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Review: ‘Beauty’, by Peter Liney

Published by: Independently Published

Publication Date: 18th June 2017

I.S.B.N.: 978-1521531310

Price: £7.25

Format: Paperback and Kindle

Blurb

When cosmetic and transplant surgery get together and beauty becomes a commodity that can be bought and sold, the Rich become more beautiful, the Poor less. But if something can be traded, it can also be stolen – brutally, violently, by the feared face-stealers, and to a point where the rich finally cry ‘Enough! . . . Enough. Make us plain; make us ordinary.’ Now there is no beauty left, not as we once knew it, only photos, videos, exhibitions. And yet . . . you still hear the occasional rumour.

My Review

Perry is a presenter with the biggest television company in a Britain where beauty is dangerous, and people are killed for their body parts. One night his boss Huey, takes Perry and two other men into an underground annex at his home. Here. among his antiques books and valuable paintings, they are introduced to Gloria, a woman of natural beauty in a world where everyone is plain, either naturally or with the help of geneticists and cosmetic surgeons.

Perry becomes obsessed with Gloria. When the company starts to lose business to the rival DTV! company, Huey is pushed to an extreme response: he interviews Gloria. Perry rushes to Huey’s house to rescue Gloria, making an enemy of his ex-girlfriend, journalist Beta Joy, in the process.

What follows is their adventures as they try to find a safe place for Gloria to live.

 

This book was very odd; at first I didn’t know what to make of it. It’s told in first person, by Perry. The world is strange and disturbingly dystopian. The world is fleshed out slightly, but enough that I saw it in noir. I was a bit confused about some of the geography at times.

The characters develop over the course of the book. Perry and Gloria are very different people. She had been exploited and exhibited all her life, she is tired of being stared at; he is wealthy, famous and worshipful. The characters bounce off each other, trying to find a way to live with each other. Gloria wants to go outside, Perry doesn’t want her to because he’s afraid of what’ll happen to her if she does. Perry starts to develop as a person, slowly understanding that Gloria isn’t a goddess to worship but a person with thoughts and feelings of her own.

It isn’t particularly long, thirteen chapters; I read it in five or six hours. It was engrossing, once I got my head round the weirdness, and flowed quickly as I read. The  writing was easy to read. I’m sure there’s supposed to be a moral to this story, or it’s a satire on social mores, but I didn’t pick it up clearly.

I enjoyed the book, it wouldn’t normally be something I’d pick up but I liked it. It reminds me of a noir sci-fi film.

3/5

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