Beautiful World, Where Are You?

Thoughts by Sally Rooney, Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2021, 356 pages or 10 hours 3 minutes

Narrated by Aoife McMahon.

Challenge: TOB 2022

Genre/Theme: Adult Fiction

Type/Source: eBook AND Audiobook from Libby

What It’s About: I’m going to be lazy and share the blurb from goodreads which I might assume is from the publisher? [Yes, I think so?]

Alice, a novelist, meets Felix, who works in a warehouse, and asks him if he’d like to travel to Rome with her. In Dublin, her best friend, Eileen, is getting over a break-up and slips back into flirting with Simon, a man she has known since childhood. Alice, Felix, Eileen, and Simon are still young—but life is catching up with them. They desire each other, they delude each other, they get together, they break apart. They have sex, they worry about sex, they worry about their friendships and the world they live in. Are they standing in the last lighted room before the darkness, bearing witness to something? Will they find a way to believe in a beautiful world?

Thoughts: Do I think they are standing in the last lighted room before darkness? No. Will they find a way to believe in a beautiful world. Yes. Yes, I am thinking positive.

Simon kind of drove me up the wall. Alice was slightly intriguing. Eileen less so. Felix amused me but I am not sure he would be someone I would want to know personally. He does like dogs, so he has that going for him.

I found this very readable. I read it wondering more about why some love it and why some don’t. Lots of sex. Lots of philosophy on morals and how the world-is-going-to-pot. Explores art, the meaning of art and why beauty exists. And yet, it felt like watching someone have those conversations rather than being there experiencing the conversations. It wasn’t transportive. [Huh, I’m being told that isn’t a word.] What do I mean? I mean that it made me feel like an older person watching a different younger generation deal with things without giving me the feeling that I’m right there, too. I can have sympathies, but I wasn’t transported to feel the experience.

…a recondite joke requiring familiarity with several other internet jokes in order to be even vaguely comprehensible,

Rating: Four slices of pie. No pie mentioned.

….compassionate attachment to purely fictional people—from whom we obviously can’t expect to derive any material satisfaction or advantage—is a way of understanding the deep complexities of the human condition, and thus the complexities of God’s love for us.

Like good stationery, heavy pens, unlined paper, they represented to her the possibility of imagination, a possibility so much finer in itself and more delicate than anything she had ever managed to imagine.

He stood in the doorway while she went searching in one of the presses. She looked around at him.

huh? how do you “Look around” and also “at”?



5 thoughts on “Beautiful World, Where Are You?

  1. I loved the audio of Normal People and have Conversations with Friends on my kindle. Will probably give that a try before trying to get a copy of her latest. I’m sure Beautiful World, Where Are You? would make me feel like an old person, too.

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