Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Beard” as Want to Read:
The Beard
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Read Book

The Beard

3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  132 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
A free, serialized online novel. David Glum decides to quit everything, move back home, and grow a beard before embarking on a surreal cross-country trip that might have something to do with saving the world.
HTML, 200 pages
Published March 2009
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Beard, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Beard

John Dies at the End by David WongVacation by Jeremy C. ShippHELP!  A Bear is Eating Me! by Mykle HansenThe Cannibals of Candyland by Carlton Mellick IIIApeshit by Carlton Mellick III
291 books — 215 voters
Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb by Al PerkinsHalf Life by Shelley JacksonStiff by Mary RoachThe Melancholy of Anatomy by Shelley JacksonPalimpsest by Catherynne M. Valente
108 books — 6 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Aug 25, 2012 Marvin rated it liked it
I once read this in a copy of The L.A. Weekly...
Think of the worst Thai restaurant you ever ate at. Pretty good, wasn't it?

That's how I feel about Andersen Prunty books. The Beard is easily my least favorite of his tales but it is still pretty damn good. In fact, I feel guilty rating it at three stars (actually three and a half stars) but considering the legitimately high ratings I gave to his other works. it feels justified. Prunty is a five star writer in my book, the Nadia Comenici of authors
Feb 15, 2011 Lance rated it it was amazing
If William Burroughs had anal sex with Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and they had a butt-baby that wrote like Dean Koontz and the Dean Koontz butt-baby ghost-wrote an autobiography for Justin Beiber, it would be nothing like Andersen Prunty’s THE BEARD. I say that because I like THE BEARD and I do not like ghost-writing butt-babies. With that being said, I will heartily recommend this book. This is a story of scruffy facial hair and hallucinogenic sandwiches and elephant winds and father imposters ...more
Andersen Prunty
Oct 31, 2009 Andersen Prunty added it  ·  (Review from the author)
This is now available as a free .pdf or ePub download to Goodreads users (find the button on the right under the ads and stuff). Reviews appreciated. It's also available as a trade paperback and Kindle download on Amazon.
Mike Kleine
Jul 22, 2011 Mike Kleine rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
From the quaint Ernest Hemingway nod in the first couple of pages to the final notes on the home toward the end of the novel, Andersen Prunty's THE BEARD reads like the Great American novel of 2009 that never was.

THE BEARD begins by asking the interesting question: "what happens to the authentic character when it is subject to strange situations?"

There is a moment in THE BEARD, shortly after the introduction, when the main character, David Glum, appearing to be stuck in an instance of self-actu
Daniel Clausen
Jul 05, 2016 Daniel Clausen rated it it was amazing

Warning: One or two spoilers in the mix.

So I traded this book for a copy of my own and I don't regret it.

An elephant wind. That’s what this book is. You probably don’t know what that means. If you try to picture it your mind, you might get some idea of what the book is. You’ll definitely know what that means after you read the book and then you can decide whether that statement is accurate or not—but for now, perhaps it’s sufficient to say that the book is an elephant wind. I took up the book
Grant Wamack
Apr 15, 2009 Grant Wamack rated it it was amazing
Great novel. Prunty tells the tale of David Glum who grows a beard while embarking on a surreal journey. He attempts to find himself and his purpose in life.Full of mythology and adventure,The Beard questions identity and is sure to please any fan of weird fiction.Plus,it's free.
May 31, 2009 Tortla rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 16, 2010 Kate rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: surrealists
Shelves: bizarro, e-books
If you like Salvador Dali, you'll enjoy this book.

David Glum was first a writer. Then a napper. Then a beard grower. After that he became an unemployed philosopher. Then an adventurer, until finally he found his calling as a dreamer.

Come along, if you dare, on this surreal journey with David and his father. It will be full of trippy bus rides, imposters, hallucinogenic sandwiches, Nefarions from the Malific ocean, elephant winds, lawn mowing maniacs, and last but certainly not least a flame call
Apr 17, 2009 Jasmine rated it it was amazing
Shelves: american
I read this book backwards, or at least semi backwards. I read it from the top of the blog down, so I read the chapters frontwards in the backwards order. Why would I do this? I felt like it. Perhaps someday I will reread it in the frontwards order. I think chapter 18 is the best chapter and that it has a fun feel where the story seems to be attempting to be about a beard regardless of all the other silly things going on, though perhaps I am title bias. Regardless it isn't particularly long and ...more
Nathaniel Lambert
Feb 06, 2010 Nathaniel Lambert rated it it was amazing
Loved it. If Holden Caulfield rented a timeshare in Vegas, only to find out he double booked with Hunter Thompson, and then they both sat down over a buffett of mind-altering drugs and wrote a book, I THINK it might be something like THE BEARD.

Donald Armfield
Jul 30, 2011 Donald Armfield rated it it was amazing
Imagine having an impostor of your self or people around you. In this Hallucinogen eating sandwich story with the works. will have you laughing at David Glum who just wanted To get his book published.
Now excuse me while I got take a nap and grow a beard.
Oct 11, 2016 rachel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I love this guy. His books are thought provoking strange and wonderful!! I would definitely recommend this. I think this one So far has been my favorite
Jan 21, 2014 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
It was SUPER excellent. Trippy, weird, completely nonsensical and I LOVED IT. Quick summary with no spoilers: The main character in the opening scene sees his grandfather taken away by what he had just learned was an Elephant Wind. A weird tribe of people called the Nefarions take his grandfather through the Malefic ocean to their island on the wind of elephants after the grandfather has stolen their source of life, an unstoppable flame named Brilliance. Fast forward twenty years and the main ch ...more
Ken Sodemann
This was a tough one to review. I gave it four stars at first because the beginning was really good. In the middle, it got really really lame. Like "drunk college kid thinking he's being philosophical and creative" lame. It just seemed to be random weirdness for the sake of random weirdness and didn't particularly move the story along or develop the characters or make a point or pretty much anything. So, it dropped to a two at that point (would have been one it was so lame, but the quality of th ...more
Nov 20, 2009 F.R. rated it liked it
Such is the inflexibility of the Goodreads ranking system, I’ve been wondering whether to go for two or three stars, as really I’d give this book two and a half – but I’m feeling generous so I’ll go for three.

This is a quest tale which leans heavily into the absurdist/surrealist. For example there is a sandwich-maker/cobbler who sells hallucinogenic sandwiches. This kind of weirdness builds and builds until the reader is willing to accept virtually anything. However this quirkiness can be irrita
Matthew Vaughn
Dec 29, 2011 Matthew Vaughn rated it really liked it
Shelves: bizarro, reviewed
I discovered Andersen Prunty through the Bizarro community. Even so the books I’ve read from him are more horror, or thriller than anything else. His book The Beard on the other hand is pure Bizarro fun. It’s a very original adventure narrated by David Glum, who after failing to get his first book published decides to go home and grow a beard. David sets out on a journey to find his grandfather who was kidnapped by the Nefarions. There are lots of interesting and bizarre characters throughout th ...more
Kyle D Lawrence
Apr 12, 2015 Kyle D Lawrence rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the best books, I have had the privilege of reading. A book has the power to create a world, and make you feel part of it, at least the good ones. This book based around the decision to grow a beard takes the reader deep into a world of bizarre events, characters and outcomes. It has a great story, well developed characters and hilarious dialogue. I will recommend this book to all I can, because there is so much to love about the story, and I hope anyone reading this gives this bo ...more
George Ibarra
Oct 07, 2011 George Ibarra rated it liked it
Great introduction, however the book never lives up to the standard Prunty sets in the prologue. The beginning reminded me of Bradbury. The body was the usual prose found in bizarro fiction.

It's an enjoyable book. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who doesn't already enjoy Prunty's work or the bizarro genre, though.

Prunty missed out on turning this into one of the great travel novels of the new century.
Chris Bowsman
Jan 04, 2010 Chris Bowsman rated it it was amazing
After reading Andersen Prunty's The Beard, I doubt if I'll ever have the courage to shave again.

Not really. Actually, I finished it last night, and shaved today. There's nothing scary in this book about beards (or shaving). It it not horror, but it is an immensely enjoyable read. This book would make an excellent introduction to the world of Bizarro fiction. Lots of strange characters and settings, but no weird-for-the-sake-of-weird. Heavy on the fun and subtle humor.
Kate Jonez
May 08, 2011 Kate Jonez rated it really liked it
The Beard by Andersen Prunty is an excellent introduction to the bizzaro genre. The story follows a dream logic and is surreal at times. It is never difficult for the sake of being difficult or weird for the sake of weirdness. The book has a fascinating internal logic that leads the reader toward the goal of finding brilliance. Sprinkled along the way the author drops gems of sparkling insight.
Jan 23, 2015 Stefandulman rated it really liked it
weird, strange, unusual and somehow entertaining enough to keep me reading it. read it to discover about elephant wind, nefarions, hallucinogenic sandwiches and impostors. ah, the book is available online for free :)
Jun 28, 2012 Bryan rated it really liked it
Great book by a great author. Not my fave Prunty book but plenty of bizarre twists and turns. I had been growing an amazing beard myself when I started reading this book (beard was 10 months long) after finishing this book, I promptly shaved it off.
Sep 30, 2015 Andrew rated it it was amazing
Very creative, a fun read start to finish. You can read it for free here: Listen to it on audiobook via audible while you read! A great narration by the author. Check it out. Writing friends, read this book!
Matt Horan
Jul 14, 2015 Matt Horan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Funny and nonsensical

I have read several of Andersen Prunty's books. Often strange and macabre, but never dull. His stories delve into a darker side of imagination and this book was no exception. Creative, intelligent writing, peppered with dark humor.
Sean Morrow
Nov 12, 2011 Sean Morrow rated it really liked it
I would usually consider calling a book "delightful" to be an insult, but this book was delightful in a good way.Fun, funny, weird. Sometimes tries too hard to be weird, but I have learned to forgive.
Jim Gavin
Jun 13, 2010 Jim Gavin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
check out my huge long review of this book on my blog:
Zoltan Komor
Zoltan Komor rated it really liked it
Oct 17, 2014
Tom Taylor
Tom Taylor rated it really liked it
Sep 01, 2016
Tramov rated it really liked it
May 15, 2012
Joel rated it liked it
Aug 22, 2012
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Fistful of Feet
  • THE BROTHERS CRUNK - An 8-Bit Fack-It-All Adventure in 2D
  • Archelon Ranch
  • Abortion Arcade
  • They Had Goat Heads
  • Muscle Memory
  • The Emerald Burrito of Oz
  • 10 a Boot Stomping 20 a Human Face 30 Goto 10
  • Starfish Girl
  • The Egg Said Nothing
  • Extinction Journals
  • Warrior Wolf Women of the Wasteland
  • Rico Slade Will Fucking Kill You
  • Rotten Little Animals
  • It Came from Below the Belt
Andersen Prunty lives in Ohio. He writes novels and short stories. Visit him at
More about Andersen Prunty...

Share This Book

“How much of our life is an act, anyway? You become a parent, you play a role. You act happy when you’re depressed. You act like you are enthused by some things that hold no interest for you whatsoever. But sometimes, through this acting, this repeatedly telling yourself you really do like something, some form of appreciation sprouts.” 1 likes
“  “Some people develop a love of something and that love is a lifelong love. Like, say, a scientist. He is on a quest for knowledge. He loves theories. He loves testing his theories. He loves this quest for knowledge. And maybe he is only a teacher or a professor but he still loves this knowledge, he loves what he does and he wants to share it with people. Sure, there are some days when he doesn’t want to get out of bed in the morning and go to the job but when he stands back and, and... puts it all into perspective... he realizes it’s not that bad at all. He likes what he does. On the other hand, you take a man who works in a factory. It’s unrealistic to think this man likes putting the same bolt in the same part or whatever for eight to twelve hours a day. He does it for a paycheck so he can support his family or his booze habit or whatever. But every day, when he goes to work, he has to put himself into something like a coma because he hates what he does so much. Do you follow me?” 1 likes
More quotes…