The mighty human mess

Beejay Silcox on Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney
The ABR Podcast 29 September 2021

The mighty human mess

Beejay Silcox on Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney
The ABR Podcast 29 September 2021

Sally Rooney


It’s difficult to imagine a more hotly anticipated novel than Irish author Sally Rooney’s Beautiful World, Where Are You. Fiercely embargoed advance copies have sold for vast sums on eBay, and British publisher Faber even set up a custom Sally Rooney store – featuring branded bucket hats, tote bags, and a coffee truck. The author’s two prior works, Conversations with Friends and Normal People, garnered critical acclaim for their insights into young love in the modern age, with pundits even declaring her ‘the first great Millennial novelist’. ABR critic Beejay Silcox delves into Rooney’s latest work for our October issue, available to read tomorrow, September 30. In today’s episode, Beejay first discusses the entangled process of critiquing Beautiful World, Where Are You, before reading her review in full.


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Comment (1)

  • Terrific review.
    Wonderful range.
    I suspect it skewered all possible reactions to the actual work.
    I’m twice Rooney’s age and more.
    I recently read another review in the London Review of Books of Rooney’s new book which was scathing.
    It didn’t take Rooney’’s book on its own terms.
    Just condescended.
    Taste is subjective.
    I don’t understand criticism which doesn’t engage with, rather merely dismisses, the author.
    The review in the ABR struck me as not making this mistake, more intelligent, more insightful, if less brutal and funny, which brutality and humour no doubt pleases some bloodthirsty readers of the LRB.
    The LRB review was clever.
    I nevertheless wondered to what purpose.
    Ms Rooney is clearly very clever.
    And young.
    The latter is not a crime.
    Posted by David Clifford
    29 September 2021

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