Beautiful World, Where Are You
Beautiful World, Where Are You is a new novel by Sally Rooney, the bestselling author of Normal People and Conversations with Friends.
“This is the first Sally Rooney book I've read. Rooney writes characters the way you meet people in life. Through their words and actions, you create a picture of their personalities, and even with glimpses into their private thoughts, which Rooney does here through email correspondence between two women, you still never get a complete picture of who they are. Because like the people you meet in life, they are a mystery to even themselves. I found the characters at once infuriating and endearing. There were moments when I didn't think I was going to like this book because I was so mad at one of them. But I couldn’t tear myself away. I wanted to know why they acted as they did and what was going to happen to them. The person who recommended this book to me said it made them cry. I didn't understand this. Then I reached the last sentence, turned the audio off, sat for a moment, and cried. I don't know why! Which, when I think about it, is something the characters in the book say a lot. And I suppose it's true. We don't know why for many things, but if we are happy, it doesn't really matter, does it? Aoife McMahon does a perfect job.”Kristine, Buttonwood Books and Toys
“Another incredible story! The characters are vibrant and familiar, and the intimate moments are uniquely painted. It’s as if a close friend is confessing their life to you and you are seeing yourself in it.”Katie Kenney, Bank Square Books
“'Humanity on the cusp of extinction [&] here I am writing another email about sex & friendship. What else is there to live for?' A mastery of capacious dialogue; this page-turner satisfies with 21st century romance & unanswered questions that will linger in any hopeful, nihilistic heart.”Jill, Collected Works Bookstore
If you enjoyed Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, then you’ll love Beautiful World, Where Are You.
“I think I've found my preferred format of Rooney—the audiobook. Aoife McMahon narrates all three of Rooney's works and is super consistent. She makes every book unique and her voice is super compelling. Rooney's characters always frustrate me but there is something about her writing and her imperfect characters that hooks me every time. Alice and Eileen are two best friends who are each embarking on different relationships and are at different points of their personal and romantic lives. I had a hard time telling them apart at first (the downside of a single narrator on a multi-perspective book) but once I got them straight, I quite enjoyed this novel the touches on their lives on the brink of the pandemic. Like all of Rooney's twenty-something main characters, you want to slap them sometimes... or all the time but that's kind of why I like it? Perhaps these books aren't for everyone but I highly encourage you to try them in different formats and maybe you too will learn to like Rooney's writing as it shines in audiobook format!”Kimi, Buttonwood Books and Toys
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?
Grateful acknowledgment is made for permission to reprint the following material:
Epigraph from ‘My Vocation,’ by Natalia Ginzburg, from The Little Virtues. Copyright © 1962, 1966, 1972, 1984, 1998, 2012 and 2015 Giulio Einaudi editore s.p.a., Torino. Originally published in Italian as Le Piccole Virtù. Translation copyright © 1985 Dick Davis. First published in Great Britain in 1985 by Carcanet, Manchester.
Excerpt from ‘How to Get There,’ by Frank O’Hara, from Lunch Poems. Copyright © 1964 by Frank O’Hara. Reprinted with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC, on behalf of City Lights Books, citylights.com. All rights reserved.
Excerpt from Within a Budding Grove, by Marcel Proust, translated by C. K. Scott Moncrieff, The Modern Library, New York, copyright 1924
Excerpt from The Waste Land, first published in 1922; copyright the Estate of T. S. Eliot. Reproduced by permission of Faber & Faber Ltd.
A Macmillan Audio production from Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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