Three Beauties

Three Beauties

by John Fraser


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Three Beauties is John Fraser's latest tour de force in speculative fiction. Beauty is an idea of perfection, moral, physical, social, political - and these three tales, with their beautiful questing characters, exemplify the search for the best there is. In the first tale, the heroine aspires to perfection in sex, sport and literature. Genetic improvement too is tried - but in the end she runs foul of the classical link between beauty, judgement and the struggle to be top. Afrodite, the acme of beauty, notoriously had her champions, and intervened - unfairly - to have them score in battle. In the second tale, Afrodite is absent or indifferent, as the characters tangle with high politics, and seek in vain a measure of social improvement. The final tale has the beauty, the heroine, in a mechanical role, to oil the plot. The moral is that perfection lies beyond the world, up in the sky.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781910301180
Publisher: Aesop Publications
Publication date: 10/08/2015
Pages: 220
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

John Fraser has lived in Rome since 1980. Previously, he worked in England and Canada.

The distinguished poet, novelist and Booker Prize nominee John Fuller has written of Fraser's fiction:

One of the most extraordinary publishing events of the past few years has been the rapid, indeed insistent, appearance of the novels of John Fraser. There are few parallels in literary history to this almost simultaneous and largely belated appearance of a mature œuvre, sprung like Athena from Zeus's forehead; and the novels in themselves are extraordinary. I can think of nothing much like them in fiction. Fraser maintains a masterfully ironic distance from the extreme conditions in which his characters find themselves. There are strikingly beautiful descriptions, veiled allusions to rooted traditions, unlikely events half-glimpsed, abrupted narratives, surreal but somehow apposite social customs. Fraser's work is conceived on a heroic scale in terms both of its ideas and its situational metaphors. If he were to be filmed, it would need the combined talents of a Bunuel, a Gilliam, a Cameron.

Like Thomas Pynchon, whom in some ways he resembles, Fraser is a deep and serious fantasist, wildly inventive. The reader rides as on a switchback or luge of impetuous attention, with effects flashing by at virtuoso speeds. The characters seem to be unwitting agents of chaos, however much wise reflection the author bestows upon them. They move with shrugging self-assurance through circumstances as richly-detailed and as without reliable compass-points as a Chinese scroll.

I am convinced that he is the most original novelist of our time. His work has become an internal dialogue of intuitions and counter-intuitions that just happens to take the form of conversations between his inscrutable characters. But really it is a rich texture of poetic perceptions, frequently reaching for the aphoristic, but rooted in sidelong debate and weird analogies.

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