5.0 out of 5 stars Beauty-ful
The best-known and best-loved of Robin McKinley's books is also one of the best of the fairy-tale retellings -- "Beauty," a more enlightened, fully-drawn version of "Beauty and the Beast." There's a depth and a richness to the story and characterizations, as well as a beauty of atmosphere and writing.
Beauty (real name is "Honour") is the ironically-named...
Published on Feb. 24 2007 by E. A Solinas
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ambitious, but falls short
I had high expectations for this book. I thought that a retelling of this classic fairytale would surely never have awful dry spells or ridiculous, rushed endings. Boy, was I wrong!
There were many times that, while reading this book, I wanted to throw it down in disgust. There are so many errors that could easily have been caught with careful editing. But they...
Published on Sept. 19 2010 by Ashley B
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ambitious, but falls short,
This review is from: Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast (Mass Market Paperback)I had high expectations for this book. I thought that a retelling of this classic fairytale would surely never have awful dry spells or ridiculous, rushed endings. Boy, was I wrong!
There were many times that, while reading this book, I wanted to throw it down in disgust. There are so many errors that could easily have been caught with careful editing. But they weren't.
Really, the story had promise. But it did not deliver. It was dry, some details left unexplained, and the ending was so rushed that it totally did not make it worth persevering through the rest of the book.
5.0 out of 5 stars Beauty-ful,
This review is from: Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast (Mass Market Paperback)The best-known and best-loved of Robin McKinley's books is also one of the best of the fairy-tale retellings -- "Beauty," a more enlightened, fully-drawn version of "Beauty and the Beast." There's a depth and a richness to the story and characterizations, as well as a beauty of atmosphere and writing.
Beauty (real name is "Honour") is the ironically-named heroine of the story -- she isn't beautiful, but is very intelligent. She has two sisters, the beautiful Hope and Grace, and a benevolent, wealthy father. Then all their lives change suddenly: the ships their father owns are lost, and the money goes with them. One of the sisters marries a poor but worthy country lad, while the other lost her beloved fiancee who captained one of the ships. After selling their possessions the family moves to the countryside.
The father leaves on a trip -- and returns with a single rose, a gift for Beauty, which carries the price of either his life or his daughter. Beauty leaves to go live at the castle of the mysterious Beast, with only her plowhorse to accompany her. She arrives at a castle of invisible servants, magical books, friendly animals, and a melancholy Beast who asks her to marry him every evening...
There is nothing new in fairy tale retellings now, but when McKinley first wrote "Beauty," it was a relative rarity. And even now, few of them are as intelligently written and have such solid heroines. Rather than giving her story a contrived "twist," McKinley merely fleshes out the storyline and gives the characters personalities.
The writing is excellent; McKinley writes the more prosaic passages of cottage life and the surrounding friendly village, as well as the more dreamlike, fantastical scenes in the Beast's castle. Lots of atmosphere, either in the poor but warm surroundings of the house, or the eerie feel of the castle.The dialogue is nearly flawless: McKinley doesn't write ye-olde-formal prose, but the characters never sound -- or think -- like modern Americans.
Beauty is a great heroine -- brainy, kind, wry-humored, brave and strong. Though the "Beauty" element is discarded, it is done so with the apparent understanding that this "Beauty" has brains and guts rather than a pretty face. The Beast himself is a little more shadowy; we never get inside his head the way we do Beauty's, but then the book is hers, not his. Beauty's father and sisters are equally well-done, avoiding the cliches of nastiness in favor of being likable or haunted.
Robin McKinley's debut "Beauty" is still among the best-loved fairy-tale retellings. With the help of a gutsy, brainy heroine, it rises above a mere retelling and becomes THE retelling.
5.0 out of 5 stars Beauty: A Retelling of Beauty& the Beast,
5.0 out of 5 stars Beauty-ful Retelling,
The story is well known, a young woman is more or less promised to a beast and transforms him. But there is so much more than that in Beauty.
Beauty, or Honor, as she was named, is a young, 'ugly' woman whose father is destroyed publicly when his shipping company collapses. He and his two other daughters, Grace and Hope, and Beauty all move to the countryside to live with Hope's fiance, Ger. They adapt to the quiet country life--Ger works as a blacksmith and their father does wordworking. After the first couple of days there, Ger tells Beauty not to go into the woods, because they are more or less haunted by what seems to be an old "bogey-man" story.
When Beauty's father gets called back to town with news that one of his presumably lost ships has returned, he leaves the family for a short while. His return, with saddle bags filled with goods--golds and necklaces and dresses, is in the dead of a wintry night and he brings back a perfect rose, the one thing Beauty asked him for when he left. The rose, taken from the Beast, is a symbol of a promise, and it is Beauty who fulfills that promise, going to the Beast in her father's stead.
The romance is beautiful and eloquently expressed. To make a Beast, which would be seen through our eyes as an animal, into a man as an author must have been a challenging task, but Robin McKinley did a wonderful job. As a fairy tale retelling, this one is definitely at the top.
5.0 out of 5 stars Beauty and the Beast,
Beauty and the Beast is one of my most favorite fairy tales. I was not let down with this story.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Telling of a Classic,
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful retelling of a fascinating Fairytale,
5.0 out of 5 stars Beauty is Breathtaking,
5.0 out of 5 stars There's nothing to be feared only to be understood,
This review is from: Beauty (Hardcover)I'm 23 yaers old with the heart of a child. I still love fairy tales and this was my first experience in a retteling. It's masterfully written.
In this account of "Beauty and the Beast" the heroine Honor, whose nickname is Beauty, is the daughter of a wealthy merchant that lost his fortune. Beauty's family has to move to a far away village into a small country cottage. In a simple country living, this loving family, and three loving sisters; Beauty, Grace an Hope; learn to be happy with what they have. Then Father goes away on a trip and returns with mourful news. Beauty must go into the Beast's castle or Father will die...
Written in a simple fluid way, this novel presents Beauty's courage to face her fear of Beast. Beast's loliness for 200 years is poignant but his gentleness and kindness shows us that true beauty lies within. As the novel goes on the caracter's learn to understand each other and love each other as they are.
The caracter's are well developed and you can easily identify with them. The plot is a little changed from the originall french tale but the changes a well made and add to the book. My highest compliments. This is Robin Mckinley's best book.
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!,
Robin McKinley is usually hailed for her two Damar books, The Hero and the Crown and The Blue Sword, but Beauty is almost as good. It was McKinley's first novel, and possibly one of her best.
Beuty is the misfit in her family. Her older sisters, Grace and Hope, have curly blonde hair and limpid eyes. Beauty, whose given name is the rather lackluster Honor, is an undersized brunette with large hands, gawky feet, and spotty skin. Fortunately for her, her father is kind and her sisters love her.
Her life forever changes when her father's business goes bust and they are forced to move out into the country. They end up living in a house that is right up against a deep wood that has legends surrounding it, a wood that is rumored to house a terrible monster...
You know the story from there. But McKinley puts a fresh new spin on an old favorite, and the result is amazing. Although the writing is a bit spotty at times, that is to be expected from a first novel. Sometimes McKinley seems a bit detached, but her details are lush and she makes the relationship between the Beast and Beauty seem not only believable but quite likely. The little spin on the reason the Beast was enchanted in the first place is a stroke of near genius. All in all, an excellent effort from the reigning queen of fantasy.
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Beauty by Robin Mckinley (Hardcover - Oct. 25 1978)
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