Top Marketplace offers for ISBN

9781594200632

On Beauty

Smith, Zadie

3.63 avg rating
( 38,991 ratings by GoodReads )
Not the book you're looking for? Search for all books with this author and title
9781594200632: 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 quests 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 enthusiasms 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 encore.

Then 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 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 indeed.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:

In an author's note at the end of On Beauty, Zadie Smith writes: "My largest structural debt should be obvious to any E.M. Forster fan; suffice it to say he gave me a classy old frame, which I covered with new material as best I could." If it is true that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Forster, perched on a cloud somewhere, should be all puffed up with pride. His disciple has taken Howards End, that marvelous tale of class difference, and upped the ante by adding race, politics, and gender. The end result is a story for the 21st century, told with a perfect ear for everything: gangsta street talk; academic posturing, both British and American; down-home black Floridian straight talk; and sassy, profane kids, both black and white.

Howard Belsey is a middle-class white liberal Englishman teaching abroad at Wellington, a thinly disguised version of one of the Ivies. He is a Rembrandt scholar who can't finish his book and a recent adulterer whose marriage is now on the slippery slope to disaster. His wife, Kiki, a black Floridian, is a warm, generous, competent wife, mother, and medical worker. Their children are Jerome, disgusted by his father's behavior, Zora, Wellington sophomore firebrand feminist and Levi, eager to be taken for a "homey," complete with baggy pants, hoodies and the ever-present iPod. This family has no secrets--at least not for long. They talk about everything, appropriate to the occasion or not. And, there is plenty to talk about.

The other half of the story is that of the Kipps family: Monty, stiff, wealthy ultra-conservative vocal Christian and Rembrandt scholar, whose book has been published. His wife Carlene is always slightly out of focus, and that's the way she wants it. She wafts over all proceedings, never really connecting with anyone. That seems to be endemic in the Kipps household. Son Michael is a bit of a Monty clone and daughter Victoria is not at all what Daddy thinks she is. Indeed, Forster's advice, "Only connect," is lost on this group.

The two academics have long been rivals, detesting each other's politics and disagreeing about Rembrandt. They are thrown into further conflict when Jerome leaves Wellington to get away from the discovery of his father's affair, lands on the Kipps' doorstep, falls for Victoria and mistakes what he has going with her for love. Howard makes it worse by trying to fix it. Then, Kipps is granted a visiting professorship at Wellington and the whole family arrives in Massachusetts.

From this raw material, Smith has fashioned a superb book, her best to date. She has interwoven class, race, and gender and taken everyone prisoner. Her even-handed renditions of liberal and/or conservative mouthings are insightful, often hilarious, and damning to all. She has a great time exposing everyone's clay feet. This author is a young woman cynical beyond her years, and we are all richer for it. --Valerie Ryan

From the Back Cover:

Praise for On Beauty:

"A thoroughly original tale . . . wonderfully engaging, wonderfully observed . . . That rare thing: a novel that is as affecting as it is entertaining, as provocative as it is humane."
—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

"A thing of beauty. Oh happy day when a writer as gifted as Zadie Smith fulfills her early promise with a novel as accomplished, substantive and penetrating as On Beauty."
Los Angeles Times

"Smith’s specialty is her ability to render the new world, in its vibrant multiculturalism, with a kind of dancing, daring joy. . . . Her plots and people sing with life. . . . One of the best of the year, a splendid treat. "
Chicago Tribune

"Short-listed for [the 2005] Man Booker Prize, On Beauty is a rollicking satire . . . a tremendously good read."
San Francisco Chronicle

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Buy New View Book
List Price: US$
US$ 4.15

Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.

Destination, Rates & Speeds

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Smith, Zadie Author
ISBN 10: 1594200637 ISBN 13: 9781594200632
New Quantity Available: 1
Seller
vladimir belskiy
(alexandria, VA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # HU-CPSU-3MPS

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 4.15
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Smith, Zadie Author
Published by Penguin Press HC, The (2005)
ISBN 10: 1594200637 ISBN 13: 9781594200632
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Book Deals
(Lewiston, NY, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Press HC, The, 2005. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: Two families, the Belseys and the Kipps, live beautiful lives. Don't they? 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 quests 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 enthusiasms 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 encore. Then 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 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 indeed. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_1594200637

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 15.55
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Smith, Zadie Author
Published by Penguin Press HC, The (2005)
ISBN 10: 1594200637 ISBN 13: 9781594200632
New Hardcover First Edition Quantity Available: 1
Seller
ExtremelyReliable
(RICHMOND, TX, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Press HC, The, 2005. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. First Edition. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX1594200637

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 11.58
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Smith, Zadie Author
Published by Penguin Press HC, The (2005)
ISBN 10: 1594200637 ISBN 13: 9781594200632
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 2
Seller
Murray Media
(MIAMI SHORES, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Press HC, The, 2005. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P111594200637

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 64.19
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 0.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Smith, Zadie Author
Published by Penguin Press, N.Y. U.S.A. (2005)
ISBN 10: 1594200637 ISBN 13: 9781594200632
New Hardcover First Edition Signed Quantity Available: 1
Seller
SCRUFFY RASCAL'S FINE BOOKS
(torrance, CA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Press, N.Y. U.S.A., 2005. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. New / Unread. Signed by author on title page. dust jacket cover protected by a clear mylar Brodart archival D. J cover.And the book placed and sealed in an archival bag since purchased. Our books are shipped protected by bubble wrap with delivery confirmation. Signed by Author(s). Bookseller Inventory # 000392

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 90.00
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 4.00
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds