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On Beauty: A Novel Paperback – August 29, 2006

4.2 out of 5 stars 906 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Named one of the Ten Best Books of the Year by the New York Times Book Review, Entertainment Weekly, Time, and Publishers Weekly, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Denver Post, and Publishers Weeklybestseller, A Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Atlantic Monthly, Newsday, Christian Science Monitor, and Minneapolis Star Tribune Best Book of the Year, and Short-listed for the Man Booker Prize 

". . . [A] thoroughly original tale about families and generational change, about race and multiculturalism in millennial America, about love and identity and the ways they are affected by the passage of time. Ms. Smith possesses a captivating authorial voice—at once authoritative and nonchalant, and capacious enough to accommodate high moral seriousness, laid-back humor and virtually everything in between—and in these pages, she uses that voice to enormous effect, giving us 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

"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. It's a thing of beauty indeed. In tackling grown-up issues of marriage, adultery, race, class, liberalism and aesthetics, she thrillingly balances engaging ideas with equally engaging characters. As good as she is with big ideas, Smith is even stronger at capturing family dynamics, the heartbreak of broken trust as well as the lovely connections between siblings. —The Los Angeles Times Book Review

"In this sharp, engaging satire, beauty's only skin-deep, but funny cuts to the bone." —Kirkus Reviews

"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

"On Beauty is a rollicking satire . . . a tremendously good read." —San Francisco Chronicle

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

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Penguin Books; Later edition (August 29, 2006)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 445 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0143037749
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0143037743
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 18 years and up
  • Grade level ‏ : ‎ 12 and up
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 15.2 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 8.4 x 5.5 x 1.1 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.2 out of 5 stars 906 ratings

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About the author

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Zadie Smith is the author of the novels White Teeth, The Autograph Man, On Beauty, NW and Swing Time, as well as three collections of essays, Changing My Mind, Feel Free and Intimations, and a collection of short stories, Grand Union.

White Teeth won multiple awards, including the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, the Whitbread First Novel Award and the Guardian First Book Award. On Beauty was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and won the Orange Prize for Fiction, and NW was shortlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction.

Zadie Smith is currently a tenured professor of fiction at New York University and a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She is a regular contributor to the New Yorker and the New York Review of Books.

Customer reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5
906 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

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Top reviews from other countries

Lin Davies
3.0 out of 5 stars A campus novel
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 21, 2020
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The Reader
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 4, 2019
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Kieran Duffy
5.0 out of 5 stars Unmitigated joy
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 15, 2018
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4.0 out of 5 stars In a strange land
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 2, 2017
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Jim Bowen
4.0 out of 5 stars I don't get it.... but it's well written
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 15, 2011
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