The Beauty

The Beauty

A Novel

Book - 2018
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Nominated for the Shirley Jackson and Saboteur awards, this game-changing story was chosen by Adam Nevill as one of his favourite horror short stories: "What a refreshing gust of tiny spores this novella explodes into, and I inhaled them all with glee".


Somewhere away from the cities and towns, in the Valley of the Rocks, a society of men and boys gather around the fire each night to listen to their history recounted by Nate, the storyteller. Requested most often by the group is the tale of the death of all women.

They are the last generation.

One evening, Nate brings back new secrets from the woods; peculiar mushrooms are growing from the ground where the women's bodies lie buried. These are the first signs of a strange and insidious presence unlike anything ever known before...

Discover the Beauty.
Publisher: London : Titan Books, 2018.
Copyright Date: ©2014.
ISBN: 9781785655746
1785655744
Characteristics: 197 pages ;,22 cm.
Additional Contributors: Whiteley, Aliya 1974-

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ReadingAdviser_Sally May 14, 2020

Beautiful and disturbing. I was drawn into the story right from the start, it was such a strange and yet compelling story. For fans of The Southern Reach trilogy and Paul Tremblay's Growing Things.

k
ker0wyn
Jun 24, 2019

Just....whoa. This was gross and disturbing but also really, really well done.

There are shades of Annihilation in the body horror of humans made to be things inimical to humanity. It also brought to mind Dawn by Octavia Butler in the implications surrounding consent and the way it looks at what we need to continue on, what we are willing to give up or accept.

The one thing that knocks it down a star for me is the gender essentialism.. I kept wondering where all the people who would upset this neat binary were.

OLATHEAllisonA Nov 16, 2017

Unsettling and thought-provoking, "The Beauty" takes the reader into a future where a mysterious fungus has killed all women, leaving a small community of men to carry on by themselves. They remember their former female companions through the nightly ritual of storytelling performed by Nate, who also happens to be narrating the story for the reader. When the unexpected happens, Nate's narration becomes increasingly unreliable, and the reader must look past him to discern what is really going on. Written in terse, atmospheric prose, "The Beauty" will cause the reader to ask questions about gender, gender roles, and what kind(s) of intimacy human beings desire most.

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ReadingAdviser_Sally May 14, 2020

There is so much to say about a past. It's a vein of gold through a mountain, leading to an incontrovertible stone heart of truth. But the future is a horizon - a faintly visible line that will promise much, and always remain to far away to touch.

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