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On Beauty
On Beauty
Author: Zadie Smith
ISBN-13: 9780141019451
ISBN-10: 014101945X
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 464
Rating:
  • Currently 2.9/5 Stars.
 8

2.9 stars, based on 8 ratings
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed On Beauty on + 11 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
Hands down ,the best book I read all year. Really, this book captures what it is to be human, and how it is that we interact with other people. Oh man, so damn good. READ IT!!!
reviewed On Beauty on + 44 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Although not as humourous as White Teeth, I found this to be an interesting look at a period of life of two intertwined families. It is quite lengthy, but I read it in a few evenings. It's one of those books that is truthful enough to make you squirm in your seats as you watch the characters get caught in their mistakes and make amends.
reviewed On Beauty on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
This book was an intense, all-nighter read. Alternately had me squirming in dismay for the hapless characters and giggling at their foibles, while thinking seriously about the issues raised. You can skim along and enjoy or dig deeper. Great, great read.
reviewed On Beauty on + 42 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
A story of a family in a small college town near Boston, this book has engaging characters and addresses so many themes: love and marriage, infidelity, strong friendships, race, family struggles...all wrapped in the context of a college town where everyone knows everyone else. I thoroughly enjoyed this book--much more than I expected.
reviewed On Beauty on + 204 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This is a wonderful and unusual story about family, academia, love, race, and generations. It's one of the best books I read in 2008! It gave an interesting view of both a bi-racial family and working in academia.
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reviewed On Beauty on + 84 more book reviews
On Beauty is a story about the failure of a family, and about beauty and intellectual pride. Howard Belsey is a 56 year old caucasian Brit; he used his intellect to escape a blue collar childhood via a career in academia. Wife Kiki is African American from Florida; she is a nurse, not an intellectual, although she is profound and smart. The three Belsey children, Jerome Zora and Levi, vary in their degrees of intellectuality. This book kind of rams intellectivity in the reader's face a lot.

Prof. Howard Belsey is engaged in a trans-Atlantic academic war with Prof. Monty Kipps in England. Then the Kipps family moves to America, to the same Massachusetts neighborhood and college as the Belseys. With the exception of Mrs. Kipps, everybody in this book demonstrates a lot of ugliness. I get that this is satirical, but I found it a bit of a slog.
reviewed On Beauty on + 5 more book reviews
I became hooked on Zadie Smith with her first book, 'White Teeth'.
None of her subsequent books has bowled me over, but this one does have some evidence of her amazing ability to bring to life rich, vibrant characters. It is an enjoyable read, and one that does make you reflect upon life, love and how things are never as they seem to appear.


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