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Beasts and Monsters (Legends) Paperback – 7 May 2010

4.0 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books; Reprints edition (7 May 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330510150
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330510158
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 0.8 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 117,892 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Horn BookUnder Horowitz's hand, the tales from around the world have a casual tone, accessible language, dry humor, and just enough gore to keep reluctant readers going. Black-and-white illustrations add some excitement and visual interest. San Francisco Book ReviewThe Dragon and Saint George, The Sphinx's Riddle, The Legend of Medusa and The Heroism of Perseus...Horowitz gives each his own personal tweak and polish, retaining much of what made the originals so iconic while giving the stories a welcome update and dusting. It's obvious he's having a lot of fun with this collection . . . will serve as a gateway for younger readers to explore the vast amount of mythology stories on the shelves. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Book Description

Don't mess with the gods. And if they mess with you? Run like hell . . . --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This slim volume holds just five classic myths from the past retold in entertaining style by Anthony Horowitz. It will be part of a series of six small books based on his previous Kingfisher Book of Myths and Legends first published nearly thirty years ago.

When my daughters were young they thoroughly enjoyed Horowitz's original version as bed-time stories, and our well-worn copy is still somewhere in the house. Publishing a revised edition in these smaller, lighter books with bigger print is a good idea, and the new illustrations are excellent.

I think he slightly misses his own target of being more up-to-date and accessible, by still having a slightly patronising style. Fortunately the tales rattle along nicely and one's attention is held throughout. He has taken the trouble to get the names right, and is reasonably faithful to the core of the relevant myth or legend. Perhaps a bit more embellishment and detail might have helped with making them come more alive, to make the pictures behind the closed eye-lids light up in full colour, but that is difficult if one is to be as accurate as possible.

I tested the book on a much younger mind, and right now it is still with him, being re-read, again. The main criticism from that nine-year-old was that it was too short; he read it in less than twenty minutes. And I tend to agree, I think about double the size would have been just right, say ten or twelve stories. The book might have the right quantity of stories for say a five year old, but they are just a bit too gory, and perhaps a younger reader would have liked a few more illustrations.

On balance, I prefer the original version. But this is equally entertaining, if a bit brief. So, three and a half stars has to be squeezed up to four stars.
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By Martin Turner HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 13 Jun. 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a collection of beast and monster stories retold mainly for teenagers by top-notch writer Anthony Horowitz (Midsomer Murder, Foyle's War, Alex Rider novels). The catch is, he wrote them in his mid twenties long before he was a top-notch writer, and it rather shows. The slightly uneven treatment is clear in the tale of Perseus, which needlessly complicates a story which Nathanael Hawthorne and Roger Lancelyn Green managed to distill with far fewer characters with unpronounceable names.

Anthony Horowitz wrote out this off-hand collection of retold myths and legends when he was 25. This puts the date of writing at about 1980, just when Richard Adams published The Iron Wolf and Other Stories, also a collection of retold myths and legends in a variety of styles. Did Horowitz read Adams? Impossible to know. But what is clear is that he did not manage to capture the absolute magic in the way that Adams did. The other thing is that the 1980s retelling is very much of its time. The style and idiom may well have been great for the teenagers of the day -- I was a teenager at the time, and it all seems rather familiar -- but not for today.

I was disappointed by this book. I suspect I would rather have enjoyed it when he wrote it, but times have moved on.

Sorry
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My year 6 class thought this was a new way to read myth quests. They liked the greek myths the best. The text is aimed at year six and seven, my lower ability children struggled with it. I will use it again.
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By Road Apple VINE VOICE on 15 Sept. 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Yeah I know this is for kids, but even so I felt the stories were a little too rushed. Perhaps it meets a good middle ground between children under ten and perhaps just over.

Apart from my slight reservations I think it is a good read for youngsters, Anthony Horowitz knows how to make each tale interesting, keeping close to the orginal stories but clearly giving his own twists. I would just stress that this is probably no good for anyone older than twelve.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The description is splendiferous,👶🙎😊😊😀😁😉😆😄😄😃🐇🐇🐇🐰🐶🐶🐶🐕🐰🐕🐕🐕🐣🐣🐣🐤🐤🐮🐱🐱🐱🐔🐱🐳🐨🐨🐨🐼🐼🐧🐧🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐨
The language techniques are superb amazing amazing amazing superb fantastic brilliant incredible awesome times one billion
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Anthony Horowitz is best known for his Alex Rider books although he has been publishing since 1983. As my son has read all the Alex Rider I thought he might like to try something a bit different from an author he clearly enjoyed.

On the whole he said he enjoyed the stories but found them to be a little on the short side. Having tried a couple of the stories myself and scanned the rest of the book I'd say this is not a bad book, but best suited to children in the later primary years (5, 6) but not really for children past year 7.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This offering from Anthony Horowitz brings bite-sized myth to children, making the stories lively and full of action. As others have said, they really are quite short - my kids enjoyed them as bedtime stories but did feel that one story wasn't enough. They are in fact quite oddly pitched in a way; too short to satisfy an older child reader, but sometimes too gory for younger readers. I think they do provide a good introduction to myths and legends though, and would no doubt lead young readers into happily learning more about such stories.
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