Book Review: Beautiful Things by Hunter Biden


For those who have echoed the Right's rallying cry of "Where's Hunter?", this book was written specifically for y'all. Hunter aims to disclose exactly where he has been while his father was on a campaign trail. But he begins with the tragic story of two brothers who were arms and arms through the early heartbreak of losing their mom and their sister. Joe, Beau, and Hunter's relationship besides that of being familial, was also a  euphoric, idyllic brotherhood, one that's forged in tragedy and strengthened by love and loyalty. Don't get me wrong, Hunter's descent to drug and alcohol abuse is far from 'idyllic'. All I'm saying is, we all could use the kind of love these three share. Knowing that regardless of our frailties, we have the kind of sibling support and fatherly love Hunter's been bestowed upon. 

I don't think I've read a memoir of a book where you see two different sides of the same person. There is the accomplished Hunter. He takes charge, a champion for the hungry (he headed the World Food Fund that provided aids in impoverished countries); sat in a number of Fortune 500 companies as a board member, presided a number of congressional hearings that aimed to give attention to climate and poverty issues plaguing the world, a lawyer, a consulting business owner, and a father to three girls. 

And then, there is the other Hunter who is a prisoner of his demons and addictions. His harrowing bouts of checking in and out of rehabs; the man who did a 14-day binge smoking crack and drinking vodka; the man who let his 'buyer' move in with him in DC for convenience' sake; the man who put his life in danger time and time again looking for his next dealer. 

It's a stark contrast for sure, and calling himself a "functional addict" fits him to a T. How does one go on a bender one day and catch the next flight to meet with the King of Jordan? How does one find himself in the dark alleys of Nashville, elbow to elbow with the dregs of the society then find himself in an affluent villa in Beverly Hills the next? It's truly mind blowing to witness how he perfected the façade of an individual that constantly battled with his demons. 

He was weak and strong at the same time. Though most days, his weakness wins out. Through his own words, he bestows upon his all his vulnerability. His heartbreaks and successes, and though you'll never meet an accomplished man, you couldn't help but think how an utter failure he is. As a husband, a son, and as a human being. But man, we are not perfect. Nobody is. 


  1. It sounds interesting but I didn't know about it

  2. This sounds really well done and eye-opening. I couldn't imagine that anyone would be able to live two lives in the way it sounds like he has.

  3. WOW, sounds intense. I'm curious but not sure I want to reading about his dark descent - at least not right now. I was curious if his demons came from losing his mom and sibling at an early age or whether that is even addressed?

  4. I didn't know he'd written a book. It sounds like a very emotional read, but one that's also raw and honest. Lovely review!

    Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear? 💬

  5. I didn't realize he had written a book! I feel like "Where is Hunter" trends biweekly on twitter. This definitely does sound like an intense read that will resonate with a lot of folks who are grappling with the same addictions he is.

  6. SOunds interesting, and raw and real

  7. What a sad situation! To have accomplished so much and yet struggle like that. I think (at the risk of getting political) that the right have savaged him so much too, looking for an angle, and while I don't doubt this guy has done some bad stuff, I suspect a lot of it is just political hackery. Or that they shouldn't be making so much hay out of someone's failings, especially if it's just him hurting himself (although I'm sure his family has suffered as well-0 how could they not?).

    Anyways this is the first balanced review I've seen of this book so it's good to know more about it!

  8. It's hard to read about someone with so much promise and accomplishments, someone with a good heart fail and fall into self-destruction time and time again. I don't know where he is in his life, but I hope it's a good place right now. Yes, no one is perfect! Truer words never spoken! Wonderful review, Joy! :)


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