Monday, October 15, 2012

Blogger book club | Review: On Beauty (Zadie Smith)

Happy Monday everyone! How was your weekend? Hopefully relaxing and refreshing.

Mine was full of a lot of errands but a bit of progress on some mini-projects. Thank you all for your advice on my living room post - I needed the advice of a "light" coffee table! The one we have now is...hmmm...6 years old? It is practical but really doesn't suit the space or the look I am going for. We tried to find a table and a chair this weekend to no avail...so the search continues.

Ok - onto the business at hand - book review time! If you haven't read On Beauty yet, you can decide whether or not you continue to read on (but I can't promise no spoilers).
This is a novel about a family and the changes and challenges they go through; each character in the book makes decisions which impacts the outcome of the book. 

Unfotunately I can't say that I loved this book (gah I feel like I've said that about each bookclub book!). I'm not sure if it's the fact that I'm reading on the subway so my reading is broken up into 30 page chunks, but I didn't feel that I associated with any of the characters. Usually I have someone that I'm rooting for through the book, and I didn't have that here. I also didn't feel intrigued by the story of the book. Yes, I was disgusted by Howard on occasion, yes I felt badly for Kiki, yes I was annoyed by Zora. But did I really care about the outcome? Not really. And good thing because I felt the ending was pretty anti-climatic.

Now that I've given my unencumbered opinion...what did you think? I hope people enjoyed it, even if I didn't.
 

6 comments:

Ashley said...

I didn't read it but I own it and tried to read it a few years back... and didn't get past go. Hopefully your next pick will be a better read!

crabigail said...

I read this a few years ago and wasn't keen, which is a shame because I really liked both White Teeth and Autograph Man. I just couldn't get into this one.

Carol@TheDesignPages said...

Okay, here comes the contrarian again:) I LOVED the book. From the first page I was hooked. I thought she (Zadie Smith) was so incredibly insightful into the minds of both men and women equally, which is a super amazing feat in my opinion. There were so many things she said throughout the book that made me think, "wow, that's EXACTLY how I feel about xyz but could never articulate it". I love that the characters were so perfectly flawed and like you said, there was nobody I was particularly rooting for. That is more real life I think than the overt hero that is usually to be found somewhere in a novel. I love that we have such differing opinions though and I think it makes our book club perfectly balanced to be able to express differing points of view. Do we even have a followup book chosen yet?

Carol@TheDesignPages said...

Okay, here comes the contrarian again:) I LOVED the book. From the first page I was hooked. I thought she (Zadie Smith) was so incredibly insightful into the minds of both men and women equally, which is a super amazing feat in my opinion. There were so many things she said throughout the book that made me think, "wow, that's EXACTLY how I feel about xyz but could never articulate it". I love that the characters were so perfectly flawed and like you said, there was nobody I was particularly rooting for. That is more real life I think than the overt hero that is usually to be found somewhere in a novel. I love that we have such differing opinions though and I think it makes our book club perfectly balanced to be able to express differing points of view. Do we even have a followup book chosen yet?

Meesh @ I Dream of Chairs said...

Hangin my head in shame that I didn't get in on this read like I said I would. You two make a great SIskel and Ebert, albeit a gazillion times better looking! What's up next? Let's see if I can pull it off this time.

Amy said...

I know I'm late but better late than never! I read the book last week while I was out of town, and I have to say I'm with Heather - I didn't really enjoy it. But I loved Carol's review because it made me consider the book from other angles. I found the book to be extremely slow going - I was about halfway through the book when I realized I didn't care about any of the characters or the outcome. A woman who sat next to me on the plane commented that apparently it was Zadie Smith's first try with an American voice and she didn't quite capture it. Maybe that was it - it didn't feel authentic. Anyways, I'm glad I stuck it out and finished it, although to a very anti-climatic ending. What book should we read next??

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...