×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Everything Beautiful Began After: A Novel
     

Everything Beautiful Began After: A Novel

4.0 12
by Simon Van Booy
 

See All Formats & Editions

“Apowerful meditation on the undying nature of love and the often cruel beauty ofone’s own fate. This is a novel you simply must read!” —Andre Dubus III, New York Times bestselling author of Townie

FromSimon Van Booy, the award-winning author of LoveBegins in Winter and The Secret Lives of People

Overview

“Apowerful meditation on the undying nature of love and the often cruel beauty ofone’s own fate. This is a novel you simply must read!” —Andre Dubus III, New York Times bestselling author of Townie

FromSimon Van Booy, the award-winning author of LoveBegins in Winter and The Secret Lives of People in Love, comesa debut novel of longing and discovery amidst the ruins of Athens. Withechoes of Nicole Krauss’s The History of Love and CharlesBaxter’s The Feast of Love, Van Booy’sresonant tale of threeisolated, disaffected adults discovering one another in Greece is thecompelling product of an inquisitive, visionary talent. In the words of RobertOlen Butler, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Good Scent from a StrangeMountain, “Simon Van Booy knows a great deal about the complex longings of thehuman heart.”

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Van Booy, a Frank O'Connor International Short Story award winner (for Love Begins in Winter), offers a tender, earnest first novel, in which flight attendant Rebecca Baptiste moves to Athens, Greece, where she meets George Cavendish, an American with a passion for languages and drinking. Their romance blooms quickly, but when Rebecca falls for a Welsh archeologist named Henry, George drinks so much that he stumbles in front of a car—Henry's car. Without knowing what they share, Henry tends to George's injuries, cementing an immediate and long-lasting alliance. But some time later, George sees Rebecca with Henry, and the shock of recognition leaves these three sensitive souls shaken, snapping George into sobriety and sending Henry adrift. When Henry finally returns two years later, after a devastating earthquake, both he and Athens have changed dramatically. Finally, his discovery of a journal that may have belonged to Rebecca makes him wonder how well he knew her. The rhythms of Henry's tender, damaged heart propel the narrative, and Van Booy wisely resists romanticizing torment, instead suggesting that grief—tied as it is to fate and faith—can give way to promise. (July)
Passport
“Beautifully written, touchingly told, Van Booy radiates pain, fears, love and freedom on every page of this book.”
Wall Street Journal
“A swift and engaging story...”
Irish Times
“Atmospheric and anchored in its place. A book that is timeless but not rootless. Everything Beautiful Began After is highly sophisticated and absolutely sincere.”
San Francisco Examiner
“Van Booy’s writing rings with the proverbial pithiness of Oscar Wilde, the elegance of F. Scott Fitzgerald, the clarity of Graham Greene and the wit of Evelyn Waugh, conjuring a strong voice full of poetic, timeless grace of which much of the contemporary literary scene is starved.”
Daily Mail (London)
“There is...an integrity to [Van Booy’s] vision and a haunting element in his portrait of friendship and, ultimately, resolution.”
Robert Olen Butler
“Already a new-generation master of the short story, Simon Van Booy has now emerged as a newly minted master of the novel as well….Van Booy is a writer whose work I will forever eagerly read.”
Portland Press Herald
“Van Booy’s writing seduces from the first page….He is a hugely gifted writer. More vitally, he has something to say.”
Andre Dubus III
“If F. Scott Fitzgerald and Marguerite Duras had had a son, he would be Simon Van Booy; this is a truly special writer who does things with abstract language that is so evocative and original your breath literally catches in your chest. This is a novel you simply must read!”
Daily Candy
“[T]he exquisite prose and heartbreaking (but never hopeless) emotional honesty make it a worthy read.”
Open Letters Monthly
“How lovely to encounter a grownup romantic in Simon Van Booy….[He] is a lovely writer, and Everything Beautiful Began After is a kind book.”
Metro (London)
“Vivid and meticulous...the floweriness of his prose is skillfully balanced by his short, precise sentences. Intriguing.”
Austin Ratner
“His prose is music, and his characters are warmhearted, gentle, bemused, philosophical beings….It’s as if Shakespeare’s Sonnet No. 30 has unfolded into a full-blown novel.”
Emma Straub
Everything Beautiful Began After both creates and satisfies a feeling of wanderlust. Van Booy’s confident prose carries the reader over oceans and back again, into archaeological digs and airport hotels, and the romance at the center of the book stays vivid long after the story is through.”
Library Journal
Crimson-haired Rebecca has left behind a job at Air France and a life that's stuttering out like a candle to settle in Athens and work at becoming a painter, drawing on the memory of the mother who abandoned her and her sister as children. Socially maladapted, relentlessly soused, but indisputably brilliant—he breezed through college early after lonely years at a New England boarding school—George is in Athens to perfect his grasp of ancient languages. Rebecca falls carelessly into a brief affair with George but takes up passionately with Henry, a charismatic if troubled archaeologist in Athens on a dig. Then Henry unknowingly befriends George, and together they end up working together on the dig. But this is no idyll; the dark backstories crafted for each character by first novelist Van Booy (Love Begins in Winter) presage a crushing tragedy that changes the landscape of their lives forever. VERDICT Readers who like to zip through the pages might find this precious or overextended, but those with a little patience will be taken in by the carefully etched stories and lyrically precise and inventive language. A lovely book for sophisticated readers.—Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062079497
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
07/05/2011
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
416
Sales rank:
349,568
File size:
3 MB

What People are Saying About This

Emma Straub
Everything Beautiful Began After both creates and satisfies a feeling of wanderlust. Van Booy’s confident prose carries the reader over oceans and back again, into archaeological digs and airport hotels, and the romance at the center of the book stays vivid long after the story is through.”
Robert Olen Butler
“Already a new-generation master of the short story, Simon Van Booy has now emerged as a newly minted master of the novel as well….Van Booy is a writer whose work I will forever eagerly read.”
Austin Ratner
“His prose is music, and his characters are warmhearted, gentle, bemused, philosophical beings….It’s as if Shakespeare’s Sonnet No. 30 has unfolded into a full-blown novel.”
Andre Dubus III
“If F. Scott Fitzgerald and Marguerite Duras had had a son, he would be Simon Van Booy; this is a truly special writer who does things with abstract language that is so evocative and original your breath literally catches in your chest. This is a novel you simply must read!”

Meet the Author

Simon Van Booy is the author of two novels and two collections of short stories, including The Secret Lives of People in Love and Love Begins in Winter, which won the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award. He is the editor of three philosophy books and has written for The New York Times, The Guardian, NPR, and the BBC. His work has been translated into fourteen languages. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and daughter.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Everything Beautiful Began After 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
grumpydan More than 1 year ago
This is one of those books where you either love it or hate it; understand it or confused by it. It's a story about three lost people who meet in Athens one summer; a summer that molds their future. Although, beautifully written, I could not get into it as I become confused and then disinterested. But I do say give it a try since Simon Van Booy is a gifted author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TalleyRoss More than 1 year ago
 Everything Beautiful Began After" was probably one of the most interestingly written books I have ever read. I chose this book from the Bookbub website mostly because I thought it had an interesting title. The title was indicative of the writing style. Van Booy uses wonderful imagery and clever construction of his story of three lonely people who meet on the streets of Athens, Greece and create enduring love and friendship. The POV changes in the story, while somewhat jarring, are used to help create tension and emotion. They were used in a manner I had never seen before. But while I liked and appreciated the style of the book, when you strip away the beautiful imagery and words, you are left with just a shell of a story. By the end, I felt let down that more wasn't accomplished in 300 pages. Essentially the bulk of the story happens in the first third of the book - leaving the rest feeling void and repetitious. Once you have read the story, you realize that Van Booy may have intended that reaction all along. But to me, that intention flies in the face of the title. If what was beautiful truly began after, then Van Booy didn't spend enough time on the beautiful and I was left feeling a bit cheated. If you love language and beautiful metaphors, and you are looking only for that, you would love this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
KTNorman More than 1 year ago
Picked this book up while traveling in paris. Couldn't put it down! The story was beautiful!!
LunaPrat More than 1 year ago
A great read for sure
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
thenightwriterSB More than 1 year ago
I fell in love with Everything Beautiful Began After after having just read the Prologue and the rest of the book did not disappoint. Simon Van Booy's beautiful poetic language is stunning and his descriptions require the reader to pause and take a deep breath to take them in. The characters are so well developed that one cannot help but love and care deeply for them. It is fascinating to watch as they argue over the existence of fate while we quietly witness fate take its toll on each of them. There is a sense of unpredictability, an unknowing that keeps the pages turning. Van Booy's use of different points of view also adds depth to this novel. It was a genius way to create various space and distance between the reader and the characters. The cover and deckle-edged paper provides the perfect package for such a beautiful and tragic love story. The ending felt a bit rushed to me and things seemed to be tied up a little too perfectly in the end. This may be that I just didn't want the book to end. I was invested in these characters and wanted to spend more time with them. However, at over 400 pages, I understand Van Booy had to end the book at some point. Maybe he will write a sequel! If you want to be swept away into a beautiful love story with writing that literally takes you there as a silent witness to the unfolding lives of the characters, this book is definitely for you. I wanted to continue inside the world Van Booy created with this novel so much that I actually got up in the middle of the night, unable to sleep because I couldn't stop thinking about it, and continued reading until it was finished.
LAURIE SCHWARTZ More than 1 year ago
A lovely, beautifully written book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago