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The Tragedy of Beauty

4.79  ·  Rating details ·  14 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Snowden, North Dakota is a dying reservation town in a dying state, surrounded by hundreds of miles of prairie littered with the ruins of eight decades of economic decline. To half-Chippewa, half-white seventeen-year-old Dylan Erickson, this land is a little slice of heaven—the woods and fields, the endless skies that burn at night, and the Missouri River running through i ...more
Kindle Edition, 281 pages
Published August 1st 2018 by Kildare Press LLC
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Feb 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
‘Things won’t ever be the same around here…’

Author Kildare offers no biographical information to allow the reader to appreciate the background for this novel. Kildare has published three novels to date – DREAMWANDER: Book 1 in the Ruins of Eden series, BOOMWILD, and THE TRAGEDY OF BEAUTY – stories in the Native American genre and as set in the North Dakota locale.

Kildare’s prose is mesmerizing, capable of painting scenes and characters worthy of the tension the story unravels. A sample of that p
Feb 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Snowden, North Dakota is a small reservation town, seemingly forgotten by the rest of the nation, and even the rest of its own state. Dylan Erickson is half white and half Chippewa and has lived in this place his entire life. He doesn’t see the decay caused by the economic decay, he sees the beauty of the prairie, the woods and the streams and he wouldn’t change it for the world. That’s why he gets so distraught when big machinery and hordes of workers start streaming in. They are chasing the oi ...more
Reader Views
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reviewed by Sheri Hoyte for Reader Views (12/18)

“The Tragedy of Beauty” by Kildare is a touching story that follows Dylan Erickson, a half-Chippewa, half-white, seventeen-year-old, coming-of-age in the town of Snowden, a small, dying reservation town in North Dakota. Dylan treasures life in Snowden with the dense woods, large fields, wide open skies and cherished friends. When an oil boom hits, thousands of workers migrate to the rural communities in the area and soaring housing prices, increase
Lesley Jones
Aug 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing

In the beautiful reservation town of Snowden, North Dakota, a group of teenage friends enjoy growing up in their idyllic surroundings, where all they have to worry about is their next daring prank. Dylan Erickson, a half-Chippewa, and his friends try to outdo each other with their deadly games until tragedy strikes one fateful day and Dylan is left to pick up the pieces of his life. Dylan’s life is consumed with pain and guilt as he struggles with his internal demons. Nothing can stop the downwa
Romuald Dzemo
Aug 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Tragedy of Beauty by Kildare is a compelling story of change, of coming of age, and a young boy’s quest to understand tragedy. The setting is Snowden, a desolate town in North Dakota. The surrounding areas are gradually falling into ruin. A place where few people would like to live because it offers little to no opportunity ... until the oil boom happens and thousands of workers start flooding the area. Dylan Erickson, like many others, has to cope with the changes that come with the oil boo ...more
Ruffina Os
Aug 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Tragedy of Beauty by Kildare is a spellbinding coming of age tale, a story set against the backdrop of a dying town. While Snowden may not have the kind of economy and attractions of a thriving town, young Dylan Erickson, just like his teenage friends, transforms it into a haven with hilarious rides and a lot of fun stuff to do. But this town is about to be transformed, thanks to the boom in the oil market. Many businesses move into town and just suddenly it becomes a very busy hub, but also ...more
Aug 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes you have to do crazy things to truly experience life.” The mantra of young adults who don’t yet know the fragility of life. As the story opens on a summer's day, we find ourselves in Snowdyn, North Dakota, riding along in an old yellow pickup truck where one of the main characters, seventeen-year-old Dylan Erickson, is loading a rifle. He and his buddies, Dutch and Strong Bear, are about to go deer hunting. Kildare captures readers’ hearts in The Tragedy of Beauty as he unfolds for us ...more
Jenny Goff
Mar 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book definitely lives up to its name, The Tragedy of Beauty, meaning that sometimes when something beautiful happens, it can also result in something tragic. I thought this was a good story showing the lives of seventeen year old Dylan and his friends and family. They live in a small farming town in North Dakota where the economy and population has been significantly declining over the years. The author does a great job of describing how the town and surrounding community have deteriorated ...more
Sue Gannaway
Sep 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Set in western North Dakota, the story follows a group of high schools classmates as they face change in their personal lives and their community. The tragedy of an accident that takes two lives from the group haunts and deeply effects the main character, Dylan. His struggles with the many changes in his young life and the deep loss and guilt of losing his friends drives a division between Dylan, his father, his girlfriend and even his closest remaining friend. The book is well written and explo ...more

This story need to be made into a movie as soon as possible. The writing in this book is beautiful! It’s written in a way that makes it so easy to play it in your head, just like a movie. I was so invested in Dylan’s character. He’s a young man who is lost, and carrying a lot of things on his shoulders. He doesn’t quite know what he’s doing, like many young people, but it was so great to be able to find out how he was trying to find himself and do better. The ending! Wow! This book had s
Feb 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Tragedy of Beauty is an absolute joy to read. It is beautifully written, the plot is paced perfectly, and the characters are memorable. There are plenty of twists and turns along the way that keeps things moving without becoming a convoluted, overcomplicated mess.

This is one that I will be thinking about for a long time and will probably reread again soon. This book is why I love reading. There is so much joy, sadness, and humanity packed into this book that it’s hard to believe it is only 3
Vanessa Perry
Aug 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Can't wait to read ...more
Nov 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The author writes with an elegance and flow that cleverly commands your attention and stimulates your imagination. Kildare lays out picturesque sceneries with imagery so vivid and crisp it was easy to picture life in the small town of Snowden. The clarity he brings to the various relationships and the intensity of the storyline keeps the reader engaged and invested in the outcome. The camaraderie between Dylan and his friends induced deep feelings of nostalgia as I was brought back to my own com ...more
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  Kerine Wint is a software engineering graduate with more love for books than for computers. As an avid reader, writer, and fan of all things...
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