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Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister Hardcover – 3 Apr 2008

4.2 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Headline Review (3 April 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0755341678
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755341672
  • Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 24 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 789,004 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

?[A] bewitching story..."Confessions has its roots in a fanciful tale--the Cinderella story--but it teases out motifs deeper than the generic fall-in-love-and-marry-the-prince-happily-ever-after....Witty and wise?Adult and sophisticated, his musings on beauty, ugliness, magic, reality, and imagination explore how our past follows us always and shapes our self-perception.? --"Chicago Tribune?A ravishing meditation on the truism that 'beauty helps preserve the spirit of mankind.' Maguire is rapidly becoming one of contemporary fiction's most assured myth-makers.? --"Kirkus Reviews" (starred)?A tale so movingly told that you will say at the end of the first reading, 'It's been a long time since I've read a book this good.' For philosophical depth and lively evocative language, few writers match Gregory Maguire.? --"Nashville Tennessean?A beguiling reconstruction of the Cinderella story...Maguire's sophisticated story-telling reimagines age-old themes and folklore-familiar characters...a vision that fantasy lovers will find hard to resist.? --"Publishers Weekly"?Captivating and beautifully written..."Confessions is a rich canvas of colorful characters and fantastic events rendered by an artist attentive to every surface and texture.? --"Book Magazine?Lively and delicious...its language is an extraordinary blend of moving narrative and music....[Maguire's] books may be placed beside the works of Marion Zimmer Bradley, John Crowley and the late Mervyn Peake. This dark folktale, a reworking of the Cinderella fable, is as exotic a vision...as mysterious as life itself.? --"Memphis Commercial Appeal?[An] engrossing story...endearing and memorable.? --"Boston Herald?Highly absorbing...Maguire'sprecise, slightly archaic language...sweeps readers through this mysterious and fascinating story.? --"Booklist?[An] arresting hybrid of mystery, fairy tale, and historical novel..."Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister isn't easy to classify or forget....The characters in these ?Confessions' might not end up happily ever after, but you won't want to miss them.? --"Detroit Free Press?There was a time, long ago, when Cinderella was simply a children's tale in which good triumphed over bad, pretty over ugly, pumpkins and mice over carriages and footmen....Now, the story has much more depth. Gregory Maguire has applied his devilish writing style and vivid imagination to the story of the glass slipper, and, in doing so, turned this simple tale into a Gothic saga of 17th-century Holland.? --"Fort Worth Morning Star-Telegram --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

A novel of beauty and betrayal, which reminds us that deception can be unearthed - and love unveiled - in the most unexpected of places

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
You will fall in love with plain Iris as she lives her life in the shadow of the beautiful, troubled and petulant Clara. The book explores the nature of beauty and love, painting and the early tulip trade in Holland. Full of twists and surprises. Don't miss it.
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Format: Paperback
i actually wanted to read this book because i'd seen the film adaptation and i was interested i where the idea had come from. the film itself while intinsically the same varies in a few ways, so dont assume you can skip the book and watch the film. But i'd advise you not to skip the book as it is beautifully written and a joy to read. it's a real page turner of a book. i loved it because i just love that whole reinventing a fairytale concept.
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Format: Hardcover
This review relates to the paperback edition.

During an enforced 3-hour stopover at Los Angeles airport I found this and couldn't resist the cover or the blurb. I haven't read/seen any of his books, so had nothing with which to compare this, and I loved it. It runs alongside Cinderella in a non-parallel line which every now and again curves in to touch the fairy story and remind us of the original, but at the same time keeps very much to its own path. The setting of 17th-century Holland is evocative and atmospheric, including the use of art and the tulip-trade, the machinations of the desperate Margarethe are terrible and at the same time understandable, and Iris is - well, she's lovely. There are comments in some reviews that there is no magic in this book and strictly speaking that's true, but there is definitely more than a hint of something other-worldly and dangerous that lurks in the background and pervades the atmosphere of this book.

The illustrations are lovely - I hope they have been kept in the hardback edition.
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Format: Hardcover
There's no sign of mice or pumpkins in this twist of what really happened in the tale of Cinderella. Forget what you know of that charming fairy tale and read for yourself what supposedly made the wicked stepmother so wicked and did Cinderella really fall in love with her charming prince? Gregory Maguire gets you to look at all the characters in a different light and he will make your heart warm for the ugly step-sisters who were perhaps not as hideous as originally made out. I enjoyed this book and will certainly go on to read more of Gregory Maguire's books to find out the real truth behind other famous fairy tales.
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Format: Paperback
This is probably my favourite book by this author. Although, there is actually no magic taking place in this story line, there are lots of ordinary actions that produce the same affect. The characters are all fully believable and hold your interest through this book. There is also a strong sense of the magic of art in this book - some of the descriptive passages are the best I have read in a long time.
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Format: Paperback
By turns funny and tragic, this story reads like a fairy-tale, one of the important yet disturbing ones by Andersen for example. There is innocence and loss thereof, kindness and cruelty, meditations on the function of art in relation to beauty, and an ending so layered you'll be baffled as to whether it's actually happy or not. Add to that a framing device so clever it will guide yet deceive you until the very end, and you've got a very good book indeed. Sadly though, like "Wicked", a couple of scenes make this unsuitable for the kiddies.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm not sure what I was expecting from this book, but it wasn't what I found! Non the less I thoroughly enjoyed this book, although a tad predictable (as I find most books) it was cleverly written and I loved how the fairytale theme was still interwoven into the story. I will definitely be reading more books by Gregory Maguire!
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Format: Hardcover
There's no sign of mice or pumpkins in this twist of what really happened in the tale of Cinderella. Forget what you know of that charming fairy tale and read for yourself what supposedly made the wicked stepmother so wicked and did Cinderella really fall in love with her charming prince? Gregory Maguire gets you to look at all the characters in a different light and he will make your heart warm for the ugly step-sisters who were perhaps not as hideous as originally made out. I enjoyed this book and will certainly go on to read more of Gregory Maguire's books to find out the real truth behind other famous fairy tales.
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