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Beautiful World, Where Are You Paperback – 7 September 2021

4.0 out of 5 stars 356 ratings

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Product description

About the Author

Sally Rooney is the author of the novels Conversations with Friends and Normal People. She was the winner of the Sunday Times/Peters Fraser + Dunlop Young Writer of the Year Award in 2017. In 2018, Conversations with Friends was shortlisted for both the Dylan Thomas Prize and the Rathbones Folio Prize and Normal People was the Waterstones Book of the Year, won the Costa Novel Award and was longlisted for the Booker Prize. Rooney won the Encore Award for Normal People in 2019. She was the editor of the Stinging Fly in 2018 and a Cullman Center Fellow at the New York Public Library from 2019-20. She was nominated for an Emmy for her work on the television adaptation of Normal People, which was broadcast on the BBC in 2020.

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Faber Fiction; Export - Airside ed edition (7 September 2021)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 352 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0571365434
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0571365432
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 13.3 x 2.7 x 21.7 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.0 out of 5 stars 356 ratings

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Top reviews from Australia

Reviewed in Australia on 15 September 2021
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Reviewed in Australia on 12 September 2021
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sex, friendship and the end of civilisation
By Levi Huxton on 12 September 2021
Alice and Eileen think a lot about sex and friendship. Now thirty, they worry they’re obsessing about sex and friendship while civilisation crumbles.

In emails pinged between Dublin and County Mayo, they write articulately about the end of the world – inequity, greed, climate change, pollution, celebrity – and their lot in its midst – as women, as writers, as members of a specific class. Perhaps sex and friendship are the only things that matter since civilisation is ending and even as grown-ups, they are powerless to do much about it.

Alice made it rich and famous as a novelist, but success has only hollowed out her sense of self-worth. In Felix, a working-class lad who – at first - looks unlikely to treat her well, she seeks the proof of her worthlessness. Meanwhile Eileen struggles to find purpose or sustenance as an editor in a literary journal. Panicked by stasis, she’s not sure she deserves the love of childhood friend Simon.

In between their epistolary conversations are chapters in which Alice, Eileen, Felix and Simon’s actions are described with curious detachment. Rooney applies her immense gifts to charting their cerebral and physical connections without an ounce of ironic distance. In treating her characters’ concerns with the utmost seriousness, she imbues those concerns with deeper significance.

Could the rare and precious relationships we sustain with those who truly wish us well add-up to nothing less than the sum of the beauty in the world? And if so, how high the stakes in keeping them alive! Were these relationships to rupture so too would the safety net over the bottomless despair Alice and Eileen glimpse each time they are alone.

The scrutiny Rooney’s been under – just thirty, three acclaimed bestsellers in four years - would drive any sensible writer to reclusion, or even to stop publishing. This would be our immense loss. The work this most parallels, for me, is J.D. Salinger’s Franny and Zooey, not just for its thoughtful letters and the formative arguments therein, but for its preoccupation with crafting a meaningful identity in a flawed world where authentic beauty is fleeting and ego constantly threatens to swallow us whole.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Where’s the Beef?
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 9 September 2021
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5.0 out of 5 stars beyond the hype, a very fine novel indeed
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 9 September 2021
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3.0 out of 5 stars Intentional difficulties?
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 19 September 2021
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9 people found this helpful
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Andrew Vermes
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful writing is worth some effort
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 11 September 2021
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Leigh Meg
2.0 out of 5 stars I'm going to say it because nobody else is, I'm fed up of Rooney apologists.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 20 September 2021
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6 people found this helpful
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