of a few days, meets and engages with various strangers and characters who cross her path on airlines, at literary events and other engagements. Conversations tend to revolve around issues of mo...
  • miss.mesmerized mesmerized
    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. Lat...
  • Julie Christine
    I reread my review of the first in this trilogy, Outline, and realized I could write virtually the same review of Kudos. So pardon me if I steal from myself:"The book is series of conversations delivered with a twanging chord of tension and self-interest. Or really, it's a collection of confessions delivered to a listener who reciprocates only rarely; she is an ear, an eye, a filter; less participant than sponge.The subject of the conversations ...
  • Drew
    A bit harder to burn through than the previous two novels, although perhaps that's as a result of reading them all three back-to-back-to-back and just being a bit tired out from the structural repetition. It also highlighted some of the minor flaws in the style; I saw a review that considered this trilogy a modern glass-and-steel skyscraper and, yeah, that feels about right. Shining, shimmering, breaking new ground, but also a bit unapproachable ...