The Beautiful Ones

The Beautiful Ones Review

From Prince himself comes the brilliant coming-of-age-and-into-superstardom story of one of the greatest artists of all time—featuring never-before-seen photos, original scrapbooks and lyric sheets, and the exquisite memoir he began writing before his tragic death.

Prince was a musical genius, one of the most talented, beloved, accomplished, popular, and acclaimed musicians in history. He was also a startlingly original visionary with an imagination deep enough to whip up whole worlds, from the sexy, gritty funk paradise of “Uptown” to the mythical landscape of Purple Rain to the psychedelia of “Paisley Park.” But his most ambitious creative act was turning Prince Rogers Nelson, born in Minnesota, into Prince, the greatest pop star of his era.

The Beautiful Ones is the story of how Prince became Prince—a first-person account of a kid absorbing the world around him and then creating a persona, an artistic vision, and a life, before the hits and fame that would come to define him. The book is told in four parts. The first is composed of the memoir he was writing before his tragic death, pages that brings us into Prince’s childhood world through his own lyrical prose. The second part takes us into Prince’s early years as a musician, before his first album released, through a scrapbook of Prince’s writing and photos. The third section shows us Prince’s evolution through candid images that take us up to the cusp of his greatest achievement, which we see in the book’s fourth section: his original handwritten treatment for Purple Rain—the final stage in Prince’s self-creation, as he retells the autobiography we’ve seen in the first three parts as a heroic journey.

The book is framed by editor Dan Piepenbring’s riveting and moving introduction about his short but profound collaboration with Prince in his final months—a time when Prince was thinking deeply about how to reveal more of himself and his ideas to the world, while retaining the mystery and mystique he’d so carefully cultivated—and annotations that provide context to each of the book’s images.

This work is not just a tribute to Prince, but an original and energizing literary work, full of Prince’s ideas and vision, his voice and image, his undying gift to the world.

Title:The Beautiful Ones
Edition Language:English

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    The Beautiful Ones Reviews

  • Casey Rain

    Prince's unfinished memoir is captured here, in The Beautiful Ones, out now on Penguin Random House. It’s a stunning package, but a difficult proposition. It’s not his memoir. It’s partly that. ...

  • Jamie (TheRebelliousReader)

    ”Those considered “different” R the ones most interesting 2 us.” 5 stars. Such a bittersweet read. I’ve been anticipating this book since it’s announcement years ago when Prince was still...

  • Jay Gabler

    It's impossible to know what Prince would have made of the book just published under his byline, and it's probably best not to speculate...but you have to imagine he'd be happy to feel the weight of i...

  • Joan

    It's hard to know what to say. I was left feeling very sad and empty after quickly devouring this book. The opening chapter by Dan Piepenbring about how this book began to come together through his co...

  • LeeTravelGoddess

    Soooooooooooooooooooooooooo, this book has THEEEE longest introduction EVER, in the whole world... how selfish Dan, this story isn’t about you! I got the audiobook cause I thought it was going down ...

  • Melissa

    Obviously, I was going to give this book five stars from the second Prince announced it. But these five stars are deserved. Prince’s autobiographical section is quite slight. But in so few pages, he...

  • David Gibbons

    You can't knock stars off it for being incomplete. What I, for one, would give for it to possibly have been completed. It means he would still be here for us....

  • La Vida Rose

    I NEED MORE! This book contains 26-pages that Prince wrote intended for his memoir. It's just not enough. The rest of the book features handwritten song lyrics from some of his early songs in the 70s ...

  • Nandi Crawford

    I loved Prince from the get go, but facts being facts, it's an interesting yet unfinished work.I'm not discounting the book, but it speaks of his life from birth to him writing the first draft of Purp...

  • Jeanette

    2.5 starsThis is a mish-mash of material that could have been an excellent book if Prince had lived to complete it. The first 57 percent of the book is an introduction by Dan Piepenbring, the writer P...