105 of 111 people found the following review helpful
This is the classic version of _Beauty and the Beast_, the one that Disney based the film on. The movie was a surprisingly close adaptation, and fans of the movie will recognize many elements here (such as Beauty's love of reading), though other elements are markedly different (here, Beauty's father is a merchant, not an inventor, though still unusually middle-class for a classic fairy tale; Gaston is nonexistent here, a Disney invention).
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."
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
This is an eighteenth century morality tale that is still relevant today. It teaches children to strive to be kind and not judge people because they are clever or beautiful.
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.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on January 23, 2010
This book brought a smile to my face. It is such a good, sweet story. I discovered how well the screenwrtiers followed the original story, yet along with the imagineers at Disne, introduced new characters that fit right in It made me want see the animated film again. It is short and would make a great bedtime story for your kids or for yourself. Definitely worth the read.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on January 27, 2010
I didn't realize this was a short story when I got it but what a great one it is. Not like the Disney movie, no action, but the story is wonderful. Free certainly doesn't hurt either!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 4, 2010
I love the fairy tale of Beauty of the Beast and I have read a number of variations on it, but I have never read the original story. So, I was eager to do so and since it was available for free on my Kindle I thought, why not? It is a good story, although pretty bare bones compared to some of the modern retellings I have read.
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.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 13, 2011
This book is not exactly what I was wanting. The cover is pretty, but the story is a bit of an odd edition. If you've read the original story by Beaumont, you'll recognize the basic outline, but some of the details are very altered, making the tale a little strange. I was disappointed, especially about the price, since it's only 28 pages. If you're a Beauty and the Beast fan, like we are, you probably won't be crazy about this book, but it looks nice to have in your collection, even if you only read it once.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 10, 2011
Beauty and the Beast, adaptation by Marie Le Prince de Beaumont
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.
The evil sisters become animated statues that will remain stone until they overcome their vices--serves them right!
"I have no sense; I know very well that I am a poor, silly, stupid creature."
"Tis no sign of folly to think so, (replied Beauty,) for never did a fool know this."
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 4, 2010
I got this for my 15 year old sister that loves Beauty and the Beast. I also got her the book "Beauty" which comes highly recommended. This one is a thin, quick read whereas the other Beauty and the Beast books are novel-size. This would be great for new readers, for sure. She flew through it, though.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 30, 2010
"Beauty and the Beast" is classic, I've always known that. But only recently have I read it and been able to take it for what it is. A beautifully simple story about the importances of being virtuous. It's such a sweet romance, but under that is the subtext of the time it was written in.
That traditional belief that good things come to those who wait is what drives the story forward. Beauty is a sincere soul, who loves her family and perseveres through tough times with them, even when she is offered the chance to marry out of her family's poverty. While her sisters are terrible creatures who only live in the hopes that they will be wealthy again someday.
Beast, himself, is an excellent metaphor for why judging a book by it's cover is a terrible practice. And that lesson resounds loud all these years later in today's society. You never know what you are passing up. It's a great children's story that teaches young and old to shelve their discriminating tendencies, and go into things with an open mind.
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on January 29, 2010
Like many others I picked this book up because it was free and a classic. While I dont' regret reading it, I found it somewhat preachy. Beauty is essentially flawless, not only is she modest, hardworking, beautiful and kind, but she is contrasted by her stepsisters who aren't as beautiful and are hateful. Beauty questions herself of the beast "Is it his fault that he is so ugly, and has so little sense?" deciding that the best qualities in a husband are "virtue, sweetness of temper, and [my favorite] complaisance." Some epic romance that makes. There was essentially no character development, and no chemistry what so ever between Beauty and the Beast. However, the story was short, and it was interesting to read the original version, since I had only ever read other spinoffs, and seen the Disney version. Overall, I would say, sure go ahead and read it but try to keep your expectations low.