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.
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.
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.
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.
The Belsey family home is author, Zadie Smith's, mixing bowl for questions about race, gender, socio-economic status, intelligence, values, etc. where every member represents a different recipe. I enjoy the topics Smith explores. However, I found parts of the book to be bland and certain characters to be too flat or underdeveloped.
On Beauty would be a great book to read in a book club or group because it asks questions that merit discussion. I will not re-read it on my own, though.
Zadie Smith lives up to the high standards which she established in her first novel "White Teeth". This is a wonderful novel which takes place in a college town otside of Boston. It delves into issues of class and race with gusto and honesty--and definitely humor. I loved it.
Brilliant! I bought this book for an english lit class I was going to take 3 years ago, but never did. I was bored a few days ago and just picked it up and started reading. I havent been able to put it down! It is 443 pages, but you wish it was longer. Many times while reading I saw myself EXACTLY in the characters. Many times while reading I laughed out loud. Just amazing!
The character development is superb. These are real people in the real world. We are introduced to the tedious white professor trying to get tenure, his wife and their three bi-racial children who range from nerd to wanna be street hustler, and all the multi-faceted characters in their lives. If you like to see the inner workings of the characters minds and how discordant their thoughts are with the reality of a situation, you will love this book.
Well this may be on the 2001 Books You Must Read Before You Die List but that doesn't mean you'll like it! Read 100+ pages and never could get into it. Gave up because I've still got at least 800 more books on this list to read.
I read this book for a Eng Lit assignment and from the very start of the book I was like WOW! Not the usual piece of literature I'm used to reading for school. But I have to say even though some parts of the book made me uneasy overall this book was very interesting and informative. What I enjoyed most is how realistic the characters where and the plot itself. Not every piece of fiction needs to be straight-laced and neat & tidily wrapped in a pink box. The intellectual sparing between the characters where quite intriguing.
This is an award-winning book, but I don't know that I got it. :) It is the story of an academic family in New England and how they all handle the tension caused by infidelity. It is interesting, but it did not move me all that much.
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.
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.
My book club read this book. At times I really enjoyed it, and at other times I thought it was just so/so. I really loved the central female character but found the central male character pretty unsympathetic. We had some great discussion at the meeting.
It took me a while to catch on to the rhythm of this author's narrative. She speaks with so many voices, and so eloquently. I found myself changing loyalties to the characters, withdrawing sympathy only to give it to another. This book is true and honest and beautiful... and offers many samples of what beauty is and can be. It bears a second read!
"On Beauty" by Zadie Smith
Amazing story. As soon as I finished I wanted to read it all over again.
Complex. Emotionally rich. Each character is memorable. Multi-cultural.
I would rate it as a top 10 novel, and the best I read this year.