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Beautiful Things: A Memoir

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“I come from a family forged by tragedies and bound by a remarkable, unbreakable love,” Hunter Biden writes in this deeply moving memoir of addiction, loss, and survival. When he was two years old, Hunter Biden was badly injured in a car accident that killed his mother and baby sister. In 2015, he suffered the devastating loss of his beloved big brother, Beau, who died of b “I come from a family forged by tragedies and bound by a remarkable, unbreakable love,” Hunter Biden writes in this deeply moving memoir of addiction, loss, and survival. When he was two years old, Hunter Biden was badly injured in a car accident that killed his mother and baby sister. In 2015, he suffered the devastating loss of his beloved big brother, Beau, who died of brain cancer at the age of forty-six. These hardships were compounded by the collapse of his marriage and a years-long battle with drug and alcohol addiction. In Beautiful Things, Hunter recounts his descent into substance abuse and his tortuous path to sobriety. The story ends with where Hunter is today—a sober married man with a new baby, finally able to appreciate the beautiful things in life.


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“I come from a family forged by tragedies and bound by a remarkable, unbreakable love,” Hunter Biden writes in this deeply moving memoir of addiction, loss, and survival. When he was two years old, Hunter Biden was badly injured in a car accident that killed his mother and baby sister. In 2015, he suffered the devastating loss of his beloved big brother, Beau, who died of b “I come from a family forged by tragedies and bound by a remarkable, unbreakable love,” Hunter Biden writes in this deeply moving memoir of addiction, loss, and survival. When he was two years old, Hunter Biden was badly injured in a car accident that killed his mother and baby sister. In 2015, he suffered the devastating loss of his beloved big brother, Beau, who died of brain cancer at the age of forty-six. These hardships were compounded by the collapse of his marriage and a years-long battle with drug and alcohol addiction. In Beautiful Things, Hunter recounts his descent into substance abuse and his tortuous path to sobriety. The story ends with where Hunter is today—a sober married man with a new baby, finally able to appreciate the beautiful things in life.

30 review for Beautiful Things: A Memoir

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lisa of Troy

    This is Hunter Biden's memoir. Hunter is the son of President Joe Biden and brother of the late Beau Biden. Beautiful Things covers the key tragedies marking Hunter's life and the gritty details of his addiction to alcohol and crack. More than anything, this is a brutally honest story of addiction. Hunter takes full responsibility for every sordid detail and his many failures and setbacks. Most people talk about how awesome they are or how they only slipped up one time. Hunter doesn't gloss over This is Hunter Biden's memoir. Hunter is the son of President Joe Biden and brother of the late Beau Biden. Beautiful Things covers the key tragedies marking Hunter's life and the gritty details of his addiction to alcohol and crack. More than anything, this is a brutally honest story of addiction. Hunter takes full responsibility for every sordid detail and his many failures and setbacks. Most people talk about how awesome they are or how they only slipped up one time. Hunter doesn't gloss over what he has done. He doesn't hide. He isn't proud of his behavior, but he also can't change the past nor get help while hiding in the darkness. Beautiful Things should be the rallying cry to discuss addiction, a serious problem that most people speak to in terms of disgust. People often think, "That person is an addict because they don't have any willpower." However, instead of judging others, why don't we offer them a hand? In advance of attending a work function, one of my co-workers who had a known alcohol problem spoke about how he felt uncomfortable not drinking at business events. I told him that I would not be drinking, not a drop. I just say, "I don't drink" and pick up a Sprite or water. Knowing that he wouldn't be the only person not partaking in the adult beverages, he felt safer declining the drinks. As with most addiction battles, relapses happen, and old patterns are very, very difficult to break. How many people vow to lose 20 pounds? If they lose the weight, how many people ever actually keep it off? It is almost impossible. Hunter didn't hold back about relapses and his fight for sobriety. One of the things that shouldn't be taken for granted is all of the support especially medical care that Hunter and Beau received that all people should be entitled to. When Beau was sick, he was in the hospital and getting an MRI and being helicoptered to other hospitals within a very short period of time. When my heart was blocked and I showed up at the ER, I was ignored until they served every single other patient in the ER. Only when I passed out cold in the waiting room did they bother giving me any attention. Hunter had the benefit of flying all over the world for countless private rehab facilities and living with a private sober coach. Meanwhile, I have been trying to schedule an appointment at Henry Ford Medical Center for 2 weeks! Many people simply don't have access to this type of medical care, and it really is shocking when you truly need high quality healthcare to get pushed aside, not taken seriously, and given up on especially if you have a problem that takes more than 5 minutes to solve. 2022 Reading Schedule Jan Animal Farm Feb Lord of the Flies Mar The Da Vinci Code Apr Of Mice and Men May Memoirs of a Geisha Jun Little Women Jul The Lovely Bones Aug Charlotte's Web Sep Life of Pi Oct Dracula Nov Gone with the Wind Dec The Secret Garden Connect With Me! Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lisa_of_Troy YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvmS... Facebook: https://facebook.com/LisaofTroy Email: [email protected]

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Masterson

    I’m not crying. You’re crying! Raw, real, and brutally honest. Hunter Biden’s memoir will forever stay with me. That epilogue! Highly highly recommended! Listen to the audio! It’s so good!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Gary Schantz

    Nothing to see here unless you like reading about pitiful people who are simply useless to themselves and everyone around them. If this man had been sober for years then it would have been respectable to tell a story of what he had overcome and all the things he had accomplished during that time. Unfortunately he admits that he was barely sober when he started writing this book and his thinking doesn't get much clearer as book drones on. He details numerous mistakes he has made....and writing this Nothing to see here unless you like reading about pitiful people who are simply useless to themselves and everyone around them. If this man had been sober for years then it would have been respectable to tell a story of what he had overcome and all the things he had accomplished during that time. Unfortunately he admits that he was barely sober when he started writing this book and his thinking doesn't get much clearer as book drones on. He details numerous mistakes he has made....and writing this book is just one more to add to his list of dumb decisions so stay-tuned because this story is only about to get worse when the book ends up in the remainder bin in 30 days after it was released.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Katie McCandless

    Get comfy; I have some thoughts. As I saw it, this book has three pieces. The first (and most successful, IMO) is the family story, about the early car crash that bonded Hunter, Beau, and Joe; the family's political journey; and Beau's illness and death. Hunter has the most insight here and demonstrates the most humanity, in no small part, I think, because it's ultimately about how he exists in the context of other people. How his relationship with Beau shaped him, and how Beau's death was like r Get comfy; I have some thoughts. As I saw it, this book has three pieces. The first (and most successful, IMO) is the family story, about the early car crash that bonded Hunter, Beau, and Joe; the family's political journey; and Beau's illness and death. Hunter has the most insight here and demonstrates the most humanity, in no small part, I think, because it's ultimately about how he exists in the context of other people. How his relationship with Beau shaped him, and how Beau's death was like removing a leg from a three-legged stool. It's beautifully written and deeply sad. You get a sense not just of Beau's meteoric potential, but also how beloved and essential he was in the Biden family. Second was my least favorite, but probably a necessary piece – when Hunter walks you through his resume and tap dances like mad to convince you that he's worthy. I don't care how hard you stamp your foot about going to Yale or advocating on behalf of Jesuit ministries, your unacknowledged privilege is still bursting at the seams and nobody's voting for you, my dude. He goes through the Burisma mess in excruciating detail. It's one of those things that's boring for people who don't see any there there (me) and probably inadequate for those who see a vast conspiracy (take a wild guess). Last, making up the bulk of the book, is the addiction story. There is this maxim of memoir that you can't/shouldn't write about something until you're adequately distanced from it to see it with the proper perspective. The perspective that Hunter Biden has about his addiction extends no further than about 2 centimeters from his own face. Honestly, I'm worried about the guy. This shit is so, so fresh. His lack of self-awareness and perspective is raw, compelling, and incredibly tenuous. Don't get me wrong; he is doing (part of) the work here. He is making a moral inventory of himself (4th step of AA), but he is not quite examining or admitting the exact nature of his wrongs (5th step). The result is a little hard to swallow. He regales the reader with tales of depravity with a kind of weaponized candor that can make addicts so dangerously charismatic. Brené Brown calls it floodlighting – when you share too much, too fast, too soon in order to protect yourself from real vulnerability. He talks a lot about how much he misses his family, his daughters in particular, without writing much of anything about how terrifying, destabilizing, and painful it must have been for them. He is quick to admit that he's at fault for putting distance between himself and his daughters, but that distance is still something that is happening to him. One of the most glaring omissions is the lack of recognition of how lucky (read: white, rich) he is not to be dead or in prison. He almost seems to chuckle as he describes buying crack in dangerous places, where his biggest worries were getting ripped off (it seems to be more a matter of principle than an actual financial concern), having to wait a long time in his car, and being mistaken for a cop. When he meets his current wife at the end of the book, he's still using. She helps him get clean, and they get married six days after their first date. I couldn't help but cringe and tried hard not to speculate about just how co-dependent his new wife is/was. I wish the guy (and his wife and new baby) all the best, and I sincerely hope it goes well for them. I am not optimistic. He clearly knows that he's not out of the woods yet, but I'm not sure he appreciates how few survival skills he possesses while he's still in there. I have known many Hunter Bidens. Whatever it is – drugs, religion, new love – they are all in. This kind of intensity can be extremely alluring, and when it comes along with a tragic backstory, downright irresistible. So how is it as a book? I may not have the best objectivity here, and it's hard for me to separate my assessment of the man from my assessment of his writing. He writes well. It's a good book. When he says he's going to be okay, I don't totally believe him.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Tomas

    The book started okay with his recollection of Bo and his upbringing. But he totally lost all credibility when he minimized the Joe Biden plagiarism and lying scandals during his first presidential run. Loosely based off a speech? BS! Not only did Joey plagiarize the speech almost word for word, he was lying on his campaign trail about his credentials, education, upbringing, civil rights involvement, the circumstances behind his wife's death, etc. One thing is for sure - when Hunter said a scanda The book started okay with his recollection of Bo and his upbringing. But he totally lost all credibility when he minimized the Joe Biden plagiarism and lying scandals during his first presidential run. Loosely based off a speech? BS! Not only did Joey plagiarize the speech almost word for word, he was lying on his campaign trail about his credentials, education, upbringing, civil rights involvement, the circumstances behind his wife's death, etc. One thing is for sure - when Hunter said a scandal of plagiarism wouldn't even matter today, he was spot on. Clearly, the American public and the media don't give a crap if you're being lied to your face as long as it's coming from their political side. We allowed social media and mainstream news to bury opposition research against Biden while they campaigned on behalf of Biden to push every potential and unverified scandal against Trump. Hunter is a gaslighter, just like his father, and wants you to believe he's the victim in all of this. Which is buffoonery. I understand that most people are good and want to sympathize with a person in pain, and Hunter has gone through much of it. However, this does not excuse his BS behavior. it doesn't make him upstanding, it doesn't make him a role model, and it definitely doesn't warrant him getting one of the only Management deals with the Chinese government... But it seems that all it takes to get public support, no matter the degeneracy, is to come out with a self pitying book and be bolstered by the media complex. When did people stop being able to see through all the bullshit...?

  6. 4 out of 5

    Toria

    I went into this book because I was courious to hear Hunter side of his addiction and so on. This was raw and bit emotional to listen to. While I didn't always agree with nor understand him, I found this to be a good memoir. People aren't perfect and and in difficulties and addiction to that there is often going to be a mess. I went into this book because I was courious to hear Hunter side of his addiction and so on. This was raw and bit emotional to listen to. While I didn't always agree with nor understand him, I found this to be a good memoir. People aren't perfect and and in difficulties and addiction to that there is often going to be a mess.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Baker

    This was not a terrible book. It was not a good book either. It definitely wouldn’t have been published if Hunter wasn’t the presidents son. And I guess that’s my main problem with this book. Hunter Biden is man of incredible privilege that he never really addresses. He doesn’t really explore his own motivations, thoughts, or feelings. He doesn’t even really know his triggers for drug use. Overall, he comes across as somewhat selfish. He admits mistakes but doesn’t analyze them. He uses his plat This was not a terrible book. It was not a good book either. It definitely wouldn’t have been published if Hunter wasn’t the presidents son. And I guess that’s my main problem with this book. Hunter Biden is man of incredible privilege that he never really addresses. He doesn’t really explore his own motivations, thoughts, or feelings. He doesn’t even really know his triggers for drug use. Overall, he comes across as somewhat selfish. He admits mistakes but doesn’t analyze them. He uses his platform to complain, and he never really apologizes for being a massive liability to his family. Is he a criminal mastermind? No I don’t think so. I think he’s an addict who earned easy money as a benefit from his famous family and last name. But he doesn’t even seem chagrined about all the harm he’s done. His sobriety story is also really hurtful as well. He couldn’t get clean for his daughters or dad but he fell in love with a blue eyed stranger and all of a sudden his urge to use drugs is gone??? Suffice it to say I don’t think me and Hunter would be chill IRL since I found him to be cocky and annoying in this memoir. So I’d say skip the celebrity tell all for something more authentic. 2.8/5 stars

  8. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    In this honest, sincere, heartbreaking, and gut wrenching memoir, Hunter Biden reflects back on his life. Writing about the highs and lows (the very very lows), he bravely lets you see the demons he fought, but also lets you see the unbreakable bonds of love, respect, and family ties that have lifted him up and sustained him throughout his life. Parts of this book are hard to read because Hunter writes candidly about his battles with alcohol and drug abuse over many years. He admitted himself in In this honest, sincere, heartbreaking, and gut wrenching memoir, Hunter Biden reflects back on his life. Writing about the highs and lows (the very very lows), he bravely lets you see the demons he fought, but also lets you see the unbreakable bonds of love, respect, and family ties that have lifted him up and sustained him throughout his life. Parts of this book are hard to read because Hunter writes candidly about his battles with alcohol and drug abuse over many years. He admitted himself into rehab many times, only to end up relapsing. With the never ending support of his family, he has been able to beat his addictions. Hunter Biden writes with humility at the end of his memoir, “what an incredible gift it is: to live in the light of beautiful things”. Unforgettable.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jeanette (Ms. Feisty)

    Picture a hard-core crack addict. I'm talking about someone who literally lives only for that next hit of crack. Someone who leaves the room every twenty minutes to smoke more crack. Someone who allows legions of complete strangers to rip him off to the tune of many thousands of dollars and doesn't care, as long as the crack keeps rolling in. What comes to mind? Do you picture a Yale Law graduate? An esteemed board member of multiple organizations? A guy who was paid a monthly five-figure salary Picture a hard-core crack addict. I'm talking about someone who literally lives only for that next hit of crack. Someone who leaves the room every twenty minutes to smoke more crack. Someone who allows legions of complete strangers to rip him off to the tune of many thousands of dollars and doesn't care, as long as the crack keeps rolling in. What comes to mind? Do you picture a Yale Law graduate? An esteemed board member of multiple organizations? A guy who was paid a monthly five-figure salary to be on the board of a foreign oil company? A person who grew up with all the advantages? Private schools, exciting vacations, and a large extended family so shot through with love that you wish you were part of it? No? Not what you were picturing? Me niether. Meet Hunter Biden. After years of struggling with alcohol addiction, he moved on to crack cocaine, and set off down a path of self destruction that should have killed him on multiple occasions. Had he not met Melissa when he did, he probably would have died, causing unbearable grief to his family. Reading about addiction makes me a bit squirmy because it's so baffling to me that someone would willingly do that to themselves. But the way Hunter has written his story helps us feel compassion for those whose chemistry drives that compulsion to keep chasing the feeling of well-being that banishes pain and anxiety. I'm so glad Hunter got a happy ending, and I wish only good things for him as he continues his life of recovery.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    The audiobook started out okay with relatable themes of familial ties and serious illness heartaches, but it went downhill from there. He came off as privileged, arrogant, narcissistic, self-absorbed and indulgent. A lot like sociopaths talking about their crimes in the many true crime books I read.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Pamela Beckford

    This memoir was raw. It showed how addictions control and can destroy. But it also shows how love can conquer it. The Biden love never wavered. The bond between Beau and Hunter was not broken when Beau died. I highly recommend this book but bring your Kleenex.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Wynne Kontos RONA READS

    Hunter Biden drove a car into the air off the I-10 in Palm Springs just a few miles from where I live in the California desert. I know this because I just finished his debut memoir, BEAUTIFUL THINGS. Any memoir by the president's son is a Big Release, so I was increasingly tortured by the reviews pouring into my inbox. Having read his father's memoir and Obama's behemoth Memoir Number One, I thought I'd go ahead and read this. But in all this year's hooplah, I forgot I pre-0rdered the book months Hunter Biden drove a car into the air off the I-10 in Palm Springs just a few miles from where I live in the California desert. I know this because I just finished his debut memoir, BEAUTIFUL THINGS. Any memoir by the president's son is a Big Release, so I was increasingly tortured by the reviews pouring into my inbox. Having read his father's memoir and Obama's behemoth Memoir Number One, I thought I'd go ahead and read this. But in all this year's hooplah, I forgot I pre-0rdered the book months ago. With the reviews suddenly pouring in, it was infuriating then that my USPS tracking for the book's shipment got all messed up. If you've talked to me in the last three days, you already know this. It's not just that I was curious what Hunter would write about. That an NPR review referred to it as "a 12 Step meeting" or the added anticipation by the goofy mail tracking. I feel an odd kinship with the Biden family's loss. I feel an odd kinship with a lot of stranger's loss, a weird side effect I suppose afflicts us that have lost the person we love the most. But when I hear Joe Biden talk about the months after losing his first wife and infant daughter in a car accident (even if it's the same recycled speech he's had to utter a thousand times) there's something in his recitation that feels true to me. The anger he talks about, the big gaping hole while you're moving through the motions. When my father was hospitalized for a near fatal illness in the summer of 2019, I read a long article in The New Yorker about whether Hunter Biden was a liability for his father's presidential campaign. Even though there were a million Democratic candidates for president back then, Joe Biden was always a favorite of my father's. That he'd chosen not to run in 2016 amidst personal tragedy was something my dad brought up a lot. When he was taken off intubation, I told him about the Hunter Biden article I'd read at his bedside. He didn't remember this conversation, I later learned. I had to send him the article again last fall. So maybe it's more than just the grief speech. I'm a little biased. The Biden family story is familiar to all at this point, especially after the insanity of the 2020 election. It wasn't just Joe Biden's personal history. His story of grief and resiliency was used as a way to connect with voters. Even powerful people have pain! the message seemed to hammer. The death of his eldest son, Beau, to brain cancer in 2015 was also a constant on the campaign trail. Beau was the Attorney General of Delaware, a veteran of the Armed Forces. The Golden Son, if you were to believe the stories. It always left me wondering about Hunter. His struggles with substance abuse went acknowledged but unexplored in the press, even to the extent that Trump and his cronies tried to harp on them. Hunter's oldest daughter is about my age, and I remember looking her up on Instagram during the election last fall and wondering what her life was like. She was pictured on the campaign, as were her two younger sisters. But her father never was. Over and over the Biden family remembered their lost son, Beau. But rarely did they mention Hunter. "Where's Hunter?" Trump would taunt at his rallies/Klan meetings. It turns out Hunter was at the Chauteau Marmont cooking up his own crack cocaine under the tutelage of Curtis, a former pro-skateboarder turned addict. The book goes on in this way. Opening on an agonizing account of Beau's illness and death (familiar if you read Joe's memoir, though this recounting is from a different angle.) Soon, Hunter is drowning in the wreckage of his already ailing marriage. The death of his brother proves too much. For almost four years he goes from functioning alcoholic to full on crack addict. The fact that much of this was kept out of the press and unbeknownst to us will have you amazed once again with the skill of a powerful PR team. Hunter writes lovingly about his family and openly about his working relationship with Burisma. He spares nothing when it comes to his addiction and his descent into further debaucherous behavior. But like all "political" memoirs, this one has the strong scent of repression. Strange, for a story that starts off with Hunter acknowledging the painful repression that sets the tone for the rest of his life. How do you mourn a mother and sister you never got to know? How do you acknowledge the hole their absence has left behind when you have a mother figure and gigantic, loving family around you, providing for your every need? You repress your feelings of course! You act out! You struggle in school! And ultimately, you drink! Hunter is barely out of the woods here. He's good at recognizing how fragile his recovery is, even while he has a hopeful reason to start anew. (His new wife, Melissa, and their one-year-old son Beau.) But he's still writing from a place of protection. Whether it's to protect his father, the now President of the United States or his daughters, there's a veneer that never fully gets lifted. It's easy to tell war stories, but it's harder to reflect on what caused you to be at war to begin with. This is a mistake that a lot of memoirist make and a lot of readers are all too ready to consume. By telling us his craziest stories, Hunter makes it seem like he's really baring it all. But he's just telling us another addict's drop in the bucket. Not to diminish his behavior--it really does suck. But I found myself pitying his ex-wife, Kathleen, and their children. After more than two decades of marriage, their divorce occurs in the most painful, humiliating way possible while Hunter is off getting high and Kathleen is left to parent their three girls. His anger towards her seems thinly veiled at times, though he once refers to her as "brave." Kathleen set hard boundaries as their marriage broke up and his addiction worsened. It seems Hunter hasn't found a place of forgiveness for her yet, no her him. If they have (and if they haven't) he's chosen not to write about it. Whether to protect her or their children, I can't be sure. He also goes into minute detail about his business dealings, especially his work with Burisma. None of it sounds shady, though I suspect it will always be a difficult task to make sense of paying any powerful man five figures a month to "consult" on anything. Shady or not. I found myself more interested in what Hunter wrote about the pressure to perform and make money, especially when him and Kathleen get married in a hurry after she becomes pregnant. They're in love and have a new baby, but the expectations of the life they want to live force both of them into hasty decisions that don't seem to allow for much happiness. Hunter writes about it but doesn't reflect on it deeply. I could've traded two or three of the Burisma pages for more on that. There's only a line or two about his child with a woman in Arkansas, whom he originally claimed was lying about his fathering her child. I'm sure this is a difficult topic, but in a memoir all about family with endless mentions of his four acknowledged children, it felt like a glaring omission. I suspect when his children are older and Joe is no longer the sitting president, we'll get another memoir. Hunter's writing is conversational and the pace is breakneck. Despite the aforementioned veneer, the tone is honest and consistent. Hunter's voice feels genuine, which is perhaps why I wanted more of it in the places where he was holding back. Again, I found myself identifying with his grief story. Not only his mother and sister, but brother Beau. Though I had ten more years with my mother than Hunter had with his, I too find her death wheedles holes into my life in unexpected ways. There are little griefs throughout everything I do, whether it's a medical paperwork I can't complete because I don't know the answer or her handwriting on the back of some old picture I pull out of a frame. I, too, have been loved and mothered by many others through out my life. And yet still... The medical arduousness of death is something Joe and Hunter both write about with acuity. I went through it with my mother, my grandmother, and again with my father, when he nearly died a year ago. It's hardly more than a day or two that goes by when I don't think about that day. My partner, Erik, and I went to lunch because I had the day off. We walked over to Prospect Park, in Brooklyn, to go to a Mexican restaurant we'd long lusted after. We sat on their patio in the sun for several hours until we went back home. I made my way up to our rooftop deck to read, but stopped to call my dad like I usually did on my off days. My dad might be dead today if I hadn't made that call. There were so many other things that could've gotten in the way. Maybe we stayed an extra hour at lunch. Maybe we stopped in one of the shops at Prospect Park, further delaying our trip home. Maybe I fell asleep on the couch. Maybe I decided to call him after I read a bit. Who knows what forces move the world? Who knows what made my stepmother answer after a single ring when I called her to say Dad seemed unwell. It's our family's inside joke that none of us know why my stepmom even has a cell phone, she answers it so infrequently. I found myself in this place again while Hunter wrote about being in the back seat of his mother's car that day. Right next to his brother. Because the fact is, he was in the backseat. I did call my dad. Both of them lived. A tale not always pretty, but in the end, beautiful in its way. ______ Want more book recommendations? Be sure to follow #RONAREADS on Instagram @ronareads4u or visit our digital storefront on Bookshop: https://bookshop.org/shop/ronareads

  13. 5 out of 5

    Elaine

    I devoured this beautifully written memoir in a day. At the core of his message of love, acceptance, and perseverance is Hunter’s brother, Beau, who died far too young yet made an impact as deep as a moon crater. And then there’s his father, our current President, who went through hell to help him, and did so without judgment. Biden never, ever gave up on his son. Regardless of how you feel about Biden, know that his family is his biggest achievement and his devotion to them is unbreakable, espe I devoured this beautifully written memoir in a day. At the core of his message of love, acceptance, and perseverance is Hunter’s brother, Beau, who died far too young yet made an impact as deep as a moon crater. And then there’s his father, our current President, who went through hell to help him, and did so without judgment. Biden never, ever gave up on his son. Regardless of how you feel about Biden, know that his family is his biggest achievement and his devotion to them is unbreakable, especially for Hunter. I guarantee you will find a connection to Biden’s life as you read this memoir. Whether it’s his middle class childhood, the grief at losing his mother and infant sister in a traumatic car accident, his determination to make it on his own without the help of his father, becoming a father himself, his failed relationships, or his whirlwind romance to his now wife. It’s life. And it’s messy, confusing, awesome, and complex. He’s far from perfect, but we all are. While the stories may be different, the feelings are the same. No one has put Hunter Biden through more pain and heartache than Hunter Biden. Even with all the attention from political opponents, his biggest enemy will always be himself. Biden’s account of his addiction to alcohol and crack cocaine is not for the faint of heart. Because my God, does our boy have a tolerance to somehow survive week-long binges. Often without sleep. Or food. There were several points when I asked myself how he was still alive or not in prison. And I say this as someone who has found people dead following an overdose, or put people in prison. Despite living an affluent lifestyle, none of that matters when your addiction leads you to the seedy, unforgiving underbelly, which it did for him and will for anyone who goes down that path. And if you are thinking of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, a movie I hate, you aren’t far off from what Biden’s life was like. Unlike other memoirs I’ve read on drug addiction, this really gets into the nitty gritty of crack cocaine use. How insidious it is. How chaotic it makes life, as you stay awake for days straight. The time, money, and self-respect wasted looking for that next high. The wash, rinse, and repeat lifestyle that both confuses, exhausts, and aggravates the ones you love. And through it all, Biden shows that regardless of support, money, or the completion of the most expensive treatment programs, staying sober is hard and takes work. And it shouldn’t be ridiculed. Recovery and openness about our struggles should be encouraged so that it can be prevented in others, and serve as a reminder that all is not lost. It’s not like Biden doesn’t feel ashamed. Because it is clear he does. Why put salt on the wound? I’m glad Biden wrote this memoir, one that needs to be told more. Our country is drunk and drugged to excess, and denying that would be to deny reality. This book is obviously not for kids. I wouldn’t even recommend teenagers read it because it has many graphic stories surrounding explicit drug use that wouldn’t be appropriate, or safe for a teen to listen to. Warning: This memoir could possibly trigger you if you are currently struggling or in recovery. So, take breaks if you need to stop and remember the beautiful things. After all, you can’t truly appreciate all the world’s beauty unless you’ve witnessed the ugly.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jarrett Neal

    Rounded up from 4.5 stars. In many ways, Beautiful Things by Hunter Biden is a by-numbers addiction memoir. It contains deep reflections on the origins of Biden's alcoholism and crack addiction and descriptions of drug use, strung out behavior, and the seedy side of society that rival the best pulp fiction. Yet what makes this memoir stand apart is, obviously, the fact that its author is the only surviving son of a sitting president. I marvel not only at Hunter Biden's ability to climb out of the Rounded up from 4.5 stars. In many ways, Beautiful Things by Hunter Biden is a by-numbers addiction memoir. It contains deep reflections on the origins of Biden's alcoholism and crack addiction and descriptions of drug use, strung out behavior, and the seedy side of society that rival the best pulp fiction. Yet what makes this memoir stand apart is, obviously, the fact that its author is the only surviving son of a sitting president. I marvel not only at Hunter Biden's ability to climb out of the depths of his addiction and into sobriety but the fact that his rampant addiction was so well hidden from most of society. The Biden family is defined by tragedy. This memoir begins with Beau Biden's death from a brain tumor in 2015--an event that triggered one of Hunter's darkest plunges into addiction--and recounts the car accident that took the lives of his biological mother and infant sister. From the start, the Biden brothers fell into prototypical roles of golden boy (Beau) and bad boy (Hunter), though their father and stepmother had nothing to do with that. (I should note that President Biden is largely confined to the periphery of this memoir, so anyone hoping to get a chance to see him in a bad or unguarded light is out of luck.) Hunter Biden is a man who just couldn't cope with life. While he idolized his brother, who was a stabilizing force in his life, sometimes even more than their father, Beau's death at such a young age was too much for Hunter to bear. This memoir chronicles his deep slide from alcohol dependent to full-blown alcoholic and occasional cocaine user to extreme crackhead. The strength of Beautiful Things is Hunter Biden's decision to hold nothing back. Throughout the book, I couldn't fathom how a man who had everything anyone could want, a man who was born into one of the most powerful families in the nation, could sink so low. This is man earning obscene amounts of money who hobnobs with world leaders one day then finds himself strung out in a Super 8 motel the next. This book is full of salacious details, and Biden owns his behavior. From driving to the hood to score hard (the street name for crack), to hiding out in posh LA hotels while lowlife parasites rob him blind, this is the story of an addict who does everything he can to obliterate himself. I tried to read the book objectively. Actually, I listened to it on audiobook, and I encourage others to do the same so that they can hear the brokenness in Hunter Biden's voice. Readers will want to judge him for his many poor decisions, not the least of which is having a relationship with his brother's widow mere months after his death, and marrying his current wife a week after they met while he was coming off a crack fugue. He also glosses over fathering a baby in 2019 with a woman he barely knew, also while he was on one of his cross country benders. But again, readers shouldn't pick up Beautiful Things to judge the author or his family. The main lesson I got from the book is that addiction is evil and insidious, and no family is immune.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Louise

    Hunter begins with the love in the Biden family. It is impressive how the grief of having lost his mother at an early age was managed by the extended family. You learn about how he and his brother Beau bonded with their father. While there is a lot on the grief they have shared with Beau’s sudden death, the real story is about addiction. Hunter tells how he got hooked and how in the beginning he was able to function in his high level jobs. Later, feeding his addictions becomes all consuming. In n Hunter begins with the love in the Biden family. It is impressive how the grief of having lost his mother at an early age was managed by the extended family. You learn about how he and his brother Beau bonded with their father. While there is a lot on the grief they have shared with Beau’s sudden death, the real story is about addiction. Hunter tells how he got hooked and how in the beginning he was able to function in his high level jobs. Later, feeding his addictions becomes all consuming. In non-addictive company, he constantly (sometimes every 15 minutes) excuses himself to take a hit. Eventually, it seems that there is no non-addictive company and he runs from his family. Gradually references to clients disappear, but he still has money enough that he expresses little worry about paying for gas, plane tickets, lodging, or even the cost of re-hab. He defines a dangerous world and he is definitely a mark. Dealers or the intermediaries are found in frightening places. You pay in advance and they may not sell you a usable product, or may never deliver a product at all. There is no recourse; you just have to find another source. He is lucky that he can stay in $300-400/ night places. Here he attracts party people who have what seems like a mini-industry of co-opting not just phones and iPads, but credit cards from addicts. The management can’t tolerate the addict’s life style and visitors, so frequent moving is needed. At the $50/night places he sees vacant faced addicts just like him. There is a bit on the different treatment programs he tried as well as a family intervention. It ends on a very high note, with, finally, a treatment program that works. Hunter describes how he found someone to love and fill the hole left by Beau’s sudden death. There is a letter he writes to Beau, where he discusses the relief of the 2020 campaign and optimism for the future. This is not a campaign or political piece. It is a family story which may give guidance or perspective to families dealing with addiction.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Gabby

    He uses his crack head whoring as an excuse for everything. I’m not bashing addicts, just this sorry excuse for a human.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Nia Forrester

    I really enjoyed this, which surprised me since the few memoirs I've read in the past have felt like either whitewashed, idealized versions of someone as they want to see themselves, or sensationalized, exaggerated versions to make a pedestrian experience seem exceptional. This one was neither. I was only marginally interested in Hunter Biden until I saw his father's heartfelt and moving defense of him, and (unprecedented) public admission of Hunter's substance use disorder during what was other I really enjoyed this, which surprised me since the few memoirs I've read in the past have felt like either whitewashed, idealized versions of someone as they want to see themselves, or sensationalized, exaggerated versions to make a pedestrian experience seem exceptional. This one was neither. I was only marginally interested in Hunter Biden until I saw his father's heartfelt and moving defense of him, and (unprecedented) public admission of Hunter's substance use disorder during what was otherwise an embarrassment of a presidential debate. I was struck by how honest the emotion was in that defense, made even more so by the fact that on the other side of the debate stage was someone who lacks any emotional intelligence whatsoever. But Joe Biden's voice and demeanor were definitely a reminder of his uncommon love for his children. It made me curious to learn more about their family. Later, when I had completely forgotten that curiosity, I saw a clip of Hunter Biden on Jimmy Kimmel promoting this book, where he came across as funny, thoughtful, intelligent and having a lot more depth and dimension than the caricature of a n'er do well that he gets portrayed as in the media. So I picked his memoir up. Within the first twenty pages, I was teary-eyed, sharing his grief about the loss of his brother. He did an amazing job showing the strength and meaning of their bond without just telling us over and over again that it was strong and meaningful. He also managed to give a sense of how deeply the accident where he lost his mother and little sister affected their family, and continued as an ever-present tragedy in his consciousness. And I loved the descriptive prose that showed what it was like to be the young son of a rising political figure. But politics is the backdrop. It is clear that Hunter Biden is in some ways formed by having been in a political family, but not consumed by it. He also makes the case that neither is his father, and neither was his brother. They were instead consumed by a desire to be of service. The memoir gets even more interesting when he describes his descent into addiction, and the almost madcap quality of his life (which I'm not altogether convinced he doesn't miss somewhat) as he pursued his next high. Especially fascinating was his portrayal of his friendship with Rhea, a middle-aged Black woman who lived on the streets of Washington DC and then came to live with him for about five months, both of them getting high, but also forging an unlikely friendship that he describes as being one of the most genuine in his life. Most of all I loved this memoir because of how it adds texture and dimension to a person we all think we know something about, and shows how little we actually know. At the end of this reading experience, I sympathized with his journey and wish him and his family well as he continues it. Recommended.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Erin Cataldi

    All I knew about Hunter Biden prior to this book was that he was the president's son and was an addict. Everything else I learned from reading this memoir. Beautiful Things isn't an exhaustive memoir - it's a love letter to his brother Beau who tragically died a few years ago and a detailed account of his descent into alcohol and crack. At times defensive, yet mostly contemplative and matter of fact. An accomplished married man with children, money, and a famous father did nothing but ensure tha All I knew about Hunter Biden prior to this book was that he was the president's son and was an addict. Everything else I learned from reading this memoir. Beautiful Things isn't an exhaustive memoir - it's a love letter to his brother Beau who tragically died a few years ago and a detailed account of his descent into alcohol and crack. At times defensive, yet mostly contemplative and matter of fact. An accomplished married man with children, money, and a famous father did nothing but ensure that he had more money to spend on crack. He stayed sober for years but after Beau's death he went on a death spiral, no longer caring about anything except the next hit. Ultimately he's been sober since 2019 when he met his current wife and had another child with her (his three other daughters are grown). In this memoir he also details all the rumors about his Ukraine deal, his affair with his brother's widow, the "Where's Hunter?" shirts and more. It was enlightening, if not a little self serving at times. I hope he can stay sober and be more of a presence in his family's lives.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    This book was torturous to read. I got so tired of reading the same thing over and over that by the last few chapters I just skimmed over several paragraphs. It felt like witnessing Groundhog Day in Hell. I don't feel like going into a psychoanalysis of Hunter Biden but he has many personal issues that may never heal. I will say that his letter to Beau was touching and I wish him well with his new wife and baby boy. But after reading his "memoir" his future seems still pretty scary. He needs to sl This book was torturous to read. I got so tired of reading the same thing over and over that by the last few chapters I just skimmed over several paragraphs. It felt like witnessing Groundhog Day in Hell. I don't feel like going into a psychoanalysis of Hunter Biden but he has many personal issues that may never heal. I will say that his letter to Beau was touching and I wish him well with his new wife and baby boy. But after reading his "memoir" his future seems still pretty scary. He needs to slap himself now and then since nobody else ever has.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    Wow, it's amazing this man is still alive - I didn't realize the extent of his addiction. The strength and love of this family is truly inspiring. I especially enjoyed this audiobook because Hunter Biden narrated it himself. Wow, it's amazing this man is still alive - I didn't realize the extent of his addiction. The strength and love of this family is truly inspiring. I especially enjoyed this audiobook because Hunter Biden narrated it himself.

  21. 4 out of 5

    britt_brooke

    Whether you like the Bidens or not, there’s no denying the immense heartache and loss they’ve endured. The President’s youngest son lays it bare. Having battled alcoholism and addiction off and on for years, he fell into a reckless spiral of hard drugs and debauchery following his brother’s death and the disintegration of his 20+ year marriage. Dude is lucky as hell to be alive. This def does not feel sugarcoated, but raw and honest.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    WOW...simply wow. Amazed that Hunter is still alive and hope he has finally found the peace he sought in so many other sources.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Dillon Fisher

    Being Australian I didn’t know the background of the Biden family, parts of the book were an interesting insight into addiction but I didn’t really enjoy much else. The finding of a new relationship and that being the cure all for his addiction also seems to be very short sighted and unrealistic.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Yowzah! Well, that was a hell of a ride! I read this book in one sitting yesterday. It was that mesmerizing. There was of course the tragedy of the accident in which his mother and sister died but it seemed the biggest tragedy in Hunter's life has been the loss of Beau, his brother, who was the yin to his yang and a steadying influence throughout his life. There were a lot of situations that actually shocked me. Shocked me that he lived that way and that he is still alive to tell the tale. The l Yowzah! Well, that was a hell of a ride! I read this book in one sitting yesterday. It was that mesmerizing. There was of course the tragedy of the accident in which his mother and sister died but it seemed the biggest tragedy in Hunter's life has been the loss of Beau, his brother, who was the yin to his yang and a steadying influence throughout his life. There were a lot of situations that actually shocked me. Shocked me that he lived that way and that he is still alive to tell the tale. The love from his parents, especially Joe, has gotten him through a lot so far and I truly hope he is able to continue with his sobriety. I don't think he'll make it through the next round if it happens.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Vader

    5 star - Perfect 4 star - i would recommend 3 star - good 2 star - struggled to complete 1 star - could not finish

  26. 4 out of 5

    Scott Rhee

    I honestly didn’t expect to shed a tear over Hunter Biden’s memoir “Beautiful Things”, but holy shit if I didn’t cry like a little baby by the end of the first chapter. He really got me in the feels. I honestly didn’t know what to expect going into Biden’s memoir. I was vaguely aware that his name got dragged into the news by Trump and his lackeys over something to do with a missing laptop and several billion dollars allegedly paid to him by Ukrainian officials for something evil and nefarious. I I honestly didn’t expect to shed a tear over Hunter Biden’s memoir “Beautiful Things”, but holy shit if I didn’t cry like a little baby by the end of the first chapter. He really got me in the feels. I honestly didn’t know what to expect going into Biden’s memoir. I was vaguely aware that his name got dragged into the news by Trump and his lackeys over something to do with a missing laptop and several billion dollars allegedly paid to him by Ukrainian officials for something evil and nefarious. I didn’t pay much attention to the news because I generally didn’t pay much attention to anything Trump and his lackeys said during the last four years, mainly because everything they said was bullshit. In any case, the whole Hunter-Ukraine thing sounded exactly like what it was: a last-ditch effort by Trump to pull a manufactured scandal out of his ass to make Joe Biden look bad by attacking his kid. Funny how Trump-humpers had no problem with that, but rewind four years ago when somebody made a disparaging remark about Barron Trump, Trump’s youngest son, and one would have thought the world was ending. How dare the Democrats and Hillary attack Trump’s son! It’s a travesty! Never mind that the comment never came from Hillary but someone on Twitter (of course) who was immediately reprimanded and censured by most, if not all, Democrats, including Hillary. But whatever. As with all the hypocritical bullshit that Trump and his lackeys liked to spew and regurgitate, the bottom-line was this: they could dish it out, but they couldn’t take it. That’s neither here nor there and completely beside the point, as Biden’s memoir devotes only a single brief chapter to that whole malarkey. He doesn’t give a shit. For two reasons: 1) It was all a lie, and 2) He was so fucked up on crack cocaine at the time, none of the bullshit fazed him anyway. Biden’s memoir is a shitstorm of sadness, awfulness, and utter depravity, which, in my opinion, makes it probably one of the best memoirs I have read in a long time. It also goes without saying that it’s written by the son of a currently sitting President, which makes it, strangely, a weirdly brave and important memoir. Seriously, if something like this had been published in years past, the very existence of it would be a scandal—-and probably a politically suicidal one. The fact that President Joe allowed it says a lot about him. But this is Hunter’s memoir, not Joe’s. This is about a kid who survived a car accident as a child that instantly killed his mother and infant sister and nearly killed his older brother, Beau. This is about a kid who couldn’t go to bed every night after the accident unless he knew that his brother was right there with him. This is about a man who sat by his older brother’s bedside as his older brother died of a horribly vicious brain cancer. This is about a man who, already dealing with a serious drinking problem, escalates to crack cocaine addiction as a way of dealing (or not dealing) with grief. This is about a guy who, when his family intervenes to get him into a rehab center, goes into the front door of the rehab center, waits for his family to leave, immediately checks out, and heads to a nearby hotel to go on a three-day crack binge. This is about a dude who brags that, in any of the fifty states at anytime of day, he could find a crack dealer within 30 minutes. This is about an asshole who knew he was an asshole but didn’t care because he didn’t have any reason that he could think of to continue living. Strangely enough, this is also about a miraculous redemption, one that seems so utterly unbelievable that, at times, I thought I was reading a novel. A really bad one, since a redemption ending like this would be laughable in a Hallmark movie of the week. Hell, it’s unbelievable even for a British Royal Family scandal. But Real Life is like that sometimes. Seriously, this book is a roller-coaster of emotions, but that’s par for the course for a memoir about addiction and grief and the power of love. As cliche as it is, it will still get you in the feels.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Onceinabluemoon

    I know nothing about Biden’s family, this was a heart breaking introduction... I admire his candor, I couldn’t stand the weighty drug addiction fueled years and pages, but he threw it all splat on the wall for the world to see. I adore how his family ALWAYS stood by him. I pray he is truly free of addictions for the rest of his life.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Caroline David

    Very well-written and interesting into Hunter Biden’s truth. Maybe I’m old-school for a 27 year old but I could’ve done without the unnecessary cussing. Also would’ve liked some acknowledgement of his estranged child but I understand why it wasn’t mentioned.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Joanne

    3.5 It would be simple enough to have zero sympathy for this guy. But the courage he exhibits in telling this story with all its gritty details is edifying. He bares his soul, and makes many rationalizations. Yet he convinced me that most were valid due to obdurate grief over the death of his Irish twin, Beau–his best friend, support system, and shoulder to cry on since their shared bereavement over the death of their mother when they were boys. I listened to the audiobook read by Hunter himself 3.5 It would be simple enough to have zero sympathy for this guy. But the courage he exhibits in telling this story with all its gritty details is edifying. He bares his soul, and makes many rationalizations. Yet he convinced me that most were valid due to obdurate grief over the death of his Irish twin, Beau–his best friend, support system, and shoulder to cry on since their shared bereavement over the death of their mother when they were boys. I listened to the audiobook read by Hunter himself (always a good idea,) and you can hear the resigned, wilting tone in his voice, his sighing over and again, as if he’s embarrassed at this recitation of his battle with addiction. I think that no matter what your politics, this memoir will break your heart, and make you root a bit for the dude and the entire Biden family who dealt with this carnage. I hope for them all that this was a therapeutic exercise for Hunter, and that he becomes better for it. If you’ve ever wondered how the offspring of the world’s elite can literally hit rock bottom when seemingly in possession of every privilege, this book will show you. As the song reminds us, we’re all only human, after all. Addiction is a skilled equalizer.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jeff

    Where’s Hunter? The second son of Joe Biden comes out of the shadows with his April 2021 release, Beautiful Things, A Memoir. Aided in penning this memoir by a new wife and a global pandemic, the author is less than two years clean from his latest run of alcohol and drug abuse, less than a year from a crazed attack by a political figure bent on staying in power. This R-rated book is filled with overnight adventures with shady characters, tutorials on throwing one’s life away, and an abundance of Where’s Hunter? The second son of Joe Biden comes out of the shadows with his April 2021 release, Beautiful Things, A Memoir. Aided in penning this memoir by a new wife and a global pandemic, the author is less than two years clean from his latest run of alcohol and drug abuse, less than a year from a crazed attack by a political figure bent on staying in power. This R-rated book is filled with overnight adventures with shady characters, tutorials on throwing one’s life away, and an abundance of expletives. Even so, the story is heartbreaking but ultimately rewarding, constantly replacing one rock bottom with another until as if by a magic wand, the author is quickly rescued from himself. He comes out swinging against family-tormentor Donald Trump, unabashedly presenting this story as a defense of himself and as a 250-page finger-pointing at the then-president. Hunter perhaps oversells his limited role at Burisma, leading to as many questions as answers, but hides nothing of his substance use, wrecked marriage, and internal affair. As the story winds down, its rosy final chapter leaves one to fear for the author, who writes as if his troublesome days are long behind him and forever gone, until finally, in a touching epilogue written to his departed brother Beau, he admits that his fight to stay clean continues. Emotional, challenging, and in the end inspiring, Beautiful Things taken as a whole is in the category of its title phrase. There is no escaping its partisan and selfish slants, but the moral of the story prevails nonetheless: Love.

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