Novel

Beautiful World, Where Are You

Sally Rooney's books mix moderately annoying Marxism with moderately depressing sex and produce results much better than you'd expect.

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Sally Rooney's new novel, Beautiful World, Where Are You, is a follow-up to her internationally bestselling Normal People and Conversations With Friends. All three books mix moderately annoying Marxism with moderately depressing sex and produce results much better than you'd expect from those ingredients. This is thanks in part to Rooney's accomplished prose, which is as translucent as the skin of a Dublin gal who has been good about applying sunscreen.

The semi-auto-fictional protagonists' muddled yet deeply held views on politics, religion, and relationships sat better on the 20-somethings of Rooney's previous works than they do on the 30-somethings of Beautiful World. And Rooney's own politics have caused some real-life drama around a Hebrew translation of the novel. But as politics becomes an increasingly totalizing and consuming force, the book itself generously opens up space for the idea that there's more to being human than mere ideology.

NEXT: Brickbat: That's Not Equality

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  2. Libertarians for moderately annoying Marxism and moderately depressing sex? What a joke. Out of all the books that could have been reviewed on this planet KMW had to pick that one...

    Btw Rooney is an ugly antisemite so other than Rob Misek no one's going to read her tripe...

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  3. Muddled Marxism, depressing sex, and pasty-white skin? Not likely to make my reading list.

    1. That seems to be the only qualifications needed to get reviewed. It's not enough to interest me in either author or books.

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  4. which is as translucent as the skin of a Dublin gal who has been good about applying sunscreen

    Is this a praise of the prose? "As beautiful as a denuded body." doesn't strike me as particularly appraising.

  5. If Marxism is "moderately annoying" to you, your understanding of the evils it has brought into the world is severely deficient.

    And I don't want to know how sex could be made "moderately depressing".

  6. What will it take to get you guys to either quit dabbling in radical leftism or come out as fully on-board with the communist agenda?

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