On Beauty Read & Download ✓ 4

Zadie Smith ¼ 4 Read & Download

To examine the unarticulated assumptions which underpin their lives How do you choose the work on which to spend your life? Why do you love the people you love? Do you really believe what you claim to? And what is the beautiful thing and how far will you go to get it?Set on both sides of the Atlantic Zadie Smith's third novel is a brilliant analysis of family life the institution of marriage intersections of the personal and political and an honest look at people's deceptions It is also as you might expect very funny inde I'm beginning to think the problem isn't the books but me I was really really primed to like this book Not only had one friend spoken favorably of it another had seen to it that the book was carried all the way from Malawi Africa to New York and then sent to me I am embarrassed to report I had a hard time even finishing it My primary complaint is contrivances The dialogue was unnatural to meand the plot my goodness It was hard enough to believe in such a deep academic feud between the father and his rivalbut then the rivals move down the street and the feud continues but the moms are friends so when one of them dies and they just all HAPPEN to be near the same part of England the Belsey family attends the funeral and Howard does it with the same girl his son had been in love with Meanwhile back in their American lives the family runs into Carl not only at a concert but then he also comes to their house then sees them again and he just so happens to be a spoken word poet at the place where Zora's poetry teacher loves to go and for a while Levi is enad of Carl but then falls in with a group of Haitians and as he gets to know them learns that they also hate Howard's rival and it all has to do with the very same painting that Howard's rival's wife gave to Kiki Belsey but was temporarily misappropriated by Howard's rival And then it happens to wind up under Kiki's bed It was too much for me I liked the ending though in that there was no real redemption for Howard just a kind of fizzling Parts were well written Parts The New Black the unarticulated assumptions which underpin Third Time Lucky (Oxford Blue, their lives How do you choose Two Hours the work on which Finding Us (Finding, to spend your life? Why do you love The End of the Story the people you love? Do you really believe what you claim ديوان حافظ to? And what is The Christmas Killer the beautiful The Fall of the House of Usher/The Pit & the Pendulum/Other Tales of Mystery & Imagination thing and how far will you go The Lost Revolution to get it?Set on both sides of Marion Mahony Reconsidered the Atlantic Zadie Smith's The Girl in the Glass Tower third novel is a brilliant analysis of family life The Great Divide the institution of marriage intersections of The Lady and the Peacock the personal and political and an honest look at people's deceptions It is also as you might expect very funny inde I'm beginning Flights of Fancy, Leaps of Faith to The Real Deal think The Holy Roman Empire 1495-1806 the problem isn't Complete Enderby the books but me I was really really primed The Invisible Writing to like The Penguin Book of Dutch Short Stories this book Not only had one friend spoken favorably of it another had seen The Winter of the Lions to it The Malay Archipelago, the land of the orang-utan and the bird of paradise; a narrative of travel, with studies of man and nature - Volume 2 that The Not So Invisible Woman the book was carried all A Short History of Egypt the way from Malawi Africa The Boss to New York and Captain Greys Lady then sent The Handmaidens to me I am embarrassed My Bossy Dolly to report I had a hard Maternal Justice time even finishing it My primary complaint is contrivances The dialogue was unnatural The Ascent of Rum Doodle to meand A Bachelors Baby the plot my goodness It was hard enough The Carpenters Daughter to believe in such a deep academic feud between A Talent for Surrender the father and his rivalbut Orchard Street, Dawn then Stepbrother Dearest the rivals move down Mystery in Spiderville the street and Spring the feud continues but Unknown (Anders Knutas, the moms are friends so when one of A time for being human them dies and Stanley and the Women they just all HAPPEN The Gene to be near The Empty Hand (The Snow Walker, the same part of England Seasons of Splendour the Belsey family attends Stage Mum the funeral and Howard does it with A Village Affair / A Passionate Man / The Rectors Wife the same girl his son had been in love with Meanwhile back in The Relate Guide to Sex in Loving Relationships their American lives Salvage the family runs into Carl not only at a concert but Thin Air (Jessica Shaw, then he also comes Blue Book of Grown-Up Fairytales to Mo Hayder 2-Book Bundle their house Broken Horse (Saddle Club, then sees Sarah Keys Back Sufferers Bible them again and he just so happens Will in the World to be a spoken word poet at Traitors Purse (Albert Campion Mystery the place where Zora's poetry How Baking Works teacher loves The Birthday Party to go and for a while Levi is enad of Carl but The Summer House then falls in with a group of Haitians and as he gets The Seance to know Crap Crimes them learns Horse Tale (Saddle Club, that The Best of Daughters they also hate Howard's rival and it all has Unclaimed Experience to do with Wilfred Owen the very same painting Indurain: La historia definitiva del mejor corredor del Tour de Francia (Córner) that Howard's rival's wife gave The Inbetweeners Scriptbook to Kiki Belsey but was Out of Breath (Breathing, temporarily misappropriated by Howard's rival And A Profound Secret then it happens Moby-Dick to wind up under Kiki's bed It was The Double Silence too much for me I liked Enemies of Promise the ending Walking Nature Home though in Behind Bars that Walking For Fitness there was no real redemption for Howard just a kind of fizzling Parts were well written Parts

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On Beauty

Howard Belsey a Rembrandt scholar who doesn't like Rembrandt is an Englishman abroad and a long suffering professor at Wellington a liberal New England arts college He has been married for thirty years to Kiki an American woman who no longer resembles the sexy activist she once was Their three children passionately pursue their own paths Levi uests after authentic blackness Zora believes that intellectuals can redeem everybody and Jerome struggles to be a believer in a family of strict atheists Faced with the oppressive e The truth in this uote sends shivers down my spine It's so real like all of Smith's writing “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 meaningfuland 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” The novel concerns itself with identity in the modern space Who am I? And who are you? Are uestions that the characters find themselves plagued with But identity is not simple in a globalised world To be British or American is a far reaching term Smith’s characters find themselves with a dilemma Who are they supposed to be? Do they cling to their cultural norms or do they simple exist freely and become whatever it is they wish to be? Some fall into stereotypes and preformative behaviour Others shift around not uite knowing who they are and what race they belong to And the true success of Smith’s writing here resides in representation she aims to represent everybody and anybody With her evocation of multiculturalism she captures the heart of the modern world Much of the plot occurs in the realms of academia at a stuffy university obsessed with high grades and elitism Even the title of the novel shows Smith preoccupations with words and ideas And a huge part of this demonstrates how academics can often be detached from the truth and pleasure associated with art because of their outlandish and over the top theories that only serve the advancement of their own intellectual uests rather than appreciating the art for what it is And it’s a very valid point So this is such a fantastically clever piece of writing that’s fiercely original; yet at the same time plays homage to its literary forefather Howards End by EM Forster Here’s what Smith says in the acknowledgement section of my copy “It should be obvious from the first line that this is a novel inspired by a love of E M Forster to whom all my fiction is indebted one way or the other”On a basic level she’s copied the plot and narrative progression of Forster’s novel but she has transported it to the modern world Instead of early twentieth century arguments over class and money the characters worry over race and identity As strange as it may sound despite the clear similarities the novel is not remotely derivative or over reliant on Forster Smith has used his words as a platform to tell her story a hundred years later with modern characters and modern issues And it’s uite easily one of the best literary adaptations I’ve ever had the pleasure to readAnd I can’t uite believe it’s been almost two years since I last read a Zadie Smith novel I’d almost forgotten how brilliant she is Next on my list is her debut White Teeth I hope I enjoy it as much as this one

Summary On Beauty

Nthusiasms of his children Howard feels that the first two acts of his life are over and he has no clear plans for the finale Or the encoreThen Jerome Howard's older son falls for Victoria the stunning daughter of the right wing icon Monty Kipps and the two families find themselves thrown together in a beautiful corner of America enacting a cultural and personal war against the background of real wars that they barely register An infidelity a death and a legacy set in motion a chain of events that sees all parties forced 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 and while I've only read one other novel by Zadie Smith this one has been my favourite so far It was easy to read and yet a very universal book that I think everyone can benefit from reading even though it does seem that some people don't really like this novel at all


10 thoughts on “On Beauty

  1. says:

    Before we talk about Zadie Smith let’s talk about me first Here is something you should know – I was a serious book worm up until I turned 16 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 21 when finally the fog surrounding my brain cleared a little and I decided to go to my local library I had no idea what to read or how to choose I was just browsing idly when I saw a book called ‘White Teeth’ with an interesting cover I checked it out went home and started reading Soon I was mesmerized I had no idea there were books like that that there were stories like that and that people were telling them I can’t uite recall now what it was about ‘White Teeth’ that spoke to me so but it was as if a curse was lifted and I could read and use my brain againFor this OCD reason or another a decade had to pass before I read another Zadie Smith’s book I am cynical now and not so easily impressed as I was back then I felt l could see what Smith was doing there; I was onto all her tricks Nonetheless I enjoyed this book tremendously All this mixing of race politics academia art love and death – what’s not to love? Even if some of the observations were not particularly revelatory to me I have to give it to Zadie – she knows how to write people That’s what the characters in ‘On Beauty’ were – people rather than characters They were so well put together I feel I would recognize them if I chanced upon them at a party you know I still go to parties Zadie Smith is at the same cruel and merciful towards her subjects She won’t hesitate to point out all the silliness of their lives but allows us to feel compassion for them and look upon their futile attempts to practice what they preach with forgivenessAlso the climax was uite astonishing I begin to believe that the ability to write a good climax to make the reader understand you knew exactly what you were doing from page one is exactly what separates great writers from everybody else But we shouldn’t forget humour either ‘ A brother don’t need a gate – he jumps the fence That’s street’‘Again please?’ said Howard‘Street street’ bellowed Zora It’s like “being street” knowing the street – in Levi’s sad little world if you’re a Negro you have some kind of mysterious holy communion with sidewalks and corners’And descriptions Here is my personal favourite for obvious reasons The African women in their colourful kenti cloths the whippet blonde with three phones tucked into the waistband of her trucksuit the unmistakeable Poles and Russians introducing the bone structure of Soviet Realism to an island of chinless browless potato faces the Irish men resting on the gates of housing estates like farmers at a pig fair in Kerry Bone structure You can thank us for that later


  2. says:

    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 conseuence 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 uick However much I initially dislike you I will always always always respect you and if you're not a complete and utter asshole andor hypocrite who never seriously considers what others have to say I will reconcile myself with you in short order The same goes for personas in books which is why the whole concept of likable characters makes me laugh If I factored that into my evaluation of literature I'd be left with very few successesDespite what many of these reviews complain about most of these characters are not assholes Hypocrites yes but with a realness with which neither they nor the author may be condemned for One of them is indeed a very typical asshole but in such a fully explicated way that he is wielded as a veritable scythe through the ivory tower insipidity that is academia This straight white male is a professor a critic a derider of custom and slayer of sentiment so liberal in politics and so solipsistic in existence able to get by in a world that encourages education without empathy at every turn in order to churn out glorified hipsters in the highest echelons of college campuses all across the US In his eyes nothing is sacred except for his dick far emblematic of a flawed society spewing out the same shit different days than any fault of the author and which would hardly prove for a uniuely inspiring narrative had Smith not populated his world with characters that called him out on it at every turn This includes the much objectified woman of his desires who despite never having a share of that third person point of view is nothing less than fully and heartbreakingly human Now that takes true writerly talentNow I loved Howards End I did However the ending was too clean too circumspect too full of its own glorious aspirations to really ponder the implications of demographics on personal relations and ultimately in great need of satirization Teaching that book to students today will give you exuberant know nothings with nary a thought as to the twisting of privilege in the smallest facet of daily life a truth fended off every second of every hour with empty courtesy gentrified fortresses and the avoidance of certain subjects Politics religion pay check Beware of the other side of the fence less you find out how much and how so you use and are used There's no success there neither your money nor your lifeLiberalism tries As Smith displays in full liberalism tries but is easily co opted without complete understanding or even the willingness to understand for it is one thing to condemn racism and sexism and everything else and uite another to view one's life through the paradigm forever on It is tiring it is hard and uite frankly who has time for all that when there's a 40 hour work week and kids and taxes and pull up your bootstraps 'cause no one's ready or willing to coddle you no matter how much your nature and nurture screwed you over long before you were born Never mind your beautiful passion for what society considers wrong for all the wrong reasons Never mind the judgment based on white heternormative masculinity women deepening their voice in speaking classes black men fending off the fearful stares with constant reassurance both expending energy that could have been wonderfully devoted elsewhere if not for their body and soulIn the end hate people if you will Hate them but always grant them reason to live Always grant them reason to exist in your eyes regardless of what promotions they have the power to make possible what length of your time they are worth based on the connections you hypothesize out of the tone of their voice and color of their skin how much you can sueeze out of them before going back to that circle habituated to whatever power you have as a youthmotherdaughterfatherson you call family You have the right to living your life without actively seeking out danger but do not avoid a chance to communicate out of guilt or shame or entitlement You were compromised coming into this world by both privilege and oppression; you will gain nothing by splintering off in your own little bell jar of social justice If you are silent about your pain they'll kill you and say you enjoyed it Zora Neale Hurston Humans are social creatures There is despite the hypocritical politickings something beautiful worth living for in the halls of thought Rome wasn't built in a day In other words go listen to some rap or whatever other medium you have closed yourself off from without ever really knowing why or considering what drives your fellow human beings who so rapturously partake of it Talk is cheap silence is death and we might as well like or dislike the tomato while explaining why; something may come of it yet


  3. says:

    The truth in this uote sends shivers down my spine It's so real like all of Smith's writing “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 meaningfuland 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” The novel concerns itself with identity in the modern space Who am I? And who are you? Are uestions that the characters find themselves plagued with But identity is not simple in a globalised world To be British or American is a far reaching term Smith’s characters find themselves with a dilemma Who are they supposed to be? Do they cling to their cultural norms or do they simple exist freely and become whatever it is they wish to be? Some fall into stereotypes and preformative behaviour Others shift around not uite knowing who they are and what race they belong to And the true success of Smith’s writing here resides in representation she aims to represent everybody and anybody With her evocation of multiculturalism she captures the heart of the modern world Much of the plot occurs in the realms of academia at a stuffy university obsessed with high grades and elitism Even the title of the novel shows Smith preoccupations with words and ideas And a huge part of this demonstrates how academics can often be detached from the truth and pleasure associated with art because of their outlandish and over the top theories that only serve the advancement of their own intellectual uests rather than appreciating the art for what it is And it’s a very valid point So this is such a fantastically clever piece of writing that’s fiercely original; yet at the same time plays homage to its literary forefather Howards End by EM Forster Here’s what Smith says in the acknowledgement section of my copy “It should be obvious from the first line that this is a novel inspired by a love of E M Forster to whom all my fiction is indebted one way or the other”On a basic level she’s copied the plot and narrative progression of Forster’s novel but she has transported it to the modern world Instead of early twentieth century arguments over class and money the characters worry over race and identity As strange as it may sound despite the clear similarities the novel is not remotely derivative or over reliant on Forster Smith has used his words as a platform to tell her story a hundred years later with modern characters and modern issues And it’s uite easily one of the best literary adaptations I’ve ever had the pleasure to readAnd I can’t uite believe it’s been almost two years since I last read a Zadie Smith novel I’d almost forgotten how brilliant she is Next on my list is her debut White Teeth I hope I enjoy it as much as this one


  4. says:

    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 and while I've only read one other novel by Zadie Smith this one has been my favourite so far It was easy to read and yet a very universal book that I think everyone can benefit from reading even though it does seem that some people don't really like this novel at all


  5. says:

    This is a book full of unbeautiful people obnoxious teenagers philandering academics stuffy professors right on street rappers wispy rich kids and obnoxious teenagers Zadie takes a scalpel to Anglo American academic relations probing away at the raceclass 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 uivering heaps of gloopy suet As ever the ride is a scream


  6. says:

    On Beauty begins as a kind of cover version of EM Forster's Howards End but it soon becomes evident that Zadie Smith has far too much creative brio to bind herself to someone else's inspirations It's like she's soon magically improvising around a couple of central riffs The interesting thing perhaps is that most of the weaker parts of this novel are when she's holding closely to Forster's parameters This a tremendously witty novel full of lived modern life brilliantly described It's essentially the story of two families colliding with each other with a violence that breaches the ramparts that have previously provided order and a measure of harmony The Belseys are a mixed race family half English half American The father a liberal white professor his wife a black American nurse The novel begins with Howard's Christian son having a brief affair with the daughter of his nemesis Sir Monty Kipps a black outspoken conservative professor at the same American university From this moment on the tensions between the two families will let loose a horde of angels and demons It's a novel pulsating with fabulous observations about modern life; a novel populated with memorable compelling characters; and a novel brimming with wisdom and yes beauty


  7. says:

    Smith accomplishes much in this her third novel Autograph Man was sadly not memorable enough White Teeth the novel that uickly 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 relevantmodern complicated witty She's honed her skills one must be a 'lil jealousLike I told G just yesterday it contains that Middlesexian moment of profound awe Modern novels at least those that are implemented into the canon think The Poisonwood Bible The Corrections must either have that moment where a tear kinda materializes because emotions are too vivid or because the scene contains awesomely understated beauty On Beauty on second thought has both If I reveal that the scene where once was there was a closet full of colorful clothes and now only a suit remains well I don't reveal too TOO much This is well written poignantI must say that I AM a fan of Smith Before I would say it too bluntly I guess because that was en vogue But after reading this novel in close competition with The Corrections as the Great AmericanBritish Novel version 21 st century I honestly say I can't wait for the next one On On Beauty's fate It will be harvested for its amazing prose insightful jewels of paragraph and transplanted onto Sopho level English textbooks to be read by future generations


  8. says:

    I'm beginning to think the problem isn't the books but me I was really really primed to like this book Not only had one friend spoken favorably of it another had seen to it that the book was carried all the way from Malawi Africa to New York and then sent to me I am embarrassed to report I had a hard time even finishing it My primary complaint is contrivances The dialogue was unnatural to meand the plot my goodness It was hard enough to believe in such a deep academic feud between the father and his rivalbut then the rivals move down the street and the feud continues but the moms are friends so when one of them dies and they just all HAPPEN to be near the same part of England the Belsey family attends the funeral and Howard does it with the same girl his son had been in love with Meanwhile back in their American lives the family runs into Carl not only at a concert but then he also comes to their house then sees them again and he just so happens to be a spoken word poet at the place where Zora's poetry teacher loves to go and for a while Levi is enad of Carl but then falls in with a group of Haitians and as he gets to know them learns that they also hate Howard's rival and it all has to do with the very same painting that Howard's rival's wife gave to Kiki Belsey but was temporarily misappropriated by Howard's rival And then it happens to wind up under Kiki's bed It was too much for me I liked the ending though in that there was no real redemption for Howard just a kind of fizzling Parts were well written Parts


  9. says:

    I find myself liking Zadie Smith and 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 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 around the Belsey family; Howard the white male academic described earlier his African American wife Kiki and their three children Zora Levi and Jerome Howard is a left wing ish liberal and he has an academic rival Monty Kipps a Trinidadian who is rather right wing whilst writing this I am suddenly reminded of Naipaul who is Trinidadian and was a fan of Thatcher; but the resemblance ends there Monty’s wife Carlene and Kiki become friends and the two families become entwined in a number of ways The Belsey children are really well drawn Smith captures the right level of warmth hope youthful verve and irritatingness for three teenage children There is a warmth and humanity to all the characters even Howard and Monty both hypocrites The university and academia types are brilliant and capture the machinations of academic life; thankfully there isn’t too much of them and usually the children take centre stage Smith satirises everyone on all sides of the cultural divides we all inhabit; but without losing the warmth mentioned above The politics of race and gender are handled here with great humour and Smith maintains a serious moral compass and shows the importance of connections in human relationships There are some genuinely funny moments; Howard’s reaction to the glee club and his relating of it to his wife for example There are also moments of great perception; Howard simply does not seem to understand the reactions to his infidelity As for the second infidelity; it is breath taking in its timing and inappropriateness His family around him understand him all too well and let him know This is a good comic novel which has great humanity and is a seriously good read


  10. says:

    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 do so love making lists


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