Transit by Rachel Cusk


The stunning second novel of a trilogy that began with Outline, one of The New York Times Book Review’s ten best books of 2015.In the wake of family collapse, a writer and her two young sons move to London. The process of upheaval is the catalyst for a number of transitions—personal, moral, artistic, practical—as she endeavors to construct a new reality for herself and her children. In the city she is made to confront aspects of living she ...

Details Transit

Release DateJan 17th, 2017
PublisherFarrar, Straus and Giroux
GenreFiction, Contemporary, Literary Fiction, Novels, Cultural, Canada

Reviews Transit

  • Elyse Walters
    Transit - book 2 - in the Ouline Series, was so incredibly magnificent from the start that by the first touch of my finger turning my ebook Kindle page to the next - still only 1% read - half way down the page my eyes were watering. After I read these words ( after the already eye catching - ears popping - very noticeable opening first sentence on the page before), these next set of words destroyed me, enlightened me, gifted me, putting me into a...
  • Jaidee
    5 "refreshing, uproarious, precise" stars !!! 7th Favorite Read of 2018 Award In 2016 I read Outline, the first in this trilogy by Ms. Cusk and was blown away by her prose, her train of thought and the clarity of her understandings. I wanted and needed more of her prose pronto and that book was my Bronze award of the year ! I was looking for more of the same in this sequel but was not prepared for a very different sort of book. Instead of pristi...
  • Adam Dalva
    I loved this - an improvement on Outline. It has the same intensely observed, rigorous sequence of encounters, but here, the stakes are slightly higher, as our lead buys a flat (set up in part 1), goes on a date, and struggles with downstairs neighbors. When tension and curiosity are added in to Cusk's extreme talent, the result is a book I flew through. It WORKS as a part 2, but would also, surprisingly, function as a stand alone.
  • Trish
    It is strange, I suppose, for me to describe this trilogy of books as though they were thrillers, but they acted that way upon my consciousness. I read them out of order, 3-1-2, so I will discuss the totality of them in recognition of their separateness. There was a propulsiveness to the story as told by Faye, writer and teacher, former wife and current mother, and narrator of these three slim volumes. These easily contain some of the best writin...
  • Violet wells
    Always happy to read Rachel Cusk even though I'm still to love any of her books without reservations. Her early novels now all blur together in my mind. There was often a sense that the conventions of plot she chose were stifling her gifts as a writer. They were usually beautifully written and observed novels but showed little special flair for narration, their reach like a day out rather than a three week adventure holiday. The book of hers I mo...
  • Hugh
    This continues the pattern started in its predecessor Outline. Once again the narrator Faye remains something of a blank cipher and most of the story is generated by the people she talks to, a shifting cast that allows Cusk to cover a wide range of subjects, experiences and situations. There is a bit more of Faye's own life in this one as she moves back to London and deals with builders and difficult neighbours, but for the most part the observat...
  • Julie Ehlers
    Rachel Cusks dreamlike Outline, about a writers trip to Greece in the aftermath of a divorce, was one of my favorite novels of 2015. Wandering in the languid heat of Athens, the main character, Faye, is something of an empty vessel, less supplying her own narrative than simply listening to the stories of the people around herbut all of these stories, viewed through Fayes eyes, are about her just as much as they are about the students, dinner comp...
  • Kalliope
    And here I am transiting between the first and final volume of Cusks trilogy. For Transit this is.Some time had passed since I read Outline and I picked up its continuation, so very different and so similar. One has to guess that we are with the same narrator as in the previous volume. She reveals so little herself that the reader has to pick up one hint here, one there, to make sense of an individual existing at all and of her being the same one...
  • Teresa
    I had found out more, I said, by listening than I ever thought possible.In this second installment of a trilogy, the narrator Faye (only named once, as she was in the first book, Outline) continues her listening project, though with more of letting us into her life. She comes across as emotionless, almost affectless; but theres no way she is. She just isnt telling us, or even showing us, how she feels. As with one event in Outline, I supplied the...
  • Ines
    I am one of the few readers of GR to have found this book just of a paroxysmal boredom.... I finished it and found myself lighter, but can you be so stupid to feel compelled to finish unfit books? I found it a complicated accumulation of events, of characters Sine die et sine logicaand crossing each others as if they were gym drinks to share...Unfortunately I am not made for these new writers, ( personally) and this conceiving artificial stories ...
  • SueKich
    Is it a novel...this sequence of unrelated interludes recounted in an aloof tone of voice? Rachel Cusks book opens as the narrator (a writer) moves back to her old London neighbourhood with her two sons, buying an ex-council flat sorely in need of improvement and with a pair of nasty neighbours living below. She bumps into an old boyfriend and they have an unrealistic conversation. She has her starting-to-grey hair tinted for the first time and h...
  • Jimmy
    Sometimes when I come upon a book by chance and not through premeditated research, there is a sense of excitement, as when I read my first books and every book that followed had the potential to be great or a great failure or both. Maybe it's the danger of going outside of any known rubric for selection. Fate looms, as if each book was meant to be stumbled upon at its time and place rather than arrived at through well-manicured avenues.Whatever t...
  • Lee Klein
    There's a great moment in this episodic, suggestive, quasi-memoir in which the narrator Faye is teaching a creative writing class and a dominant, forceful student instructs another that he can't just say his dog is beautiful, he needs to show the dog, evoke it, and the dog owner student guy gets a little flustered and says something like I dunno she's a beautiful dog, and then Faye simply asks what breed it is, and the dog owner student totally n...
  • Gumble's Yard
    Like many others of my Goodreads friends, I re-read just ahead of the publication of the concluding book of the trilogy which this book commenced. My original review of this and the first volume Outline is below on this reading I enjoyed finding quotes which summarised for me either Rachel Cusks underlying technique in writing the trilogy, or the choice of title for the first two volumes. In those days he was a sketch, an outline; I had wanted h...
  • Marc
    It was actually only 3 months ago that I read Outline - the first part of the trilogy of Rachel Cusk. That was a very awkward reading experience due to the dry sequence of conversations of a female writer with a number of friends and strangers, a woman who you only got fragmentary acquaintance with and of which you even heard the name - Faye - only at the end. Both Faye and her conversational partners remained largely sketches, outlines (hence ti...
  • Rebecca
    I finally made it through a Rachel Cusk book! (This was my third attempt; I made it just a few pages into Aftermath and about 60 pages through Outline.) I suspected this would make a good plane read, and thankfully I was right. Each chapter is a perfectly formed short story, a snapshot of one aspect of Fayes life and the relationships that have shaped her: a former lover she bumps into in London, a builder who tells her the flat shes bought is a ...
  • Claire
    Its official, I think Rachel Cusk is a genius. Transit is easily going to be one of the best books I read this year. In short, if you read and loved Outline, this follow up lives up to the high expectations your surely have. Back in London, the conversations the Faye has in this novel really centre on relationships, how we make them and break them, and both love and terrorise each other within their bonds. Underneath all this is a fearful narrati...
  • Jill
    The structure of this book is brilliant. I love how the stories focus on these deep conversations with all the other characters she comes across, and that we only learn about Faye through what she volunteers in these interactions. I do think we learn a lot more about Faye in this book, and it's clever to only use her name once. I liked Outline well enough, but I think Transit was much more interesting. For me, it was as though in Outline the auth...
  • Paul Fulcher
    "An astrologer emailed me to say she had important new for me concerning events in my immediate future. She could see things that I could not; my personal details had come into her possession and had allowed her to study the planets for their information. She wished me to know that a major transit was due to occur shortly in my sky. This information was causing her great excitement when she considered the changes it might represent. For a small f...
  • Paltia
    Well now, here I am in my marathon review writing day to arrive at Transit. I reviewed Outline an hour or so ago, and mentioned in that review that I hoped Transit might reveal some element that would draw me nearer to the story. This didnt happen. I closed this second book of the trilogy and felt unsettled. Im in no great hurry to check out Kudos but as you can probably guess I will. Ill continue in search of what continues to elude me in Cusks ...
  • Ellie
    Transit (astronomy) ... In astronomy, the term transit (or astronomical transit) refers to celestial events: A transit occurs when at least one celestial body appears to move across the face of another celestial body, hiding a small part of it, as seen by an observer at some particular vantage point.Faye is an observer struggling with questions of choice vs fate, what is honesty? what is childhood, how does it shape us as well as her own parentin...
  • Roman Clodia
    I felt change beneath me, moving deep beneath the surface, like the plates of the earth blindly moving in their black traces. Volume 2 of Cusk's Outline trilogy and Faye is now back in London. Having moved from bare outline in the first book to something a little more filled in, this develops her story from the paralysis of separation to a state that can at least imagine the possibilities and potentials of change. Cusk's innovative technique rema...
  • Doug
    Update upon 2nd reading, 4/25.2018: Reread in anticipation of completing the trilogy with an initial reading of Kudos. My original review more or less stands: For some reason, perhaps because I am either now used to Cusk's style, or because the stories in Transit seemed more self contained, I did enjoy it slightly more than the first volume. I also realize now that it can, for all intents and purposes, be seen as just a single work, as there does...
  • Joachim Stoop
    As good as the first part in this trilogy, Outline.Goes against anything you will hear in a basic writing course.Cusk is a fresh voice in Book Land.I love her ways! Btw. Not for everybody
  • Holly
    I enjoyed this even more than Outline and could have read another 200 pages. There are subtle things happening here, and the character (Fern? Fran? I've forgotten her name because it is not emphasized) who was a cipher in Outline, who seemed an audience to others, is more present in this novel - but just barely. She speaks more, but even when she barely speaks a word these felt more like conversations than soliloquies. She's more able to hold her...
  • Vaso
    Transitis the second book in the Outline trilogy by Rachel CuskFaye our writer, after getting divorce, she moves to London with her 2 sons.  Since I was familiar with her writing style, I enjoyed this book quite as much as the first one, even though it didn't have the same dynamic.
  • Jennifer
    while continuing in the style and ideas cusk created with Outline, a book that i appreciated but didn't love, i found transit offered more emotional depth. we still don't get a whole lot of focus on faye herself, but her interactions and conversations with those she encounters give us more glimpses into faye's life, as well as a some great insights to human nature and relationships. we are so messy and complicated.
  • Jonathan Pool
    I read Outline last week, my first Rachel Cusk, as a precursor to Transit, and as my introduction to the Goldsmiths Prize, a literary competition "designed to reward fiction that breaks the mould or extends the possibilities of the novel form".I am not convinced by either Rachel Cusks writing in general, nor that Transit, could claim to meet the Goldsmiths criteria for inclusion.Cusks books are a series of short, self contained, stories that hang...