Book Review of On Beauty

On Beauty
On Beauty
Author: Zadie Smith
Genre: Literature & Fiction
Book Type: Paperback
reviewed 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.