The House of Impossible Beauties: A Novel

The House of Impossible Beauties: A Novel

It?s 1980 in New York City, and nowhere is the city?s glamour and energy better reflected than in the burgeoning Harlem ball scene, where seventeen-year-old Angel first comes into her own. Burned by her traumatic past, Angel is new to the drag world, new to ball culture, and has a yearning inside of her to help create family for those without. When she falls in love with H It?s 1980 in New York City, and nowhere is the city?s glamour and energy better reflected than in the burgeoning ...

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Title:The House of Impossible Beauties: A Novel
Author:Joseph Cassara
Rating:
Genres:Fiction
ISBN:0062677004
Edition Language:English
Format Type:ebook
Number of Pages:416 pages pages

The House of Impossible Beauties: A Novel Reviews

  • Blair
    Sep 15, 2017
    With The House of Impossible Beauties, debut author Joseph Cassara has created a fictionalised account of the House of Xtravaganza, immortalised in the 1990 documentary Paris is Burning. From the backstory of key figures to the initial formation of Xtravaganza ? the first all-Latinx ...
  • Elizabeth☮
    Mar 25, 2018
    I don't even know where to begin in my review of this one. The world Cassara has created is just mind-blowingly good. This takes place in New York during the 1980's. Our narrators are all boys that have been marginalized in their own homes and find their way to the streets. Each story ...
  • Jessica Sullivan
    Mar 20, 2018
    I wanted to love this so bad, I really did! It's about the queer ball scene in New York City in the 1980s, as documented in the popular film Paris Is Burning. Wonderful subject matter that had the potential to be so riveting and affecting. The main problem with this book is that the...
  • Laura
    Jan 23, 2018
    How badly I wanted to love this book. How disappointed I was. I was planning on loving it: a book about queer and trans street kids finding family with each other in the underground ball scene of the 1980s. The novel is based on the real House of Xtravaganza, one of the more famous hou...
  • Aaron Elliott
    Apr 20, 2018
    This book is lucky to have been green-lighted due to the popularity of "RuPaul's Drag Race", but is in essence a fanboy retelling of the documentary "Paris is Burning". The author doesn't even try hard to mask the names of characters, using the same names from "Paris is Burning"......
  • Holly
    Feb 08, 2018
    ?????? 6 stars. This book. This book is gorgeous, and funny and transcendent and heartbreaking. The definition of sweeping and epic. It tells the fictionalized story of a group of transgender friends from the legendary House Of Xtravaganza (made famous in the Pa...
  • Rachel Elizabeth
    Mar 08, 2018
    A big part of me wants to sweep this book up into my arms and give it a hug. At the risk of sounding like a stereotype, for as long as I can remember I've always felt invigorated by LGBT communities. The humor, emotional expansiveness, and, finally, the sense of freedom I saw in friend...
  • Emily May
    Jan 10, 2018
    ?We dance for the memories of things we dread to remember,? Katya said as the rest of the class went into position, raising their legs up, then beyond the head. ?We dance for the things we wish to forget.? 3 1/2 stars. The House of Impossible Beauties is almost amazing. Cass...
  • ElphaReads
    Mar 18, 2018
    I first saw PARIS IS BURNING in college, as part of required viewing for a class. I've always liked this documentary, in part because of its importance to the LGBTQIA community and the history of the Ball Culture in NYC, but also because the subjects within it were all such engrossing ...
  • shady boots | #TeamMizCracker
    Mar 23, 2018
    Before I share my thoughts on this book, if you enjoyed it or if you're interested to know more about ball culture, I STRONGLY IMPLORE you to watch the documentary Paris Is Burning if you haven't already. It gives a more in-depth look at the ballroom scene of 80's New York, and also in...
  • Christopher Alonso
    Jan 24, 2018
    Review forthcoming, but all I'm gonna say is wowowow this hurt me, and I encourage everyone to read it. ...
  • Ismail Elshareef
    Mar 10, 2018
    Could have been amazing! ?I will tell her to look at my face?no lines, no wrinkles, no bags. She can stare at my youth?and suffer.? I was almost transported to an era of which I know very little: the gay ball scene of 1980s NYC. Some of its infamous glam and gloom came th...
  • Ailsa
    Jan 16, 2018
    It?s difficult writing a fictionalised account of real people. You have to do them justice, and I don?t know how historically accurate this book is but I do know that it?s heartbreakingly moving. Centred around the legendary House of Xtravaganza made famous in Paris Is Burning th...
  • Jody
    Feb 11, 2018
    I was...underwhelmed and occasionally bored. With this particular story I definitely feel like that should not have been the case. ...
  • Neville Longbottom
    Apr 14, 2018
    The House of Impossible Beauties is a character driven story about the House of Xtravaganza, the first all Latinx house in the Harlem ball scene of the 1980s. The story is triumphant and tragic, following the stories of gay and trans characters through a very tumultuous time for the LG...
  • Ann Marie (Lit·Wit·Wine·Dine)
    Feb 22, 2018
    DNF'ing this one at page 129. The deal-breaking issue I have with this book is pacing. It's moving too slowly for me. If anyone had told me I would have found a book set in 1980's NYC and written about the drag world and ball culture scene to be boring I would have laughed at them....
  • jo
    Mar 09, 2018
    ?? ?The house of impossible beauties? ????? ?? ????????? ??????????? ??? ????????? Joseph Cassara. ? ??????? ??? ??????????????? ??? ???????? ??? ?80 ???? ??? ????? ?? ?????????...
  • Gabriella
    Mar 02, 2018
    Joseph Cassara has written an insular, (relatively) low-glitz, immensely tragic account of queer and trans Latinx youth in 1980-90s New York. I struggle to call it ?accurate? or ?authentic? because like Cassara, I am not a member of the House of Xtravaganza, the first Latinx ho...
  • Matthew
    Mar 05, 2018
    4.5 stars. Author Virginia Postrel once wrote that ?glamour is an imaginative process that creates a specific emotional response: a sharp mixture of projection, longing, admiration, and aspiration.? Contextually Postrel was unlikely speaking of the halcyon days of glitz and glam...
  • Doug
    Feb 22, 2018
    3.5, rounded down. Like most first novels, this suffers from being a tad overwritten and under-edited. It could have easily lost 100 superfluous pages or more, which would have improved the pacing. A couple of other things that bugged me were a lack of any real plot (it just seemed ...
  • Eric Anderson
    Jan 20, 2018
    RuPaul's Drag Race has found a global audience in recent years and I've been a huge follower of it since the third season. It's still one of the highlights of my life hearing RuPaul praise my blog on his podcast. (You can listen to the audio of this at the bottom of my intro page here....
  • Neil
    Dec 05, 2017
    First of all, a bit of history and context because I, for one, was not aware when I started this book that it is based on fact. I discovered this after about 50 pages or so when the story encouraged me to Google something and then, an hour later, I was more aware of the historical cont...
  • Paromjit
    Jan 14, 2018
    Joseph Cassara has written a heart wrenching paean to the LGBT community, a blend of fact and fiction based on the critically acclaimed documentary on the House of Xtravaganza in the 1980s and 1990s, Paris Is Burning. Set in New York, it tells of young gay and transgender characters, f...
  • Greg
    Feb 19, 2018
    "Men come and go, I always say that. Maybe love is shorter than it should be, but hot diggity damn, Chanel is fuckin' forever" says one character. And so it goes, Chanel and rather restrained and multiple sexual encounters until an explosive, explicit scene wraps it all up in drugs and...
  • Tammy
    Oct 05, 2017
    The House of Impossible Beauties follows four transgender kids through the heyday of the Harlem ball culture which was ground zero for the AIDS crisis. The places and characters are real but it is a fictionalized account of House Xtravaganza. I don't see the comparisons to A Little Lif...
  • Teresa
    Sep 06, 2017
    THIS. BOOK. I literally cried for about 3/4 quarters of this book...it was heart breakingly beautiful. Joseph Cassara writes without abandon; I was so wrapped up in Angel, Venus, Daniel and Juanito's lives that my life was placed on hold for about 3 days. Cassara weaves a gorgeous bu...
  • Paula Bardell-Hedley
    Jan 02, 2018
    New York's underground drag ball scene flourished in the early 1980s. These glitzy, elaborately-themed events rose with meteoric intensity from the Harlem district, bringing with them an immense euphoria and camaraderie among the area's prominent LGBT population. The House of Impo...
  • Nikola
    Mar 01, 2018
    4.5 stars You can also find this review plus my Q&A with Joseph on my book blog. The House of Impossible Beauties is one of those books you stumble upon once in a while that leave a mark on you. What first attracted me to this book was the topic it deals with plus it being ...
  • Al
    Aug 17, 2017
    I haven't even finished this book; I still have a fourth left to go, and even now I can say that this is the most haunting, yet glamorous, book I have ever read. The entire cast is diverse, both racially, sexually, and gender-wise. There isn't a dull moment in this book. It's laugh-ind...
  • Joseph Crupper
    Dec 08, 2017
    I don?t know if I can be the one to give a definitive rating to this book, just since I am such a huge fan of Paris is Burning. I idolize the real life people that Cassara?s characters are based on. The prose in this novel is tight, and readers who don?t know the real-life fate...