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Cyrano [Paperback]

Geraldine McCaughrean
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: £5.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Book Description

3 Jan 2008
Cyrano de Bergerac is a flamboyant character and a skilled swordsman, not in the least afraid of drawing attention to himself in public - for he can be highly amusing, even at his own expense, with jokes about his enormous nose. But he has a weakness: he has fallen in love with his beautiful cousin Roxane, and because of his own appearance is too ashamed to declare his love. Meanwhile Roxane is besotted with a handsome, but foolish young man, Christian, in the same company of guards as Cyrano. Cyrano is devastated by this, and horrified by her request that he should protect the young man and encourage him to write her love letters. Writing letters is something Christian can't do - but Cyrano generously offers to help, even if it means breaking his own heart. Soon Cyrano pours out his feelings in the most romantic letters ever. The question is will Roxane discover the truth? And if she does will it be too late for Cyrano?

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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (3 Jan 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192763466
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192763464
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 18.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 852,134 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

It's 35 years now since I first got published, and 50 since I found out how writing let me step outside my little, everyday world and go wherever I chose - way back in Time, to far distant shores, towards my own, home-made happy ending. Not that all my books are an easy ride. I write adventure, first and foremost, because that's what I enjoyed reading as a child. But since I have published over 160 books now, there are all manner of books in among that number - gorgeously illustrated picture books, easy readers, prize winners, teenage books and five adult novels.
The White Darkness won the Printz Award in the USA, which, for as Englishwoman, was the most amazing, startling thrill.
Then there was Peter Pan in Scarlet - official sequel to J M Barrie's Peter Pan, written on behalf of Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children. I won the chance to write that in a worldwide competition, and because Peter Pan is loved everywhere, my book sold worldwide too. I can't say I expected that when, as a child, I dreamed of being like my older brother and getting a book published one day.
These days I have a husband (good at continuity and spelling) and a daughter who is an excellent editor. But she's an actor. So, naturally, I have turned my hand to writing plays. (So many actors, so few plays!)
My Mum told me, "Never boil your cabbages twice, dear," which was her way of saying, "Don't repeat yourself." So I have tried never to write the same book twice. You'll find all my novels quite different from one another. The only way you can find out which ones you like and which you don't is to read them, I'm afraid.
I have also done lots of retellings of myth, legend, folk and fairy tales, and adapted indigestible classics such as El Cid, the Epic of Gilgamesh, The Odyssey, Moby Dick, Shakespeare and the Pilgrim's Progress.
Something for everyone, you see, my dear young, not-so-young, eccentric, middle-of-the-road, poetical, sad, cheerful, timid or reckless reader.
All they have in common is that they all contain words. If you are allergic to words, you'd best not open the covers.

Geraldine McCaughrean has written 167 books and plays for both adults and children. The books include Peter Pan in Scarlet, one of the most talked about and successful children's titles of 2006.

Geraldine McCaughrean has won the Carnegie Medal, the Whitbread Children's Book Award (three times), the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, the Smarties Bronze Award (four times), the Blue Peter Book of the Year Award and the Blue Peter Special Book to Keep Forever Award. She has also had more titles short-listed (six, including one winner and one Highly Commended) for the Carnegie Medal, than any other author, the latest being The Death Defying Pepper Roux.

Product Description


This book's strength lies in the poetry of McCaughrean's language, the period flavour and the elaborate humour (successfully translated against the odds) and, not least, all those nose jokes. (The Sunday Times)

This is a jewel of a book. Beautifully written... this is a wonderful story for all ages. (School Librarian)

Written beautifully... it is a good light read. (The Big Issue)

Book Description

A wonderful retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac by a best-loved and multi-award-winning writer, being published for the first time in paperback

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Cyrano de Bergerac was a seventeenth century French dramatist and duellist who is reputed to have had an overly large nose who was made famous by a French poet's play that bears his name. From the opening sentence this short novel's Parisian scene is set: richly flamboyant language jostles with dramatic swashbuckling action, telling a theatrical tale. Cyrano loves the beautiful Roxane, and he woos her with wondrous words but on behalf of a handsome dull suitor, Christian de Neuvillette. Roxanne falls for the soul of the man who thinks such lyrical thoughts and puts to paper such romance, unaware that Cyrano is actually that man. Cyrano, however, is too ashamed of his face to confess his feelings and his honour prevents him confessing the true authorship of the poetic letters. Then, when he is finally discovered his time has all but run out. Shakespearian in its mix of love and honour, sword-fighting and theatre, comedy and tragedy, this is ultimately a sad story written in beautiful and memorable prose. It is written at the level of Tamburlaine's Elephants and is a much easier read than Peter Pan in Scarlet or The Kite Rider.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spellbinding 25 Mar 2006
McCaughrean's lyrical prose captures you from the opening words of 'Cyrano'. After two pages I had to stop and re-read it just to convince myself that something so beautiful was really there in front of me.
This is an author who writes for young people with more seriousness than most. She never, ever talks down to her readers, never compromises her language or her ideas. She simply writes the most perfect, captivating, vivid stories imaginable.
One of the best authors of any genre I have read for some time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Almost like watching the film 29 Mar 2006
By A Customer
A very enjoyable, quick read - it only took me about an hour and a half. Very well and colourfully written, but reads so easily that sometimes I had to make myself slow down to savour it more. It brought back vivid memories of the Gerard Depardieu film. Highly recommended.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars In Her Likeness 26 April 2007
By Kevin Killian - Published on
Man with a long nose longs fall a girl way, way out of his league, and eventually hates himself for helping his rival win her affections by using his hidden superpower of being able to write well. No wonder writers have always enjoyed this fairy tale, even more than the average Joe. Now here comes prolific British warhorse Geraldine McCaughrean, who's written more books than I can count, to re-tell the old story like Charles and Mary Lamb re-telling Shakespeare.

It's a bit unfair to accuse McCaughrean of being unable to write clearly and effectively. And she is doing more here than merely supplying character tags to Rostand's dialogue.

When Cyrano hears Rozane make her confession that she would love an ugly man if he was as fine as Christian, McCaughrean doesn't just let Cyrano react. She spells out every one of his interior feelings in a way that no dramatist could. "There was a crack," she writes (at first I thought his nose was going to crack, like his heart, and fall off), "there was a crack, as if some planet on the far outskirts of the universe had broken open and spilled its golden yolk down the alleyways of space." Rather an elaborate science fiction metaphor there, but this emphasizes how people in the Middle Ages believed in the Sun revolving around the earth and being more or less like an egg, filled with white and yolk.

"Cyrano did not know," continues McCaughrean, "whether he had heard it inside or outside his head." She's got a real thing for inside and outside and the boundaries between the two states, more porous than in many other writers for children, but that's how children see things, slipping between one state and another. It's no wonder that she was chosen to write the official sequel to PETER PAN, even though a superios sequel (PETER PAN AND THE ONLY CHILDREN) is already in print, written by UK postmodernist Gilbert Adair.

"His pupils contracted," writes McCaughrean, "and he could not clearly see." I submit that she is doing more here than merely reproducing the beloved dialogue of Rostand's play. For better or worse, she is remaking the characters in her own likeness, and she's cute.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What's the point? 1 Feb 2007
By Janeifer Drew - Published on
If you look at "Cyrano" merely as a piece of fiction, it is an interesting, humorous book.

Cyrano is a swashbuckling poet with an enormous nose. He has a wonderful sense of humor, which comes in handy when he is so often teased about his nose. Cyrano falls in love with his cousin, the beautiful Roxanne. Somehow or other, Cyrano ends up wooing Roxanne for another man.

The prose is rather abrupt, although funny. My real problem with the book is that it is only a simplification of Edmond Rostand's play. Nothing more, no twists or alternate views. There is no creativity, no originality--just a paraphrase of Rostand's play. Why waste your time reading this when you could read the real thing? Rostand's play is not a literary challenge.

If you don't like reading plays for whatever reason, I would recommend this book. Otherwise, it's sad that someone can get published by copying somebody elses work.

Be sure to read about the real Cyrano de Bergerac. He's an intriguing historical figure!
2.0 out of 5 stars Now what was expected 11 April 2014
By jdmiles - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Bought this for my son because he thoroughly enjoyed the original. For whatever the reason I was not at all expecting this to be a narrative retelling of the play, I thought that this was the play.
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