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The House of Impossible Beauties: 'Equal parts attitude, intelligence and eyeliner.' - Marlon James by [Joseph Cassara]

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The House of Impossible Beauties: 'Equal parts attitude, intelligence and eyeliner.' - Marlon James Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 31 ratings

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Length: 396 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Language: English

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Product description


'Cassara has written a heartbreaking tale of gay men struggling to survive in a world of clubbing and drugs. It is also an unexpected love story.' 

-- Graham Norton ― Top Five Reads of 2018

The House of Impossible Beauties tells of a search not only for respect but, above all, love in a time and place that seeks to starve its characters of both… From these threads of fact and myth, Cassara runs up a fictional ensemble that craftily stitches glamour and grit.’

Financial Times

‘Vivid and engaging... The novel feels like an anthropological plunge into another era, enhanced by rhythmic, urban prose littered with slang and Spanglish.’

The Economist

‘Vibrant… The House of Impossible Beauties is especially strong at detailing the sadness of queer life… This is not a bleak novel, however – far from it. The scenes of love and support between the characters have a kindness that more than matches the sadness, and the dialogue, peppered with early 80s disco or TV references and “Spanglais” dialect, is frequently hilarious… [offering] a convincing insight into the world in which they lived.’


‘Cassara’s “beauties” actually does the impossible. It cuts bone deep into a scene that’s all surface, mines the grit that produces glitter, and finds burning life in this lost generation of beautiful and damned. The novel strikes a flame the way a character strikes a pose – equal parts attitude, intelligence and eyeliner.’

Marlon James, Man Booker Prize-winning author of A Brief History of Seven Killings

‘My favourite book of this year is a fictional imagining of the back stories of the House of Xtravaganza, the subject of Jenny Livingston’s peerless voguing documentary, Paris Is Burning.’

Paul Flynn, Evening Standard

‘Vividly imagined... Riveted by their stories, you are so struck by the Xtravaganza’s strength and determination, by their vibrant spirits and humour, by their creativity, by their sensitivity to beauty and their capacity to give and receive love.’

New York Times Book Review

‘Gritty, fiercely impressive... Joseph Cassara has written a lithe, fiery and incredibly authentic story. A future queer classic.’


‘Fabulous...a grand, beautiful tale of art, love and the human spirit.’


‘A vibrant and dynamic debut novel.’

Cosmopolitan Magazine --This text refers to the paperback edition.

Book Description

A gritty and gorgeous debut inspired by the real House of Xtravaganza made famous by the seminal documentary Paris Is Burning --This text refers to the paperback edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B077QBD4VX
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Oneworld Publications (1 February 2018)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 1312 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 396 pages
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.3 out of 5 stars 31 ratings

Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
31 global ratings
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Jenny Foster
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartbreaking, uplifting, beautiful, unforgettable - read it!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 20 December 2018
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Tribute
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 7 March 2021
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4.0 out of 5 stars Well......
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 4 June 2018
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James Boyce
3.0 out of 5 stars Good read but slightly confusing story flow.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 8 May 2021
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Amazon Kunde
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartbreaking but beautiful
Reviewed in Germany on 24 January 2019
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