Extended Audio Sample

Download On Beauty Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample On Beauty (Unabridged) Audiobook, by Zadie Smith
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (47 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Zadie Smith Narrator: Peter Francis James Publisher: Penguin Audiobooks Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2005 ISBN:
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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 30 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. Download and start listening now!


Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lora Macardian | 9/10/2013

    " Great book with a lot of terrific ideas!!! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nancy | 5/25/2013

    " I didn't finish this book. It is a really healthy book that I would never do so I skimmed through it and didn't finish it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Doan | 6/20/2011

    " Great information about nutrition and food...But I like food too much to do this program. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 B | 5/27/2011

    " I read this book while traveling through Ireland. I left it on a train and hoped someone would pick it up and start reading. I seemed to really enjoy the read at the time but now I can't quite remember what was so great about the book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amanda | 5/14/2011

    " Really interesting story about a multi-racial (white and black) family living in a predominantly white, upper-middle class, intellectual college town in New England. Relatable to anyone who wants to read what it's like to be the "outsider" family in the neighborhood. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jessica | 5/10/2011

    " Not particularly bad story or bad writing.... I just wasn't at all invested in what was going on. Felt like I kept waiting for the story to start. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rama | 5/9/2011

    " An excellent novel and perfect companion to "White Teeth". "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Greg | 4/28/2011

    " I gave up on this book, which was everything I hate in celebrated modern novels. It was self-indulgent, overwritten, endlessly impressed with its own cleverness and in no real hurry to tell any story. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Benjamin | 4/19/2011

    " i would love for someone to explain the appeal of Zadie Smith to me cause I am baffled "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Amy | 4/11/2011

    " This was one of the worst books I have ever read, and I was sorry I wasted any time on it. The characters have no depth; the trials and tribulations, if you could call them that, are contrived at best. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Helen | 4/6/2011

    " the circumstances and emotion in this novel is so real and relate-able. It is a lovely, heartbreaking and thought-provoking story. "

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About the Author
Author Zadie Smith

Zadie Smith is the critically acclaimed author of various bestselling novels, including White Teeth and The Autograph Man. She was born in Northwest London in 1975 and still lives in the area.

About the Narrator

Peter Francis James is an accomplished actor on both the stage and the screen. His theater credits include roles in On Golden Pond, Much Ado about Nothing, and August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean. His many film and television credits include Jahfree Neema in Oz, Raymond Parks in The Rosa Parks Story, Joe Gould’s Secret, The Guiding Light, Law & Order: SVU, and Third Watch.