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On Beauty

3.7  ·  Rating details ·  52,087 Ratings  ·  4,036 Reviews
Set in New England mainly and London partly, "On Beauty" concerns a pair of feuding families - the Belseys and the Kipps - and a clutch of doomed affairs. It puts low morals among high ideals and asks some searching questions about what life does to love. For the Belseys and the Kipps, the confusions - both personal and political - of our uncertain age are about to be brou ...more
Paperback, 443 pages
Published May 4th 2006 by Penguin UK (first published June 4th 2005)
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Rosellia I don't think so. I first read it about a year ago and found it enjoyable for its own sake. Still haven't read Howard's End, either, though if I do I…moreI don't think so. I first read it about a year ago and found it enjoyable for its own sake. Still haven't read Howard's End, either, though if I do I may revisit On Beauty.(less)
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Kinga
Nov 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-women-2014
Before we talk about Zadie Smith, let’s talk about me first. Here issomething you should know – I was a serious book-worm up until I turned 16 (more or less) at which point I lost all interest in anything that wasn’t parties, boys, alcohol, drugs or sex. There, I said it. For the next five years my brain didn’t see much action (I somehow managed to finish high school and got accepted into the University of Warsaw but generally I found education a big distraction to my social life). I was about 2 ...more
Aubrey
When I say I am not a people person, I mean I can find five reasons to hate someone, anyone, within ten minutes of meeting them in real life. As consequence of this and the desire to not let overwhelming anger ruin my life, I am always putting myself in the other's place, years of which have both calmed me down and sharpened my analysis to the quick. However much I initially dislike you, I will always, always, always respect you, and if you're not a complete and utter asshole and/or hypocrite wh ...more
Helene Jeppesen
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Contrary to a lot of people's opinions, I loved this book! The first couple of chapters were unpredictable and refreshing, and the rest of the book was an amazing story about family life, marriage problems, racism, growing up, and beauty.
I loved every single character, and while especially one of them behaved irrationnally, it was entertaining and informative to read about his decisions and the ensuing repercussions.
"On Beauty" was one of those books that grabbed me from beginning till end, an
...more
MJ Nicholls

This is a book full of unbeautiful people: obnoxious teenagers, philandering academics, stuffy professors, right-on street rappers, wispy rich kids and more obnoxious teenagers. Zadie takes a scalpel to Anglo-American academic relations, probing away at the race/class issues with her usual mordant unflinching cruelty and compassion. She plants a series of depth charges in the lives of her wibbling characters, watching them each explode in turn into quivering heaps of gloopy suet. As ever, the ri
...more
Fabian
Aug 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Smith accomplishes much in this, her third novel. "Autograph Man" was sadly not memorable enough & "White Teeth", the novel that quickly turned her into the valedictorian of all modern young writers, was epic but also did not engage me too much.

"On Beauty" is exceptionally readable, relevant/modern, complicated, witty. She has honed her skills, & one must be a 'lil jealous.

Like I told G. just yesterday: it contains that Middlesexian moment of profound awe. Modern novels, at least those
...more
Audrey
Oct 06, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: The people who recommended it to me?
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Saleh MoonWalker
Onvan : On Beauty - Nevisande : Zadie Smith - ISBN : 143037749 - ISBN13 : 9780143037743 - Dar 445 Safhe - Saal e Chap : 2005
Paul
Mar 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comic-novels
I find myself liking Zadie Smith more and more. The blurb about this wasn’t immediately promising; another novel about a middle-aged academic having an affair resulting in a family and personal crisis. However, there is much more going on. Smith herself has acknowledged that it is an Homage to Howard’s End. The author creates a multitude of voices, all interesting in their own right. It is set in a fictional American university town, Wellington (a thinly disguised Harvard).
The novel revolves ar
...more
karen
Apr 08, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
i read this too long ago to write a proper review of it, but this is a little heads-up if anyone wants to check out a "summer reruns" list i made over here:

https://www.rifflebooks.com/list/237495

i do so love making lists.
Oriana
May 22, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2012
I was deeply displeased with this book. I can't believe I actually finished it; I liked neither the characters nor the language nor the style. I only read it because I got it for free (found it on the street in a pile of other middling titles), but though that excuses my starting it, it does not at all excuse my slogging through, stubbornly determined, all the way to the end. The truth is this: I was too lazy to figure out what to read next, which is incredibly idiotic, so I deserved what I got. ...more
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Zadie Smith and her books look so interesting 2 1 Jan 06, 2017 06:07PM  
physical appearence when it comes to attraction ? 1 7 Jul 28, 2016 09:31PM  
Movie Adaptation Cast 1 13 Mar 25, 2016 06:08PM  
Guardian Newspape...: July 2015- on beauty 4 12 Jul 03, 2015 12:15PM  
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Zadie Smith is the author of the novels White Teeth, The Autograph Man, On Beauty, and NW, as well as a collection of essays, Changing My Mind. Swing Time is her fifth novel.

Visit www.zadiesmith.com for more information.
More about Zadie Smith...
“The greatest lie ever told about love is that it sets you free.” 401 likes
“Stop worrying about your identity and concern yourself with the people you care about, ideas that matter to you, beliefs you can stand by, tickets you can run on. Intelligent humans make those choices with their brain and hearts and they make them alone. The world does not deliver meaning to you. You have to make it meaningful...and decide what you want and need and must do. It’s a tough, unimaginably lonely and complicated way to be in the world. But that’s the deal: you have to live; you can’t live by slogans, dead ideas, clichés, or national flags. Finding an identity is easy. It’s the easy way out.” 279 likes
More quotes…