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

The Beautiful Ones

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  4,798 ratings  ·  768 reviews
From Prince himself comes the brilliant coming-of-age-and-into-superstardom story of one of the greatest artists of all time—featuring never-before-seen photos, original scrapbooks and lyric sheets, and the exquisite memoir he began writing before his tragic death.

Prince was a musical genius, one of the most talented, beloved, accomplished, popular, and acclaimed musician
Hardcover, First Edition (U.S.), 280 pages
Published October 29th 2019 by Spiegel & Grau/Random House, Inc.
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 Beautiful Ones, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Beautiful Ones

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,798 ratings  ·  768 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Beautiful Ones
Casey Rain
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2019
Prince's unfinished memoir is captured here, in The Beautiful Ones, out now on Penguin Random House. It’s a stunning package, but a difficult proposition. It’s not his memoir. It’s partly that. It’s not a photo book, but it’s partly that. And it’s not a no-hold-barred insight into the man himself, although again — it’s partly that. What we have here is a package created with struggles, but with love. What he wrote of his memoir, combined with unseen photos, lyric sheets, notes, and the original ...more
Nov 05, 2019 rated it did not like it
Soooooooooooooooooooooooooo, this book has THEEEE longest introduction EVER, in the whole world... how selfish Dan, this story isn’t about you! I got the audiobook cause I thought it was going down but NOPE. Esperanza Spalding read the book and while I THOROUGHLY enjoy her music, she can’t read a damn thing to me. Sorry E 😬.

This book is pieced together as if held together by gorilla glue, WHEW LORD! Three people read the 3 hour audiobook. THREE PEOPLE, THREE HOURS, SAME MAN, ONE BOOK... chiiiii
Jay Gabler
Oct 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It's impossible to know what Prince would have made of the book just published under his byline, and it's probably best not to speculate...but you have to imagine he'd be happy to feel the weight of it. Both literally and figuratively, it's a heavy book, its 280 pages printed on substantial stock and bound between purple covers with a gold dust jacket.

The Beautiful Ones is one of the signal publishing events of 2019, and it's also one of the most poignant. In the last months, indeed the very las
Jeanette (Again)
2.5 stars

This is a mish-mash of material that could have been an excellent book if Prince had lived to complete it. The first 57 percent of the book is an introduction by Dan Piepenbring, the writer Prince chose to collaborate with him on the autobiography. Dan tells of his very brief association with Prince lasting only a few months. He explains how he got the job, the time he spent getting to know Prince as they began work on the book, and what happened after Prince died.

The intro is followed
Jamie (TheRebelliousReader)
”Those considered “different” R the ones most interesting 2 us.”

5 stars. Such a bittersweet read. I’ve been anticipating this book since it’s announcement years ago when Prince was still alive. Reading it now, with him no longer here and this being unfinished made it so somber. I can’t even imagine what all he would’ve done with this book but for what we got it was still a really beautiful (no pun intended) read. I loved that there were a lot of notes and letters in his handwriting and all o
Oct 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: autos-bios, audibles
So unfortunate for us Prince did not get to C this thru....Memories R Good
Nandi Crawford
I loved Prince from the get go, but facts being facts, it's an interesting yet unfinished work.I'm not discounting the book, but it speaks of his life from birth to him writing the first draft of Purple Rain. Mostly pictures, some writing and his draft which was so good, it make you wish he either started sooner or live long enough to finish. Still, many thanks to those who brought it to this. Thank you.
La Vida Rose
I NEED MORE! This book contains 26-pages that Prince wrote intended for his memoir. It's just not enough. The rest of the book features handwritten song lyrics from some of his early songs in the 70s and 80s and quotes from magazine interviews he did and lots of photos; many of them never-before-seen from the 70s and early 80s. How badly I wish he was able to finish this as it started off so beautifully. It was a tribute to his parents. I absolutely loved the anecdotal stories he told of his you ...more
Book Reviews By Tara
Nov 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
This book is not a memoir written by Prince! This is a biography written by Dan Piepenbring. I am highly disappointed with this book. The information within these pages were not approved by, nor provided by Prince for the purpose of producing this book. A memoir is a book written by an individual who has chosen to share the details of his or her life. Prince did not write these details to be published in this way. The pictures and paraphernalia in the book was acquired after his death. So withou ...more
David Gibbons
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
You can't knock stars off it for being incomplete. What I, for one, would give for it to possibly have been completed. It means he would still be here for us.
Bon Tom
Mar 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
It's enjoyable for how much (or little) there is. Too bad it never got to completion the way it deserved. I could listen to Prince's musings about music day and night.
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
This is not a memoir. It should have been a feature story in Rolling Stone or any number of literary journals. The sketches that are actually written by Prince are fleeting, still mostly unformed, but engaging and worth reading because of the singularity of the talent. Dan Piepenbring's introduction (half the book, really) is illuminating, but again, probably only worthy of a podcast, article or interview and not a book sold as "by Prince." Prince talks about being an alpha creatively, knowing w ...more
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Obviously, I was going to give this book five stars from the second Prince announced it. But these five stars are deserved. Prince’s autobiographical section is quite slight. But in so few pages, he brings his charm, wit and astuteness. His words provide insight about his formative years. And Dan Piepenbring's introduction is a delight.

We will never know what could have been. But I am thankful for the small amount that was shared.
Jan 17, 2020 rated it it was ok
This is less a memoir by Prince, more an article written by Dan Piepenbring. The audio is only 3 hours long, so I checked out a physical copy from the library afterward. It’s loaded with photos and notes and such. If this had been completed prior to Prince’s untimely death, it could’ve been brilliant. This is just a bunch of stuff thrown together. Not enough material nor substance.
Nov 06, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: library, 03-star, 2019
First off, Prince is one of my all-time favorite artists! But I'm a little disappointed by this book.

Because Prince died in the early stages of writing the book we only get to read roughly 28 pages that he actually wrote. The majority of the book is made up of personal photos and handwritten song lyrics that were found in Prince's home after he died. Throughout the book, there are a series of excerpts from magazine and newspaper articles with quotes from Prince. Although I enjoyed the personal
Cassandra Gillig
Dec 16, 2019 rated it liked it
uhh this is mostly the story of one young white man's tragic big-break-that-could-have-been then about 30 handwritten pages that prince almost certainly would have wanted to edit. what's good is one of prince's scrapbooks from when he was 19 & of course loads of other pictures of prince who would honestly look hot in a burlap sack rapidly rolling down the side of a mountain. it's a big marketing scam but a great way to hide that is of course to show somebody so many pictures of prince they're fo ...more
Nov 06, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: perused, 2019
Glorified coffeetable book for die hard fans masochistically driven to destroy the mystique. The much too long intro written by the co-author is, in my opinion, literate but tone deaf fanzine blogslop: visiting Prince for dinner at Paisley Park takes on the sinister shades of Jonathan Harker trapped and mesmerized at Dracula's castle.
Apr 28, 2020 rated it liked it
Prince unfinished memoir..... I loved and still love prince! Such a talent🥰
Apr 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Easy read. Picture and memorabilia book. For Prince fans mostly, though any lover of music may enjoy. Nothing too profound or enlightening here. But, Prince was probably the most talented pop-star musician of all time. Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder might be a couple of his only rivals(though personally I put Prince above them both in musicianship, and neither compare to him as a pure entertainer).

I imagine there are more accomplished musicians somewhere, but whoever they are, they obviously
chantel nouseforaname
#1) this book is physically GORGEOUS. GORGEOUS. Like absolutely stunning and beautiful. Much like the man, the legend, Prince. #2) Dan Piepenbring - the introductory essay was fantastic. It was so extremely well written without being exploitative. I felt like I really got a look into the man without it being biased out of anything but love. You could feel his love for Prince. His artistry. His work. You could feel how personal Prince can be for people. We all interpret Prince so differently, eve ...more
Jak Krumholtz
Nov 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"Rhythm came from Africa. We need to stop frontin' about that. Rhythm and heartbeats."

Despite a few close calls I never got to see Prince. My last chance I skipped because it was five hours away and my daughter was less than a week old. It was more tempting when it was rescheduled a week later but I still didn't go, relatively unperturbed because he'd begun doing more frequent tours. It ended up being his last show when he passed a week later.

A book was conceived during that same time period and
Apr 24, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir, non-fiction
How does one rate an incomplete book? I listened to the audio version (as I always do), and it was only three hours long. Literally half of that was spent on the introduction. There are a few chapters written by Prince, as well as a collection of various magazine and TV quotes (which were, oddly, read by two different female narrators, despite being in the first person POV of a man). I grew up listening to Prince so, as a fan, I did enjoy hearing more about his life, especially in his own words. ...more
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful book.
Never Without a Book
Jan 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is beautiful!
Cynthia Lewis
Oct 31, 2019 rated it liked it
This book by definition couldn't be 5 stars, because it was necessarily, heartbreakingly incomplete. But Dan Piepenbring could have done more justice to the material he did have.

Piepenbring's propensity to toss in a 50 cent word where a simpler word would do is distracting. For example, he uses the word "plangent" to describe the quiet and reflective song "Sometimes it Snows in April". I have a relatively large vocabulary, and I was a musician in my youth, but I had never encountered this word.
Sue K H
Dec 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'm rating this as a coffee table book, not a biography or autobiography.  The book is very thin and disjointed on the biographical details.  I'm sure it would have been much different if Prince had lived.  The first 47 pages were about the author's process of getting the job from Prince and his initial meetings with him. They were boring and wouldn't have been there had the author had more material on Prince to include.  I can't imagine Prince giving his okay on those pages.   I do think it's c ...more
Nov 26, 2019 rated it did not like it
Let me start by saying that I love Prince. I was excited to hear this book was coming out. But unfortunately it is a huge disappointment and like a slap in Prince’s face as well as a slap to all his fans who were really expecting a memoir. This is NOT a memoir. This is someone’s very poor attempt to capitalize on Prince’s name by throwing together this half assed piece of trash and putting his name on it. Shame on yall for this. I’m sure Prince would not have approved of this and he’s most likel ...more
Matt Fitz
Nov 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Prince was a unique figure in both music and pop culture. One of a kind. Inimitable and multi-talented. Reverent. Irreverent. Calm. Frenetic. Above all, he was enigmatic. Truly traveling the road less traveled. Marching to the sound of his own drum beat (and bass line, and guitar riff, and tambourine slap).

This book is Prince. Sadly, we won't get that much sought after peek into his brain of how he conjured musical angels and slayed personal demons because of his untimely death in the early stag
Nov 03, 2019 rated it liked it
So, I finished this in one sitting, then sat back down and read it again. I can’t help but feel that this was a missed opportunity. I absolutely loved Prince’s memories of his childhood and growing to love music and the songs that touched him. Because of the brevity of that work—cut short by his untimely passing, it feels like there should have been more effort made to capture his legacy in this “memoir.” Instead, we get a cut and paste of lyrics, magazine clips, and personal and promotional pho ...more
Jan 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
If you're a Prince fan, this book is the perfect guilty pleasure. His offbeat personality resonates through the author's personal interactions with him, and in his own words and pictures. Though the book is in a sense incomplete due to the fact that Prince's death came before he finished writing it, it's clear that there will never be an artist like him again. In case there was ever a question!💜
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • On Time: A Princely Life in Funk
  • My Name Is Prince
  • Me
  • A Song for You: My Life with Whitney Houston
  • The Most Beautiful: My Life with Prince
  • Acid for the Children
  • Face It
  • Prince: Before The Rain
  • Let Love Rule
  • Wham! George & Me
  • Sweat the Technique: Revelations on Creativity from the Lyrical Genius
  • Prince: A Private View
  • The Undying
  • Inside Out
  • The Stars and the Blackness Between Them
  • Jay-Z: Made in America
  • Anthony Bourdain Remembered
See similar books…
Prince Rogers Nelson was an American singer, songwriter, musician, and actor.

According to Robert Larsen in his book, History of Rock and Roll, Prince is "one of the most talented and commercially successful pop musicians of the last twenty years", producing ten platinum albums and thirty Top 40 singles during his career. Prince founded his own recording studio and label, writing, self-producing a

Articles featuring this book

Need another excuse to go to the bookstore this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our list,...
24 likes · 17 comments
“Still, my soul is cast iron and not to be dented.” 1 likes
“A lot of people have the idea that I'm a wild sexual person...I've lectured quite a few people out there. I'll say, 'Think about what you're saying. How would you react if you were me?' I ask that question a lot. 'How would you react if you were me?' They say, 'Okay, okay.” 0 likes
More quotes…