Amber: "I can't decide if the depiction of Howard and Kiki's crippled marriage was artfully done or utterly inadequate. . . . Since we were never sold on the idea of their marriage, it's hard to care much when it all falls apart. But perhaps the very refusal to give us good reasons for them to be together is a deliberate choice, illustrating the emptiness of the relationship? I'm probably giving Smith too much credit here."
Donna: "Cleaning my bathrooms seemed like a much better way to spend my time, so that’s what I did. I scrubbed toilets, wiped down mirrors, washed baseboards, and for the first time ever, it actually seemed enjoyable after struggling to finish On Beauty."
Karl: "As Larry Summers resigns as president of Harvard with a big bootprint on his behind, the notion that a similar faculty would unanimously approve the oh-so-controversial Monty Kipps lecture series struck me as a little far-fetched."
CM: "I wanted to like On Beauty, Zadie Smith's latest. . . . But books about the trials and travails of middle-aged academics tend to bore me, and this was no exception."
Rachel: "Mrs. Kipps is preachy, annoying, seemingly an active part of her own submission. Normally I consider infidelity the greatest crime, but when we find out that Monty has been philandering I can't feel bad for the woman; she is just such a sucker I can't even pity her."
Zubon: "I read the first 5% of the book before setting it aside. If I get this far without anything likeable happening or seeing the prospect for improvement, I have better reading options."