Beauty (Sheri S. Tepper)

29 August 2012


Average Rating:

Carol Ann Balloch (15 September 2012 05:43)

This was a great mash up of a book which kept me thinking for days the first time I read it but I personally feel the fairy tale elements were the strongest aspect of this book by re-imagining and warping well known and beloved stories from our childhood. I think this is particularly notable since the book was written in 1991 and the current trend to do yet another re-imagined fairy tale (mainly in the form of movies) has become long winded and a little bit uninspired nowadays.
I thought this book was great and made some poignant (albeit sometimes heavy handed) comments about the path we're headed as a race. I thought the breadth, scope and ambition of the book was tremendous and even though it doesn't quite all gel together perfectly (hence the dystopic future could have been better realised and those who occupy hell are not quite those who I would imagine being there first-namely horror writers!!) but I admire the book's ambition and willingness to mess up the different genres together. At the end of the day it was the first book I read by this author and made me want to read more by her. Nuff said.

Graham MacDonald (3 September 2012 03:32)

An entertaining if confused mash up of environmentalism, spirituality, magic, time travel and fairy tale; it's ambition possibly exceeds it's execution. I really enjoyed certain elements of this but found it a bit too preachy at points. Certain parts work a lot better than others and fans of horror films will not be amused by the rather heavy handed slamming of modern horror cinema as being symptomatic of all that is wrong with society.

The author echoes Tolkien's sentimental and unrealistic view of a perfect pre-industrial world but at least has the honesty to put in some of the nasty stuff like the Black Death along with all the pretty things. However, the fact remains that in the 14th century people were being tortured and put to death horribly and brutally in the British Isles whereas today we just make films about that kind of thing. Personally I call that progress.