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Beauty [Paperback]

Robin McKinley
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)

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Book Description

4 Mar 2004
When the family business collapses, Beauty and her two sisters are forced to leave the city and begin a new life in the countryside. However, when their father accepts hospitality from the elusive and magical Beast, he is forced to make a terrible promise - to send one daughter to the Beast's castle, with no guarantee that she will be seen again. Beauty accepts the challenge, and there begins an extraordinary story of magic and love that overcomes all boundaries. This is another spellbinding and emotional tale embroidered around a fairytale from Robin McKinley, an award-winning American author.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Corgi Childrens; New edition edition (4 Mar 2004)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 0552548634
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552548632
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 12.8 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 522,816 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Robin McKinley has won various awards and citations for her writing, including the Newbery Medal for The Hero and the Crown and a Newbery Honor for The Blue Sword. Her other books include Sunshine; the New York Times bestseller Spindle's End; two novel-length retellings of the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Beauty and Rose Daughter; and a retelling of the Robin Hood legend, The Outlaws of Sherwood. She lives with her husband, the English writer Peter Dickinson.

Product Description

Review

"Beauty and the Beast, retold by a plain but captivating heroine" (Amanda Craig The Times)

"A love story for teenagers that marries realism and fantasy with satisfying imagination, elegance of prose and thoughtful characterisation. McKinley's Beauty is more than skin deep" (Nicolette Jones The Sunday Times)

"McKinley adds delightful touches of her own . . ." (The Guardian)

"Beauty is a classic reworking of a classic, McKinley wraps it all up together alluringly" (T.E.S.)

"From an award winning author comes this brilliant re-telling which rivals the original" (The Good Book Guide) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

A retelling of the classic tale, Beauty is a beautifully-woven tale of love, courage and magic for young and not-so-young adults.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Captivating 6 April 2004
By Chrestomanci VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
This book is a delightful retelling of the Beauty and the Beast fairytale. However, don’t assume that you know everything there is to know about this story already. In this version, Beauty is plain compared to her two elder sisters … and the beast is more sad and mysterious than frightening or beastly.
Closer to the original French fairytale than any version so far, the style of writing has an old-fashioned charm and simplicity about it, giving you the feeling that you are reading a letter from Beauty herself describing her life at the beast’s enchanted castle.
This book would make a wonderful gift for girls aged nine to ninety!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grows with each reading 26 Feb 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I have always loved fairy tales and the magic that surrounds them, however my main source of fairy tales when I was younger was through Disney films. Beauty and The Beast has always been a favourite fairy tale, because of the morale behind it. The fact that a beautiful girl could come to love monstrous beast despite his appearance was fascinating and heart warming. This was also (and still is) one of my favourite of Disney's animated films.
I think because I had seen the Disney version of Beauty and the Beast (which obviously borrowed A LOT from this book) I didn't appreciate it at first. I had been reading the fairy tale series of Terri Windling when I purchased this book and I remember being quite disappointed when I started reading it...I missed the originality and wonder of the tale (the idea that Beauty enjoys books, and is independent etc.). Now I wonder how I could have! I think this is easy to do because we now live in a time when "Girl Power" and independent heroines aren't surprising.
But as I have grown older and the more I have read it, the more I am amazed at this wonderful and unique telling of such an old tale. And the more I realised what a unique and innovative book this must have been when it was first published in 1978! It still retains some of its distinctiveness but in the surge of books featuring independent heroines some of it was probably lost.
This book is an absolute gem. But I have come to realise just how amazing Beauty is through reading Rose Daughter by the same author. And while I enjoyed the book, through reading it the superiority of Beauty becomes clearer.
My one difficulty was accepting that this Beauty was not beautiful, because that was what always made the fairy tale so spectacular to me; that a beautiful girl could love an ugly monster.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beauty-ful 25 Feb 2007
By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format: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.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Beauty is a retelling of the classic story of Beauty and the Beast. It follows the original quite closely, which is similar to the modern Disney version, but with more detail, such as a better explanation of who the main character (Belle) is and where she comes from.
I enjoyed it a great deal; it was well written, so the characters felt very real, there were little bits of humour and the magic of the Beast's world made me realise all over again why I love this story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing rendition of the classic fairy tale 9 Jan 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This is the first of McKinley's coming of age books and is by no means lacking becase of that fact, it is a true classic.When I picked up this book I had just finished the dark book "Deerskin" and found this book surprisingly refreshing. The last time I had read the TRUE tale of Beauty and the Beast was about eight years ago in my then current orthodontist's office. Well, now eight years after that I found this book wonderfully written. Looking back I find it hard to believe that this book wasn't illustrated because it left such clear mental pictures. The character Beauty is wonderfully relateable and a strong willed young woman who is very admirable. All in all a book you do not want to miss reading. A feel good book to curl by the fireplace on a cold night with.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars I loved it. Loved the characters
I loved it. Loved the characters. Very well written. The only little disappointment is about the finale, in my opinion everything was wrapped up too quickly, leaving some things... Read more
Published 10 days ago by Las
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful read
A lovely adaptation of a Disney classic. Definitely worth a read if you like fantasy and of course, Disney. 10/10
Published 26 days ago by Rachel
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
A dull retelling of Beauty & the Beast, probably better suited to the younger generation
Published 1 month ago by miss K. Rogers
5.0 out of 5 stars Beauty is as beauty does
This rating is more balanced by the fact I loved this as a child and still love reading it now. I would recommend this to any young lady who wanted to read about a good, relatable... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Ruth
4.0 out of 5 stars Beauty
I really liked this book the whole way through but the ending seemed rushed. I definitely recommend it though. It would have got 5 stars from me if the ending was not so rushed.
Published 6 months ago by sophie barker
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful escapism!
This I'd the first Robin McKinley book I've read and will not be the last. It's a warm and dazzling fairy tale of a book that is comforting in its familiar tale, but adds so much... Read more
Published 6 months ago by bloodmasquerade
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book
Have always enjoyed reading this book. It has been a favourite since I first bought it and my daughter used to love having it read to her as a child.
Published 7 months ago by Judy
5.0 out of 5 stars Just... wonderful!
This is one of my favourite romance novels to pick up whenever I want to read something that makes me smile. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Rosemary Orchard
4.0 out of 5 stars Beauty
Beauty and her two sisters Grace and Hope have always lived a comfortable city life until their father's business collapses. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Amethyst Bookwyrm
5.0 out of 5 stars Beauty: If you like Beauty and the Beast then beg, borrow or steal a...
This review was originally posted at [...]

"I said: "He cannot be so bad if he loves roses so much."
"But he is a Beast," said Father helplessly. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Frances
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