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

Beauty

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  3,849 ratings  ·  258 reviews
With thecritically acclaimed novels The Gate ToWomen's Country, Raising The Stones, and theHugo-nominated Grass, SheriTepper has established herself as one of the majorscience fiction writers of out Time. InBeauty, she broadens her territory evenfurther, with a novel that evokes all the richness offairy tale and fable. Drawing on the wellspringof tales such as "Sleeping Be ...more
ebook, 496 pages
Published December 23rd 2009 by Spectra (first published 1991)
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 Beauty, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Beauty

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Martine
Sep 21, 2009 Martine rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fantasy lovers and those who like fairy tales with an original twist
About 100 pages into Beauty I wasn't sure whether I was really going to like the book, as it kept moving from subject to subject without staying long enough with each one to make it work. About 200 pages in, I was convinced the author had far too many ideas for her own good, and no idea of how to weave them together into a cohesive story. Despite my misgivings, though, I stuck with the book, and I'm glad I did, because the second half more than made up for the flaws of the first. I ended up enjo ...more
Katie M.
Jun 30, 2007 Katie M. rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: dark fantasy fans, environmentalists, feminists
When people force me to choose a single favorite book, I often name this one. It begins as a retelling of Sleeping Beauty. Then the time-travelers show up and things go crazy from there. The book has apocalypse, more fairy tales (cinderella, snow white, etc.), visits to Hell and Faerie, horror, and more. The familiar elements react to make a very original whole. The book wears its environmentalist and feminist hearts openly, but lack of subtlety doesn't mean lack of power. Every time I reread it ...more
C.
Now is not a good time to write a review of this, because I am in a bad mood. I will do, nonetheless, it.

I did have to remove two stars from my 13-year old rating. I did not find this particularly beautiful, or as tragic as I remembered, or even particularly clever. Luckily, though it did not descend into the overwrought sentimentality I was dreading, except perhaps a little towards the end. Even then, though, I maintain that it retained something of grandeur.

Tepper is clearly a very good writer
...more
Jessica
I normally try not to review anything I hated, but I'm going to put this on here as a warning. Sure, I give it 1 star, it's certainly inventive and it was interesting to see how many fairy tales she could weave together. HOWEVER. This is one of the most DISTURBING books I have ever read. The ICK factor in this book is extremely high. Sheri Tepper is a hardcore feminist, and she does not paint men in a good light (which is putting it mildly, honestly, pretty much every man in the book is a perver ...more
Columbine
Part speculative fiction, part philosophy, part patchwork cosmology, Beauty is - intense. It chronicles the life of someone who starts out as a mistrusted halfbreed in an age that values genealogy, and who progresses through multiple worlds, back and forth in time, being entirely too curious about what makes her situation unique. Tepper manages to write realistic Sidhe and believable Bogles, despite the unlikelihood of her audience having any basis for comparison.

The protagonist, named Beauty (e
...more
Joy H.
It took me a while to finish reading this book (In fact, when I was more than half way through, I almost quit, but Jackie encouraged me to finish the story.) There are several reasons for my reluctance to finish reading the book:
1. I wasn't able to fully grasp or keep track of the plot because the main character, "Beauty" keeps moving back and forth between different time dimensions and different worlds, meeting different characters. That was confusing to me. So there was a sense of vagueness as
...more
Jackie
I loved this book immensely. It weaves a tapestry of fairytales, linking Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and Snow White in a timeless fantasy.
It transported me to the Realm of Fae and I was completely immersed in the novel. Sympathetic characters made it easy to love.
I sent this to my neice and wish I didn't because I'd love to read it again.
Terri Kempton
This book is a big hot mess! I kept reading because it was such a train wreck, a sick sense of fasciation held my interest. The plot is ridiculous: Tepper throws countless fairy tales, Bible stories, and unrelated fiction into a single storyline. But instead of cleverly weaving together disparate elements, it feels disjointed, haphazard, and nonsensical. Her writing frequently throws us such delicious awfulness as "his eyes glittered with hectic abandon." On top of that, here are my two major pr ...more
Amy
I love fairy tales and especially those aimed at adults. Beauty definitely delivers this in spades. Not only does Beauty weave in elements of the classic Sleeping Beauty tale, it also touches on many others as well, Cinderella and Snow White to name two.

Beauty is a fantasy, fairy-tale, science fiction mix with an unmistakable message about the future consequence of society turning its collective back on magic. Toward the end of the book, Tepper's Beauty character ponders on how people have esch
...more
Simon
A classic work of fantasy well deserving of it's place in the Fantasy Masterworks series.

I have never read anything by this author before and was pleasantly suprised by her delightful prose and the vastness of her imagination. This is not conventional fantasy quest story but follows in the fantasy tradition of railing against modern times and the direction that mankind seems to be headed in.

Tepper obviously has very clear ideas about what she thinks is wrong with society and which beliefs syste
...more
Juushika
A half-fairy girl goes on a long journey to discover the fate of magic in a changing world. Normally I approach Tepper like Atwood's genre writing: message-driven to the point of transparency, but sympathetic and consistently well-written. But Beauty is a mess of a book. It begins as a Sleeping Beauty retelling but crams in Cinderella, Snow White, Rapunzel, and the Frog Prince, growing increasingly predictable; it spans a lifetime and jumps between half a dozen settings, the worst of which is an ...more
Stevelvis
Beauty is a novel about decay and death and horror and ugliness and the fantastic hope that beauty may one day return. Sherri S. Tepper won the Locus Award for best fantasy novel with this story in which the fairy tale princess of Sleeping Beauty magically travels in time from her real life origins to the present day and the distant future end of humankind fighting to save herself. In her travels she encounters many real live people who appear as characters in our world's fairy tales, finds an u ...more
Delicious Strawberry
This has to be one of Ms. Tepper's better works. In too many of her books, we usually see some kind of weird deus ex machina or whatever thrown in (Family Tree, Gibbon's Decline and Fall, the Visitor) so I am pleased to say that this story is more coherent than these.

Anyone familiar with Ms. Tepper should not be surprised at her inclusion of commentaries against this or that - Ms. Tepper is quite the feminist, and snarks against religion, violence, patriarchy, the abuse of the environment/natura
...more
Shauna
Beauty is an interesting mix of fairytale and dystopian fiction. In it, Tepper is commenting on her perception that all the beauty in the world is dying, but perhaps-and we can only hope-it is just sleeping. She uses the metaphor of Sleeping Beauty to represent the world at large and the direction we are headed; perfect Beauty born, Beauty cursed with death, Beauty dying.

In all honesty, to the story itself I wouldn't give much more than two stars for all the enjoyment I got out of it (view spoil
...more
Britain
I loved the idea behind this book--all these fairy tales/epics woven together into a single character's lifetime, seeing the people that became the legends and how those stories began, fables and reality woven together into one narrative. And Tepper obviously did a sh!t-ton of research into Celtic and other mythologies to give those tales incredible depth and substance. Nevertheless, I can't in good conscience recommend this book. I wanted to love it, and I did love parts of it, but her soapboxi ...more
Puddlyduck
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lindsay
Jul 04, 2009 Lindsay rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everybody, particularly feminists, environmentalists and fairy-tale lovers
This book surprised me in a lot of ways. I was expecting a feminist-inflected retelling of "Sleeping Beauty," and while Beauty started out in that vein, it didn't stay there long.

Briefly, the story is about the title character --- a half-fairy daughter of a duke in fourteenth-century England --- roaming through time, space and other worlds after the famous sleep-for-a-hundred-years spell is placed on her family's castle. Among the places she goes are the present day (well, the 1990s), the End of
...more
Samikha
Jul 09, 2012 Samikha rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Samikha by: Kira
Shelves: fantasy-sci-fi
I hesitate between three or four stars on this one, because while I love the themes of this book, and cannot but approve of its quoting Swinburne, the reading experience is not as good as the premise would suggest. It's a fairytale - a collection of fairytales woven into a single tapestry - with more realism than might be thought, and with a clear, strong but still good moral message: take care of Beauty, in all of its (her) forms.

The book's strengths lie in the way it blends fairytale dynamics
...more
Sharlene
Ugh.

So apparently I wrote a couple of paragraphs about Sherri S. Tepper’s Beauty not too long after I read it. And I just read it and now have no idea where I was going with it.

And the problem is, the indifference, the disinterest. Because with a book you love, it’s so easy to write a gushy, full-throttled love fest. And with a book you hate, it’s also pretty easy to fling it against a wall and rant your head off. But with the indifference, there’s a struggle to move the cursor forward and fill
...more
Renee
This is the first novel of Tepper's I have read, but it certainly won't be the last. What initially begins as a good retelling of Sleeping Beauty becomes... an amazingly insightful novel about the human condition, a representation of a myriad of personality types and their interactions, a theological discussion, an exploration of the aging process and a distopian imagining of the effect humanity has on the planet. What Tepper accomplishes here is nothing short of miraculous. If she had written t ...more
Clare
This was one of the strangest books I've ever read. It was like Tepper was trying to write a book about everything, while at the same time have it focus entirely on the one mortal character who only actually lives around twenty years. And so the title character, Beauty, is like a pinball in this great celestial machine, rocketing around from the fourteenth century to the twenty-second, from one realm to another, from reality to imagined reality and literally to hell and back. I finished this boo ...more
Kathy Huynh
I was fussing between giving this novel a 3 or 4. I Decided on 4 because I was really engrossed in this book when reading it. It was definitely a page turner. However I did find Sheri S Tepper awfully annoying for her cluttered preaching. I do like a book with grounded principles and a moral stand I agree with but I just felt like the author tried too hard and interrupted the book with pages and pages of feminist and environmental views. It got in the way of a potentially nice flowing story. On ...more
Korynn
Not so much a fantasy as a giant allegory in which Sleeping Beauty is also all Beauty in the world. We're the sleepers. It's rather depressing, fixating on a horrible future of drones and machines and death and pollution, the standard: the world's going to hell in a handbasket if we don't wake up and save the rainforest, whales, oceans, animals, air, environment, ozone, learn to recycle, reuse and honestly people wake up! It's all true. However I really hate to have the point beaten into me ever ...more
Rachel
Well. That sucked.

And I was so inclined to like it, too.

(view spoiler)
...more
Shiloh (Fantastic Reading)
Beauty is half-fairy and carries a fairy curse: on her sixteenth birthday, she'll prick her finger on a spindle and fall into a deep sleep for a hundred years. But Beauty is careful and practical, if not always brilliantly smart, and she avoids the curse, which falls on her friend Beloved instead. With everyone she's ever known asleep in the castle, she leaves--and is caught by time travelers documenting the decline of magic and swept into the twenty-first century, where everything is terrible.

T
...more
Michael Battaglia
There's something to be said for revisiting old fairy tales. A lot of us of a certain age were most exposed to them via cartoons from the company run by the guy in the mouse ears and while they didn't completely shy away from the inherent darkness that inhabits such tales, they certainly threw a bit of a gloss over it, if only because it was easier to sell related merchandise that way. In our slightly more cynical latter part of the century and for so far most of the new one, there's been a tren ...more
Ideath
Another astonishingly embarrassing cover. Some parts were very good and others felt like romanticizing a fictional golden age (when people didn't make ugly things). That may seem like a silly criticism, given that its main substance is fairy tale, but the portrayal of horroporn just seemed over the top.
Also, ecological collapse being so close, i require more realism in my ecopocalypses. Perhaps i'm spoiled by KSR in that respect.
Harvey
This is a great book. The way that Tepper weaves in fairy tales to the story is very, very clever.

And even though I don't agree with her politics or her dystopian view of the future, it didn't intrude on my enjoyment of the book. (Robert J Sawyer please note how it should be done.)

My only quibble would be the Chinanga section of the book. Meh! Not so good. Or is there some literary reference that I'm missing?
Julie Decker
Beauty, the central character of Sleeping Beauty, narrates aspects of her life over a century as she observes her own influence on several famous tales. It sounds like it would be cutesy--mish-mashes of lots of fairy tales into one world usually are--but it's sometimes dark and sometimes really complex. It does examine the central nature of beauty--as well as Beauty--and though sometimes it has a weird judgmental feeling to it as it needs to point out things that supposedly fall short of beauty ...more
Fibaroobi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Time Travel: Beauty by Sheri Tepper, anyone read this? 3 25 Sep 25, 2014 06:46PM  
  • Sea-Kings of Mars and Otherworldly Stories
  • Black Gods and Scarlet Dreams
  • Brittle Innings
  • Ruby Slippers, Golden Tears
  • Mistress of Mistresses
  • The Well of the Unicorn
  • The Mabinogion Tetralogy
  • The Second Book of Lankhmar
  • The Green Pearl and Madouc (Lyonesse, #2-3)
  • Voice of Our Shadow
  • Darker Than You Think
  • The Emperor of Dreams
  • The Conan Chronicles: Volume 1: The People of the Black Circle(The Conan Chronicles, #1)
  • Time And The Gods
  • White as Snow
  • The Iron Dragon's Daughter
  • Peace
  • The Dragon Waiting
20560
Sheri Stewart Tepper is a prolific American author of science fiction, horror and mystery novels; she is particularly known as a feminist science fiction writer, often with an ecofeminist slant.

Born near Littleton, Colorado, for most of her career (1962-1986) she worked for Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood, where she eventually became Executive Director. She has two children and is married to Gen
...more
More about Sheri S. Tepper...
The Gate to Women's Country Grass (Arbai, #1) The Family Tree Raising the Stones Gibbon's Decline and Fall

Share This Book

“The sidesaddle was designed to protect a maiden's virginity, while risking the maiden's neck. Rather much for rather little, I thought.” 62 likes
More quotes…