Oriana's Reviews > On Beauty

On Beauty by Zadie Smith
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May 22, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: read-2012
Read from May 18 to 24, 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. There were a few moments right there toward the end when she pulled all the semi-disparate plotlines together and I was fairly impressed seeing how it all fit, but all in all? This book sucked and I kind of suck for reading it.
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03/18/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-21 of 21) (21 new)

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message 1: by bibbikinz (new)

bibbikinz gomez I read 2 pages a few years back. I have no desire to try again. Meh.


Oriana You are much smarter than me, my dear.


message 3: by Libbie Hawker (new)

Libbie Hawker (L.M. Ironside) I've been trying to make myself read her novel White Teeth for months now, but I keep reading the first page and going, "Bluh." And then not reading any more.


Oriana I say get rid of it. I mean, I have no idea how that one compares to this, but if you can't even make yourself get past page one, why push it? There are way too many other books in the world.


message 5: by Rayroy (new)

Rayroy you should read Raymond Carver next, you know read someting great! I would go with "Cathedral", lives too short for bad b


Oriana Thanks Ives, but I think I'm going for The Pale King next, unless I need a palate cleanser first.


message 7: by MJ (new) - rated it 5 stars

MJ Nicholls Carver-shmarver! Pale King! Pale King!


message 8: by Magdelanye (new)

Magdelanye Actually White TTeeth was hilarious in a morbid sort of way and I emjoyed it...so too bad about this one


message 9: by Jeff (new)

Jeff Jackson Despite all the good reviews, I've never been able to get very far into any of her books. I've always chalked that up to bad timing and possible laziness on my part, so I'm kind of thrilled to read this review which bolster my suspicion that it wasn't just my own moodiness that turned me off her writing.


Oriana Haha happy to support your instinctual denial of the over-hyped, Jeff. And Magdelanye, if I ever do find White Teeth for free, I suppose I might give it a shot.


message 11: by Tuck (new)

Tuck consider "night swimmer" and or "gods without men" to read next too. they are great The Night Swimmer: A Novel Gods Without Men


Oriana Tuck, those both sound really depressing. Are they?


message 13: by Tuck (new)

Tuck well, yes, night swimmer is a bit cold, and some gothic horror, but everything turns out great in gods. hmm, non depressing new great novel.........alice bhatti is good Our Lady of Alice Bhatti and these comics look neat, but maybe boring? Flannery O'Connor: The Cartoons and pony stories are always great, right? Boleto and this new rural novel is supposed to be really good, on my list anyway Heading Out To Wonderful


Oriana great roundup, Tuck, thanks!


Nate D similar experiences.


message 16: by Una (new) - rated it 1 star

Una I wish I had read your review before starting this book!


Oriana Sorry : (


Dianna I don't think any of the characters are meant to be liked. I think she is trying to show how people in real life can be. I am listening to the book on cd and am about halfway through it. Ican see how you have difficulty with it.


Oriana Yeah, I agree with the first part (a major part of why I hated this), but not the second. People "in real life" can totally be likable! I hate when authors equate "real" with "awful."


Dianna I understand what you are saying. I definitely don't think the book will be a classic.


Chris Gager Right! It's a shite-fest ...


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