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The Beautiful Evil Paperback – July 2, 2011

3.8 out of 5 stars 85 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The arc of the story hooks the reader, masterfully building suspense.Despite the darkness, this is a well-crafted story and a fascinating modern spin on ancient Greek folklore. A deftly rendered tale of one woman's struggle to reconcile family secrets and her problematic marriage, while an ancient curse intervenes."--Kirkus Indie Review


"Ms. Bryant's style set its unrelenting claws into me until I finished her book. Bryant follows in Dean Koontz' footsteps with this psycho thriller. The Beautiful Evil is a cross between the idiosyncratic, quirky TV thriller "Twin Peaks" and Stephen King's "Dreamcatcher" --Leigh Anne Lindsey, Publisher, SEASTORM PRESS

About the Author

Robbi Sommers Bryant Vice President Of Redwood Writers published works include 4 novels, 5 short story collections and 1 book of poetry. Her work has been published in magazines including Readers Digest, Redbook, Cupido and Penthouse and included in several anthologies. After the sudden death of her 21-year-old son in the late 1990's, Robbi's passion and creative flame extinguished. She only began writing again last year. Robbi has recently retired as a dental hygienist. She has also worked as a licensed esthetician and a certified massage therapist. Once a disco dance teacher and tarot card reader/teacher, Robbi has dabbled in many of life's experiences. She is married and is the mother of three sons. Justin 1976-1997, Brian and Nick (twins, age 28.) The Beautiful Evil, a novel, is her first major work since her son passed.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 342 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (July 2, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1460998243
  • ISBN-13: 978-1460998243
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,402,197 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First off, Robbi Sommers Bryant is a master storyteller. This was the first fiction book I have read in over 12 years--I loved it.

With brevity I want to make some key points for readers contemplating buying this book:

1. Easy to read, but not light on anecdote, symbolism, and intrigue--sucks you in like the vortex of a tornado.

2. Vivid word pictures! Robbi paints a mosaic of images from the prose that captivate the imagination.

3. It's a "stealth" thriller. No heavy blood and gore, but more of what happens in our minds. Those silent thoughts we think nobody will ever know about.

4. Pacing is superb, she keeps the story moving with just enough "back story" to make you go, "Uh Huh...get it". I read it in three sittings.

5. Character development is well done, bravo there! I am a man and could see the world through the central character, Constance (a woman).

6. Unlikely twists and turns, it's not predictable!

7. Last comment, invoking spiritual component on every page.

In short, I'm a reader and writer of Non-Fiction business books and I loved "The Beautiful Evil" and you will too!

John
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Format: Paperback
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. Robbi S Bryant weaves classical myth into a modern woman's life, creating a story that is both elegant and haunting. Basically you're given a window to a lady's voyage into madness. At times disturbing, always entertaining, I would recommend this book to anyone in search of a great read. (without giving too much away, I will never look at a Greek urn the same way ever again)
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Format: Paperback
I generally do not like fantasy/thrillers. Robbi Sommers Bryant's, The Beautiful Evil, with an oxymoron for a title and a startling cover, begged me to buy this book!
Ms. Bryant's writing style is excellent, with realistic dialogue and characters. I reluctantly read the first few pages then I was hooked until the end!
Jeane Slone, author, She Flew Bombers and She Built Ships During WWII.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Haunted by the death of her father, whom she lost at only five years of age, and ever since then feeling unloved and unappreciated by her secretive and domineering mother, Constance Jacobson has grown up to be an emotionally distraught woman with little sense of self or self-esteem. Rebelling against the husband she believes no longer cares for her and determined to be master of her own destiny, she gets her wish in a frightfully fateful way when she becomes obsessed with a Grecian vase she sees in a curio shop window and decides she must have it at any cost. But once this Pandora's Box is opened and Constance's inner demons are set free, her terrible choices lead her into a darkness that may be even worse than insanity.

One of the most hypnotically disturbing novels I've read in years, The Beautiful Evil brings a depth and horror to the story of Pandora's Box (jar) that I never felt to read the original Greek myth. Mixing a modernized story of Pandora with some further Greek mythology, as well as with other subtle spiritual symbolism and philosophy/theodicy, this is a powerful and frightening novel that will not only keep you guessing as you read, but probably contemplating it long after.

**Possible spoilers**
As the story begins, the main character, Constance, seems to be a paradoxical personality, both self-hating and prideful - arguably not as an unusual and impossible contradiction as it sounds (and some might suggest, the very defect behind the fall of Lucifer and of man - but I won't get too theological because the novel is more subtly sinister and not overtly religious at all).
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Format: Paperback
This book reminds me very much of Sara Gran's 'Come Closer'. It's similar in that a character who's life is pretty structured, pretty consistent slowly but unarguably starts to slip away as they descend into madness...In Beautiful Evil the catalyst for the descent is a vase that Constance buys in a curio shop. Once she buys the vase nothing for her is ever the same again. She begins to walk on the dark side and begins to walk away from everything she's known for years..or everything she's thought she's known.

I had a few issues with the book that kept it from getting a higher rating.

First off, the main character. There really wasn't much about her that I actually liked. I didn't actively dislike her either. I guess I should say I was luke warm to her. To sum her up, she comes from money. She loves her father. Her mother, formerly poor who came into money by marrying Constance's father, was overbearing. Always belittling Constance and acting as if she were some kind of burden growing up. Constance seems to be able to do nothing but watch cartoons all day, even though it's never described what her husband does for a living. Also, Constance seems to complain a lot about people and how they treat and hide things from her when she's done some pretty awful things herself. I can't say much more without spoiling everything.

Secondly, I thought the book tended to be overly verbose at times. There are really only a handful of 'scenes' in the book and the author takes a while to tell them. In the end it seems like it's rambling. It's not that the writing is bad. The writing is good. Sometimes it's as if Bryant decided to take the long way around on the trip.

As far as the ending, I feel as if nothing is ever resolved.
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