by Zadie Smith · read December 11, 2023
I think this novel was too clever for me, but I blazed through it because I do love family drama and On Beauty was full of it. Smith also nailed her portrayal of an aggravating liberal academic in Howard, who by the end I truly could not stand. The other thorn in my side was that for some reason the names Howard and Monty felt too similar in my brain, and I was constantly losing track of who was who… but maybe there's something there, too.
It is an unnatural law of such parties that the person whose position on the guest list was originally the least secure is always the first to arrive.