The House of Impossible Beauties

The House of Impossible Beauties

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
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 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 ...
  • Sara
    May 03, 2018
    I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Cassara has managed to capture a snapshot of hedonistic 80s culture, richly steeped in beautiful creatures and intricate backstories that interweave to create a wonderful story about an underground community that many...
  • 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...
  • Ashley
    Jun 17, 2018
    The definition of meh for me. I should have known better, and I feel like my not enjoying this book is my fault. I am usually not into lit-fic, except on rare occasions. But this was recommended to me by one of those Book Riot quizzes where it was like, if you like this and this and th...
  • 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"......
  • Vivek Tejuja
    Jul 10, 2018
    Authors need to write more in the LGBT space. I know a lot is being written, but, I also think that a lot is still not enough. Books such as ?The House of Impossible Beauties? make you see, realize and understand that. I had been wanting to read this one for a while now and I am so...
  • Rachel
    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...
  • 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. ...
  • 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....
  • Marc
    Apr 25, 2018
    I read this in April and struggled with writing a review because I loved it so much. I've seen "Paris is Burning" many times but this novel hit me with an emotional punch I wasn't expecting. I borrowed it from the library but ended up purchasing the hardcover because I want it on my bo...
  • 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...
  • Nat K
    Jun 14, 2018
    Sadly I've moved this to my DNF shelf. I'm not saying it will remain there, but I simply don't have the interest in it to continue. I hate to admit defeat with books! Obviously I start reading them because I want to. And think (or hope) that I will enjoy them. But this one simply di...
  • 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...
  • Rod-Kelly Hines
    Mar 26, 2018
    I knew from the first few chapters that this would be a tough read for me. The thing that kept me reading to the end were the glimmers of wonderful writing that came up every 50 pages or so, and really held this almost 400 page novel together. The trouble here was in the writing an...
  • 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...
  • MaryBeth's Bookshelf
    May 21, 2018
    Set in New York City during the 1980's and 1990's this story focuses on gay and transgender characters living during the beginning of the AIDS crisis and Harlem Ball Scene. This is this story of many unlikely people who come together to form a family after being rejected by their own. ...
  • 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...
  • shady boots | #20gayteen
    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...