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The Beautiful Ones

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  477 ratings  ·  89 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 musicians in h
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published October 29th 2019 by Spiegel & Grau
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Average rating 3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  477 ratings  ·  89 reviews

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Casey Rain
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
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/>The
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 of the
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
Oct 29, 2019 rated it liked it
It's hard to know what to say. I was left feeling very sad and empty after quickly devouring this book. The opening chapter by Dan Piepenbring about how this book began to come together through his collaborations with Prince in early 2016 is fascinating and gripping. The suspense builds aptly for Part 2, the unreleased chapters written by Prince himself. When I read first few lines of those chapters, I burst into tears so quickly. I don't want to spoil it, but the way he chose to open his memoir ...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 priced 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
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.
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful book.
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.
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 was not approved, or provided by Prince for the purpose of producing this particular 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 ...more
Oct 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audibles
So unfortunate for us Prince did not get to C this thru....Memories R Good
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 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a quick read, but you won't quickly forget how it makes you feel. As a fan, it was amazing to see Prince's handwritten notes, lyrics, and memories. But, also as a fan, it is painful to imagine how amazing this memoir would have been if he had lived long enough to complete it. The vision he had for everything was on a whole other level than us mere mortals and I wished we had been able to see the finished product. Any lover of music, creativity or Prince will love this book.
Richard Kriheli
Oct 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Aw man, this book is great. So sad to read as it's only a taste of what was to come, which ultimately didn't. Prince has a good handle of storytelling, a lot better than I expected. Thank you to Dan Piepenbring for assembling this and helping Prince put out his first mini-draft of things for us all. I wish he were around to complete it.
Nate Jackson
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A bittersweet read, of course, but one that I'm glad saw the light of day.
Reading his words, his thoughts, his secrets...this was like a diary of one of the most prolific songwriters of all time.
I miss him more now.
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I love it... I love Prince!

I especially loved the copies of the lyrics! I truly miss this genius of a man!
Beautiful and way too brief

Bitterr sweet reading his royal badness's final musings ..genius as ever ..RIP Mr Nelson- an eternal artist for sure .
Sean Pfile
Oct 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Must read 4 anyone who appreciates music...

...The only reason it does not get a 5th star, is bcuz it is tragically incomplete...a must read 4 anyone who 💓's music.
Ana Santos
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing

Prince wrote thousands of songs so why did he choose ‘The Beautiful Ones’ to be the title of his memoir? Was it his favourite song? What and who is the song about? Before you can review a book, you need to know the background.

The introduction by Dan Piepenbring offers insight into how Prince wanted his first book to be. He told Dan exactly what he wanted and he delivered.

This is not your typical memoir but when the subjec
Caterina Pierre
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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.
Nov 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
In 2014, Prince, entering into a reflective stage of his life, began initial discussions on writing a book. Throughout 2014 and 2015, the concept and narrative of the book would evolve and expand, potentially capturing bold and innovative ideas that Prince wanted to convey. Something that explored his life, yet elevated his mystery, and shared his philosophies on the music industry and systemic racism. The publisher reached out to several potential editors and collaborators skilled enough to tea ...more
Francis Coco
Nov 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
Obviously, I wish Prince had been able to write the memoir he wanted to write. This is not it but I do appreciate the estate putting out what he had started and the photos of his family and personal polaroids were exciting to see. Not to mention the handwritten lyrics of Vagina, which I'd heard there was a song by this name but there hadn't been any information (that I had ever seen) so it was super exciting to see his handwritten lyrics to this song and others and his sketches. Another thing, i ...more
Nov 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If I want this book to be about one overarching thing, it’s freedom. And the freedom to create autonomously. Without anyone telling you what to do or how or why. Our consciousness is programmed. We see things a certain way from a young age—we’re programmed to keep doing them that way. Then you have to spend adulthood learning how to overcome it, to read out the programs. Try to create. I want to tell people to create. Just start by creating your day. Then create your life.

Prince has always bee“If
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
Thomas Feng
Nov 08, 2019 rated it liked it
was it beautiful? yes. was the material within good? yes. did we need it presented to us this way? I don't know. what we have of Prince's memoir is compelling and thoughtful, but Dan Piepenbring's introduction is longer (they both take 40 pages, but Prince's text is also laden with large pictures that take up a lot of space), and, while beautiful, affects the balance of the narrative...

the photo album is sweet; the documents thereafter are interesting but I don't think essential. the
Lisa  Carlson
Nov 16, 2019 rated it did not like it
Recommended to Lisa by: NY Times
Shelves: autobiography
7-time Grammy award winner, Academy Award winner for Purple Rain, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2004 inductee musician Prince (aka Rogers Nelson) along with advisory editor at The Paris Review, co-author of Chaos writer Dan Piepenbring collaborate on what can best be called a semi-autobiographical account of Prince's life in The Beautiful Ones (pp. 279). Many of us in Minnesota remember the day in April 2016 when we began hearing news reports Prince had died at his Paisley Park home. It was surreal ...more
Trey Piepmeier
Nov 17, 2019 rated it liked it
This was more of a sketch or a prototype or a scrapbook version of what a Prince memoir could have been rather than an actual memoir. That isn’t to say it wasn’t interesting. I think any Prince fan will eat this up, but it’s good to go into it with the right expectations. The core of the book is a handful of pages that Prince wrote longhand in a legal pad shortly before his death. The rest of the writing is by Dan Piepenbring. It includes a lengthy introduction as well as explanations of found o ...more
Nicole Whittaker
Nov 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biographies
The Beautiful Ones was supposed to be the first and only memoir from Prince, an artist who was notoriously private and loved to leave people guessing. I’m a HUGE Prince fan, so you can understand my excitement when he said he would write about his life and explain everything. Like the one time Prince and Michael Jackson were supposed to work on a project together. Prince said that process was crazy and there were so many bombshells in that story he couldn’t wait to share. Or stories about his pa ...more
Michelle Jerome
Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bio, music
I enjoyed the insight into Prince's life. We all miss him. It was nice to be able to read this. Some of my favorite quotes from Prince that are in the book:

Just start with creating a DAY, then CREATE A LIFE.

Outside means being completely free with no ceiling.

You NEED someone to SURVIVE.

I AM what I AM when I AM

The best thing I can say about him is that he made my mother happy.

I don't trick people, life is too confusing already.

I don’t feel like there’s a lot of people
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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 and playing