The Unfortunate Importance of Beauty

The Unfortunate Importance of Beauty A sure comic touch smart and sweet a tribute to the pleasures of friendship The New YorkerIn the heart of New York City a group of artistic friends struggles with society s standards of beauty At the

  • Title: The Unfortunate Importance of Beauty
  • Author: Amanda Filipacchi
  • ISBN: 9780393352306
  • Page: 402
  • Format: Paperback
  • A sure comic touch smart and sweet a tribute to the pleasures of friendship The New YorkerIn the heart of New York City, a group of artistic friends struggles with society s standards of beauty At the center are Barb and Lily, two women at opposite ends of the beauty spectrum, but with the same problem each fears she will never find a love that can overco A sure comic touch smart and sweet a tribute to the pleasures of friendship The New YorkerIn the heart of New York City, a group of artistic friends struggles with society s standards of beauty At the center are Barb and Lily, two women at opposite ends of the beauty spectrum, but with the same problem each fears she will never find a love that can overcome her looks Barb, a stunningly beautiful costume designer, makes herself ugly in hopes of finding true love Meanwhile, her friend Lily, a brilliantly talented but plain looking musician, goes to fantastic lengths to attract the man who has rejected her with results that are as touching as they are transformative.To complicate matters, Barb and Lily discover that they may have a murderer in their midst, that Barb s calm disposition is dangerously provocative than her beauty ever was, and that Lily s musical talents are powerful than anyone could have imagined Part literary whodunit, part surrealist farce, The Unfortunate Importance of Beauty is a smart, modern day fairy tale With biting wit and offbeat charm, Amanda Filipacchi illuminates the labyrinthine relationship between beauty, desire, and identity, asking at every turn what does it truly mean to allow oneself to be seen

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      Posted by:Amanda Filipacchi
      Published :2019-05-08T02:30:12+00:00

    About "Amanda Filipacchi"

    1. Amanda Filipacchi

      Amanda Filipacchi is the author of three previous novels, Nude Men, Vapor, and, most recently, Love Creeps Her writing has appeared in Best American Humor and elsewhere She lives in New York.

    390 thoughts on “The Unfortunate Importance of Beauty”

    1. DNF @53%I first read about this book via The NY Times, they gave this book a glittering review, so I just had to bump it up my TBR list. The review promised a fresh take on the complexities of beauty and friendship, with a touch of magic realism (insta-boner), so now I am here researching if I read the same book as the reviewer, because I do not see anything glittering about this novel at all.I really wanted to like this because beauty has always been a subject of interest to me, and the concept [...]

    2. I don't even know what the hell I just read. This book had such interesting themes and ideas but it took a strange turn for the supernatural, weird, and downright ridiculous. The ending felt a bit rushed too after dragging out the story as long as it did. I can handle a lot of random things but the things that happened in this book were beyond something I can take seriously. This was absurd.

    3. "Unique" is an adjective flogged to death by dishonest copywriters, yet it accurately describes Amanda Filipacchi's fascinating and hilarious new novel. "The Unfortunate Importance of Beauty" made me laugh out loud many times, yet it's also poignant, exploring painful truths about living in a superficial society, where looks often trump good character, accomplishments, kindness, and the ability to be a true friend. Although the plot is absurdist and touched with surreal happenings (including the [...]

    4. I don’t recall how this book landed on my To Read shelf but I am so glad it did. Bravo Amanda Filipacchi! I loved it.You know the clichés “Beauty is only skin deep.” “Everything has beauty but not everyone sees it.” “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” “Close your eyes and see the beauty.” All very true but so blah blah blah cliché, until the author works her magic.This masterfully poignant yet whimsical, satirical, laugh out loud tale explores every cliché about beauty [...]

    5. Did I read a completely different book than every single person saying that this was "hilarious"? Because not once did I find anything funnyying, yes. Funny, no.

    6. The truly unfortunate thing is that spite of what this book aimed to "teach" about true beauty, truly seeing someone, and truly seeing yourself, I found myself holding that point against it. I am aware likely due to my own life. I have a colostomy bagmething brought up. I've had it since I was 1320 years now. I'm married. Tocidentallya man with no health issues. I was bald when he met me. It didn't matter to him. So perhaps I ought to have been nodding along at the points in the book, but I wasn [...]

    7. Such a terrific premise, and what a huge disappointment. I have taught writing to middle school students and found better prose written by 6th graders. Filipacchi's premise is intriguing and there is a fair amount of imagination here that could have been quite enchanting, but all of that is just so painfully dulled by a writing style that is absolutely boring, wearisome, and flavorless. I couldn't wait for it to be over.

    8. The magical hex of beauty is revealed or unveiled in this satirical maze of an amazing novel. Only Filipacchi can entertain and analyze us simultaneously while holding us delightfully spellbound. A must-read!

    9. I think this book should be called The Unfortunate Importance of Underpants Beauty so that people know that they are about to read a fucking hilarious book. But maybe not, because it was a surprise for me and I enjoyed the jokes even more. So weird and smart at the same time! I just finished it yesterday and don't even feel ready to talk about it. There is so much to digest. While I didn't feel like I got to know the characters very well—there were some inconsistencies—I enjoyed getting to k [...]

    10. In an age where perfectly beautiful women are Photoshopped and plastic surgery is de rigueur for women in Hollywood, Amanda Filipacchi's novel is a timely tonic. As in her previous novels, Filipacchi brings a light comic touch--and a sprinkling of magical realism--to her examination of serious matters. The world of this novel is one in which music can be literally transformative, and a woman's depression can manifest physically by turning her skin brittle and reflective. But the fable-like quali [...]

    11. If you've never read Amanda Filipacchi yet, beware - this is by far her best novel yet. Even better than Nude Men, which I thought was a masterpiece.

    12. Deliciously entertaining, funny, skillfully written, and deeply moving. To say anything about the characters would spoil the story, because their eccentric behavior is constantly surprising and as powerful as good plotting. I have started and abandoned so many books, bored by an author straining or showing off or in some way self-consciously creating “quirkiness.” I am never bored by Amanda Filipacchi’s unique characters because their idiosyncrasies sprout from a truthful foundation of hum [...]

    13. I bought this book because I thought it was an interesting premise but it wasn't quite what I expected.At times I struggled to read it, I found the chapter set in the apartment to prevent a potential murder bordering on the ridiculous, we were deep into the farce genre at that point but I persevered and I'm glad I did.The whole plotline focusing on Lily and Strad I found very bizarre and unrealistic and the fantasy elements just didn't work in the middle of a story which, in the most part, was s [...]

    14. I was very intrigued by the idea of this book but unfortunately it didn't deliver. I see comments labeling it "magical" and "hilarious" but I didn't find either of those adjectives appropriate. I tend to LIKE books with a bit of magical realism but I was not able to suspend disbelief in this book. Neil Gaiman's Ocean At the End of the Lane is a perfect example of a recent book where the magical elements flowed seamlessly with the story and helped me both enjoy and understand the book better. Thi [...]

    15. DNF at 33%what was supposed to be a book about the beauty and complexities of friendship turned into a bad satirical murder mystery. I'm not sure what exactly the NY Times saw in this book to give it such a high review; we must have been reading two different novels. I could not find anything that warranted the hype for this book.

    16. It's not very often I rate a book with 5 stars, but this one is absolutely unbelievable. It's part fable, part fantasy, part mystery, and all extremely GOOD. I haven't enjoyed something quite so much in decades. Barb, Penelope, Lily, Georgia and Jack are friends--close friends, though very different from each other. There was a fifth friend, Gabriel, but he is no longer with them, having committed suicide some two years before the events in the book begin. His suicide affected them all, but no o [...]

    17. You'd think the title would give it away but I listened to this whole awful thing in its' entirety and I am no better for it.It was like Girls or Sex and the City but if the people were less interesting and maybe one of them was a killer. It was the damn, 'there's a killer in the midst of these rich assholes with pointless lives' that hooked me and it shouldn't have because OF COURSE it did not go anywhere. Plus it was easy to figure out which one it might have been since it was the only one in [...]

    18. Over the course of four novels, Amanda Filipacchi has carved out a singular niche for herself. While her casts of upscale bohemians seeking emotional and creative fulfillment in the sort of glossily-depicted Manhattan that wouldn't be out of place in a Woody Allen film might at first seem to be the stuff of any number of fluffy urban rom-coms, the direction she takes them in is decidedly her own, creating instead droll, absurdist black comedies shot through with perversity and touches of magical [...]

    19. Didn't work for me at all. Muriel Spark could have written the shit out of a story with these elements: a beautiful costume designer who pretends to be ugly after her best friend commits suicide because (he claims) she doesn't love him; an unattractive, lovesick pianist whose compositions turn out to be literally mind-altering; a fragile woman who had once been kidnapped and kept in a coffin for three days and who owns a pottery shop where she sells awful pieces of pottery by carefully breaking [...]

    20. I was torn rating this, it was a quick read for me. It started off strong with a strong protagonist who was complaining about her appearance and consulted a therapist. I don't have a lot of experience with counseling but the way the counselor was being biased was hysterical. I am not sure if the author intent was to make the readers laugh but it was hilarious in some parts. Also her mother was just as bad, never being afraid to tell that she is fat and unappealing. One of the rare novels when th [...]

    21. I really enjoyed this quirky, thought-provoking book! I picked it up at the library simply based on the title. I am interested in the emphasis our society places on beauty and was excited to read a novel speaking to this. Filipacchi did this in such a unique and entertaining way. This book really made me think, but also made me laugh and connect to the characters. I highly recommend this book, just be prepared for a unique read!

    22. It's hard to even begin to explain this book. It's romance meets social commentary meets murder mystery meets bizarre disguise filled nonsense. And it's utterly amazing. I cannot recommend it highly enough. For such a strange book, reading it takes no time at all because it's almost impossible to put down.

    23. This was a murder mystery wanna-be. Instead, the characters were annoying and whiny. The plot was so inane that I put it down in frustration. It started out as an interesting premise with Barb hiding her beauty behind a fat suit but then she used her disguise to shame men. And that was just one of the weird plot lines. Ugh!

    24. Weirdly wonderful. Interesting use of magical realism, which I sometimes hate, but appreciated here. Warning for gentle readers, there is judicious, but nasty profanity used by one unbalanced character. It would have bothered me, but is so central to the plot, I overlooked it! There was a scene that was laugh out loud funny, as well as much poignant sorrow. Satisfying and thought provoking.

    25. I won this book in a giveaway. The novel is a compelling read and weaves together a story about beauty and its value in our society. I enjoyed the themes of friendship, love, creativity, and shallowness. Some of the plot devices were a bit weak; though all in all I found myself wanting to find how it all ended up.

    26. Muy crítica y divertida refleja una realidad escondida bajo las apariencias de una forma que roza el surrealismo en algunos momentosentremontonesdelibros

    27. Brilliant, astoundingly original and hilarious. I was cracking up constantly while reading this. Filipacchi's voice is deceptively simple; her sensibility sublime. Enjoyed this immensely.

    28. I read this book for my book club, after one of our members recommended that all of us read this essay by Amanda Filipacchi in the New Yorker. The essay is about the looks you're born with vs. the looks you are given, and I thought the book would be largely about the same things. While the book is about these things, the topics are treated in a very different way than I expected.I expected a beautiful character and an ugly character to journey through the book, gradually both becoming more comfo [...]

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