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Publisher's Summary

Meet the Knights of Creation, a group of artistic friends struggling with society's standards of beauty. Barb, a stunningly beautiful costume designer, chooses to don a fat suit in hopes that it will help her meet the man of her dreams - a man who can see beyond her looks. Lily, Barb's brilliantly talented, unfortunate-looking musician friend, goes to fantastic lengths to attract the shallow man she loves. Penelope, neither beautiful nor talented, makes her living by selling hideous clay pots after convincing customers they’ve broken them. To complicate matters, the friends discover they may have a murderer in their midst, that Barb's calm disposition is more dangerously provocative than her beauty ever was, and that Lily's musical talents are more powerful than anyone could have imagined.

Imbued with Amanda Filipacchi's characteristic twisted charm and absurdist, satiric wit, The Unfortunate Importance of Beauty is touching, whimsical, and gorgeously strange.

©2015 Published by arrangement with W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. (P)2015 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Don't Hate Me Because I'm Beautiful...

...or shallow, or narcissistic, wear a colostomy bag, have boorish faux-intellectual friends, blah, blah, blah...................

This Is The Worst Book I Have EVER Read! It was so bad I had to finish it just to see if it was as bad as it was! Extremely unsympathetic characters, combined with amateurish writing and a convoluted storyline, made for agonizing, torturous reading.

The author stole/combined plots from Cinderella, Cyrano De Bergerac, Phantom of the Opera, Terminator 2, any Michael Connelly/Harry Bosch novel, Frozen, et al, and kludged together something best used as a script for a very bad Lifetime For Woman movie.

I found myself wanting to stab the lead character in the throat with a chard of glass (You'll get the reference if you read this book...WHICH I DON"T RECOMMEND)

As I was reading, I thought maybe the author was trying for the absurd...the tongue and cheek... but, no, she was serious. I won't get into the main premise of the book, because other reviewers have done so, other than to say the commentary is faulty, banal, and hypocritical.

My fellow Audiblers, this book was so bad that I am not even going to try and get my credit back. I am willing to take the hit...to sacrifice my own hard earned dollars...just to warn you all to save your credit! That is just how giving, loving, beautiful, self-sacrificing, and wonderful I am.... (another nod to the book...LOL)

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Brian
  • PALM SPRINGS, CA, United States
  • 02-19-15

Shockingly bad - I could not finish

I was hoping for an engaging romp based on the book description, but what I got was so insipid and poorly written that I finally had to shut it off and delete it. An idiotic and unbelievable plot line coupled with characters so shallow and odious that it was near torture to continue listening. This author must have had some very bad experiences with men for her to write this kind of dreck. Ugh!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Terrible...finished it so I could hate it More.

Can anyone relate to this book? Nobody in the real world talks like these characters and they are all ridiculous archetypes. Barb is some sort of all-knowing sociopath who is blaming the fact that she doesn't have a mate on the assumption that all men are shallow...when she should be looking at the fact that she's c r a z y. Wow...brown eyes, grey hair and a fat suit are what she considers ugly? No, ridiculous character, an oblivious judgmental personality makes You ugly, here. The narrator worsens the whole deal by making Barb sound like she's a seething psycho. Lady, if everyone you meet ends up never seeing your true value, you're meeting people in the wrong places. I wish I could physically throw this book in the garbage.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

I hung in to the end, but wished I hadn't

First audiobook that I did not enjoy. The story was too superficial and unrealistic. I felt annoyed through much of it. The reader also did not make it easier to tolerate. Her Strad voice was so irritating. Hard to endure. Penelope wasn't much better.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting, but character issues

An interesting take on beauty with a few surreal twists, but I didn't think all the characters were realistic (Penelope and her relationship with the others) or necessary (jack, the token male friend who is not creative and role seems thin). Barb's reaction to the door man also made me nuts so I wasn't surprised with the finale sequence. Don't think I would recommend it, but entertaining

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Wasn't amazing. But I didn't hate it.

I really loved some of the characters. But the plot was all over the place. I guess there were too many elements and strange literary gimmicks. It wasn't a fairytale. It wasn't science fiction or drama or mystery or magical realism it was kind of all of those things and none of them really worked cohesively, for me. But I like some of the particular aspects of the novel just not as a whole. The reader does male voices a little juvenile like, and some of the women are also strange sounding. But she herself has a lovely reading voice.

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  • mpsh61
  • Florida, USA
  • 07-25-15

A modern day fairy tale

A mystery, drama, love story intertwined with a little bit of the supernatural! Such a fun read! I deeply enjoyed it!

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So stupid

I didn't enjoy this book at all. It's supposed to be a satire, I guess, but it was neither funny nor smart. None of the characters could exist in the real world. I found them pretentious and their actions and motives ridiculous.

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    5 out of 5 stars

A must read!

If you could sum up Unfortunate Importance of Beauty in three words, what would they be?

insightful, thought-provoking, beautiful

What other book might you compare Unfortunate Importance of Beauty to and why?

I have never read a book like it. It is unique just like it's characters. It has a genera formula for problem, love, solution, but the story is not like one I have read before.

What does Christina Delaine bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

A gentleness to Lilly's character and depth of feeling to the others in the group.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

After the first hour, yes. It took me a bit to get through the history.

Any additional comments?

To me the identity of the 'murder' was predicable, but the story behind it was not. I would have liked to know what kay stood for.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Joyce
  • Nepean, Ontario, Canada
  • 03-08-15

May Your Eyes Always See True Beauty

What did you love best about Unfortunate Importance of Beauty?

The Unfortunate Importance of Beauty blew my mind. The title is catchy, and you know what the story will be about just from those five words. But there is so much more, and absolutely nothing you are expecting.

What did you like best about this story?

The things I liked best about The Unfortunate Importance of beauty was that, by the time the narrator read "The End", I was cheering and couldn't wait to write this review. The characters are creative people who are all deeply and sometimes permanently flawed. However, their gifts are great. their hearts greater. The friendship between them is more of a family than 10,000 relatives could provide. The varied mysteries, the magical abilities, the weird supernatural elements that just made sense - - - did I just write that? I adored this story. Though I did find the narration a little clumsy at the beginning of the story, by the end of the story, I completely got it.

Which character – as performed by Christina Delaine – was your favorite?

Choosing a favorite character is difficult. They were all so richly written that it would be like sitting with all of my weird friends looking at me and said "which one of us is your bestie?" Barb was hard to understand as a person, at first. But very early in the story, I thought "Okay, I think I get it." But then there's Lily, the complete opposite of Barb in every way. And Penelope, and Jack, and Peter. . . and and. Nope. Can't do it.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Where my world stopped and nothing else mattered in my life but "The Unfortunate Importance of Beauty" was when Lily mastered the art of beautification through music. I wish I could say more without giving anything away, but let me just say I forgot all about Barb's problems and was 100% about Lily. Practically to the end of the story - Lily.

Any additional comments?

If you're reading this review, spend the credit. It's a great story. Sometimes completely weird, quirky and incredible - it's still a great story.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful