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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical Twist
This is Sleeping Beauty with a twist, and definitely not intended for children, as it's an enchanting but also frightening retelling of this much loved fairytale. We hear about how Beauty evades the sleeping curse, by getting it placed on her half-sister instead. She manages to escape from the castle by using a magic cloak that takes her into the 21st century. She does...
Published on 10 Oct 2006 by kehs

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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars compelling, but thoughtless and didactic
First of all, it is worth noting that this book is EXTREMELY well-written (at least in my opinion) and I genuinely enjoyed both its opening and its conclusion.
The middle sections of the book, however, were profoundly disappointing, not to say unsettling. This was not so much because of the journeying through time, although I thought that a poorly-incoporated...
Published on 27 Nov 2005 by Ms. S. Hogan


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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars compelling, but thoughtless and didactic, 27 Nov 2005
By 
Ms. S. Hogan (Newcastle upon Tyne) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Beauty (FANTASY MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
First of all, it is worth noting that this book is EXTREMELY well-written (at least in my opinion) and I genuinely enjoyed both its opening and its conclusion.
The middle sections of the book, however, were profoundly disappointing, not to say unsettling. This was not so much because of the journeying through time, although I thought that a poorly-incoporated plot-device, but the nature of the challenges the protaganist encounters. Whilst I think that very disturbing themes can successfully and sensitively be encorporated into fairy-tale fantasy fiction (and Robin McKinley's wonderful "Deerskin" is a great example of this) I felt that in Tepper's "Beauty", these themes were presented almost as arguments to prove various "points". This is not to say I'm not in favour of novels which address issues of gender equality or exploitation, or of man's relation to the environment, it is just that I felt that these points felt laboured within "Beauty". This laboured approach is perhaps most tellingly demonstrated in the account of the heroine's visit to hell, which was rather medieval in its almost smug descriptions of the physical discomfiture of those who had transgressed, particularly against women. There should be better, stronger and higher arguments against rape than that the perpetrator will suffer for it. (I also felt that a book which took such a strong moral position in relation to some issues ought not to have contained some of the disturbing assumptions it did: that, for example, the heroine's daughter can be evil and tainted from birth.)
The overall tone of the book, then, feels didactic, with many characters seeming reduced to cyphers or stereotypes so that individuals fail to disrupt the "pattern" of the very flawed world Tepper presents her reader with. For my personal tastes, too, the conclusion had a rather weak spirituality, whilst the proposal that the "flawed" world should be allowed to self-destruct, only to allow a new one to spring from the seed of the sleeping Beauty, seemed to destroy the significance of all the novel's (under-developed) characters apart from the protagonist.
All this said, I read the novel quite a number of years ago, and it has clearly made a very strong impression on me! I was tempted to give this work only 2 stars, but I realised that my deepest criticisms of at are rather personal: others may find Tepper's concentration on issues rather than characters refreshing, and her style enthralling.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical Twist, 10 Oct 2006
By 
kehs (Hertfordshire, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Beauty (FANTASY MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
This is Sleeping Beauty with a twist, and definitely not intended for children, as it's an enchanting but also frightening retelling of this much loved fairytale. We hear about how Beauty evades the sleeping curse, by getting it placed on her half-sister instead. She manages to escape from the castle by using a magic cloak that takes her into the 21st century. She does lots of time traveling and visits strange and wonderful places - from this world, to the future, to a world of imagination, Fairyland and even Hell. Fairyland was my favorite; Sheri Tepper really brought it to life with her wonderful vivid, descriptive writing. A lot of my favorite fairy tales are woven together in this book, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzal, Frog Prince, Tam Lin and Snow White are a few of them, and they are all given a marvelous slant . There are some very scary moments, particularly a traumatic rape scene, in which I think Tepper is trying to explain the possible outcome of mankind's use of senseless violence and pornography. Underneath this magnificent retelling of our well loved fairytales is a message that mankind is destroying nature, and if we don't wake-up to what we are doing then we will destroy the world as we know it. I can't decide what genre I would put this book in as it's part sci-fi, part time-travel and part fantasy. It's a mix that worked marvelously well for me. I will definitely be reading some more of Tepper's books.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! Drives a blade into our current social identity, 25 Dec 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Beauty (FANTASY MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
I thought that Sheri S. Tepper could not disturb me more than when she wrote "Gibbons Decline and Fall", but she has.
Her grasp of archetypal myth, and her ability to cut to the bone of the apathy of post-modernism and the effects of a culture that has been manipulated into accepting - without raising a sweat - what the news throws at us and what advertising seeks to have us agree to, despite the devastating effects on a future earth, had me in tears! The title of the book is one thing before one reads it - and is something far more profound at its completion.
Yes, Sheri - if one remembers the word in all its profundity one can be truly aware of what is most precious.
My humble thanks...
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5.0 out of 5 stars No good if you are looking for a light read!, 30 Jun 2013
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I read it for the first time some 6 years ago but it stuck in my memory as something very strange and magical. It is quite heavy on 'save the earth' theme which is ok I guess. I didn't mind it personally. I have seen some reviews where people said they gave up after first few pages because there's a lot going on and they couldn't follow. If you are tempted to quit soon after starting please do not. Carry on and you will never forget this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good as always, 27 Mar 2013
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Tepper is one of my favourite authors who is not afraid to tackle important issues but in the guise of fantasy, but don't be fooled, the issues are important especially to women.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Aiming too high and trying too hard, 13 Sep 2012
By 
Archy (ALTRINCHAM, Cheshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Beauty (FANTASY MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
There's a lot in here. Fairy tales (Sleeping Beauty, obviously, Snow White, Cinderella, plus some nonsense with a frog), time travel, ecology, Good versus Evil, romance, horror, you name it, it's here. But for me, way too much, and the tendency to make comments on various 'issues' - the environment, the nature of evil, gender issues, and so forth, became very irritating. Lots of stuff here to show how wicked mankind (should I say humanity?) is.

So, for large chunks of this book I ploughed on, hoping for the parts, the passages, the ideas, that were genuinely interesting. I forced myself to overlook the chunks that seemed there to fill out an already long book, the characters who came and went with little discernable characterisation - I had to track back 200+ pages in some instances to find out who they were. I still haven't figured out who Israfel was. I tried to ingore the preachiness of some of the points that were made rather heavy-handedly. In the end, I think the whole is somewhat less than the sum of the parts. There are some delightful moments, passages, ideas in here. But Beauty herself is not an especially inspired creation. By the end, I had rather had enough, which is a shame, as I very much enjoyed the first half of the book.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Beauty by Sheri S. Tepper, 20 Jan 2011
This review is from: Beauty (Paperback)
I have had become a big Tepper fan after reading her book Margarets...and when i had the chance to read Sideshow, the like increased to love....strangely however whilst Beauty was supposed to be her best work, it didnt stand out to me as it was promised to do by critical reviews....I appreciate her ideas in the book, but in itself it was a disappointment, so over all an average score. But dont let this discourage you from trying to read any of her other works(i am for now inclined to say more recent ones)because they offer a scope of fantasy, that whilst being surreal in its explanations through-out, applies to all manner of fundamental human questions - why are we here, who are we to become, and most of all, what are we now!

She is an excellent writer, and her text is always wholesome (certainly not a raging eco feminist as some would have liked to pin her as.)Her books or at least the few i read, have had left me with what seemed; another hole of questions in my life slightly fuller!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beauty + Beast, 14 Sep 2010
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This review is from: Beauty (FANTASY MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
This is a very clever exploration of socio-cultural norms and values through 'fantasy/folk tales/time travel'. It is an effective anthropological study which questions values and roles. It considers gender conflicts, roles, stereotyping and values. Loved it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars love this book!, 11 Feb 2010
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This review is from: Beauty (FANTASY MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
This is a brilliant, and poignant book which makes you worry for the future, however enjoy the past and folklaw. I love this book! :D
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5.0 out of 5 stars Magical twist, 10 Oct 2006
By 
kehs (Hertfordshire, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Beauty (Paperback)
This is Sleeping Beauty with a twist, and definitely not intended for children, as it's an enchanting but also frightening retelling of this much loved fairytale. We hear about how Beauty evades the sleeping curse, by getting it placed on her half-sister instead. She manages to escape from the castle by using a magic cloak that takes her into the 21st century. She does lots of time traveling and visits strange and wonderful places - from this world, to the future, to a world of imagination, Fairyland and even Hell. Fairyland was my favorite; Sheri Tepper really brought it to life with her wonderful vivid, descriptive writing. A lot of my favorite fairy tales are woven together in this book, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzal, Frog Prince, Tam Lin and Snow White are a few of them, and they are all given a marvelous slant . There are some very scary moments, particularly a traumatic rape scene, in which I think Tepper is trying to explain the possible outcome of mankind's use of senseless violence and pornography. Underneath this magnificent retelling of our well loved fairytales is a message that mankind is destroying nature, and if we don't wake-up to what we are doing then we will destroy the world as we know it. I can't decide what genre I would put this book in as it's part sci-fi, part time-travel and part fantasy. It's a mix that worked marvelously well for me. I will definitely be reading some more of Tepper's books.
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Beauty (FANTASY MASTERWORKS)
Beauty (FANTASY MASTERWORKS) by Sheri S. Tepper (Paperback - 8 Feb 2001)
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