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Beauty and the Beast Paperback – September 26, 2013
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Top Customer Reviews
It is very short, at only 196 kindle locations, and the text is fairly clear of typos.
If you're a fan of this story, there are a host of other classic fairy tales that follow the same basic model, all of which should be available for free online. Beaumont's version was an adaptation of a longer original version by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve. If you're interested in reading other fairy tales with similar if slightly extended plotlines, try looking for "East of the Sun and West of the Moon" or "The Black Bull of Norroway." If you want to get really classical, look up the story of Cupid and Psyche in Apuleius' "The Golden Ass."
A rich man has three daughters and three sons. The youngest daughter is so beautiful that people call her Beauty. She also has beautiful character, which her sisters lack. When their father looses all his money, Beauty works hard to help her father, but her sisters, accustomed to luxury, do not work; they prefer to sleep late.
One day their father is lost in the woods and discovers a palace. When he picks a rose from the garden, an ugly beast appears and tells him that he must die because he ruined his garden, unless he brings his child to take his place. When Beauty hears what happened she insists on being his substitute.
The beast treats Beauty very well and offers to marry her. She refuses at first, but then overcome by his kindness, she consents. The beast then becomes a handsome prince. He explains that he was turned into a beast and had to remain so until a beautiful virgin agrees to marry him. The couple returns to the prince's kingdom and live happily ever after. The sisters also married, one to a witty man who constantly belittled her with his wit, and the other to a very handsome man who spend all of his time admiring himself.
Everyone should know the basic story so I am not going to provide a synopsis. Many parts of this story are represented in Disney's Beauty and the Beast; although Disney did change some of the things and add some additional characters. For example Belle's father is a merchant and Gaston is a figment of Disney's imagination.
The basic parts of the fairy tale that I know and love were present though. Belle is kind hearted and loves books. The Beast is kind but volatile. They both fall in love with each other for who they are and not what they look like. All in all it is a very romantic fairy tale and I enjoyed finally being able to read the original.
I recommend reading this if you are a fairy tale fan or a fan of Beauty and the Beast; it is always wonderful to see where these stories came from. The free Kindle version is formatted decently but lacking in the original illustrations. If you are a big Beauty and the Beast fan I also recommend Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast by Robin McKinley and Beastly by Alex Finn, both are excellent retellings of this wonderful fairy tale.
In The Company, K. J. Parker writes (summarized), "If you expect the prince, you will end up disappointed when you end up with just a man. But if you expect the monster, you will be ecstatic when you end up with just a man" (for the full quote, see my review). That is pretty much the premise of this short story.
Beauty is the daughter of a well-to-do merchant. She has three brothers (who aren't really in the story) and two older sisters, both of whom are pretty repugnant; they only care about their own social status. Beauty is the only one who is worthwhile in the group; she doesn't care about wealth. When her father's business fails, she laments the books, but that's it; she enjoys living out in the country with her family.
One night her father is out on business and, returning late, is caught by darkness and the howls of wolves. He fears for his life until he spots a castle. All of his needs are seen to in the castle, but he can't figure out who is doing it. Upon leaving, he remembers that Beauty asked him to bring her back a rose. But when he goes to cut one, a terrible beast appears and threatens to kill him unless he has a daughter to offer in his place. Beauty volunteers, and that is how she comes to live in the castle.
The story pretty much follows the movie adaptation of it, except that there is no male hunter, nor is there a time constraint (i.e. the petals falling off the rose). Instead, when she leaves to visit her father, he decides to starve himself to death. When she realized how sad she would be if he were to die, she realized how much she loved him, and agreed to marry him.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A classic! Great book, fantastic price! definitely worth the readPublished 4 days ago by Amazon Customer
I'll have to read the unabridged version, but this was good, and short enough to read in less than an hour, just know that you can read it online for free because it's public... Read morePublished 26 days ago by Zachery
I loved this story and was surprised at the differences between it and the Disney movie.Published 2 months ago by Gina Hoffman
This book was not what I was expecting which is primarily my own fault. I was unaware that this was not in fact an actual book. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Chelsie Volpe
there is no singing in this beauty and the beast but you'll want to read it from cover to coverPublished 3 months ago by Carlos paez