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Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty…

Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast (original 1978; edition 1978)

by Robin Mckinley

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
5,2531871,286 (4.15)3 / 302
Title:Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast
Authors:Robin Mckinley
Info:HarperCollins (1978), Hardcover, 256 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:novels, fiction, fairy tales and folklore, fairy tales retold, beauty and the beast, animal brides animal grooms, re-interpretations, retellings, fairy tales folklore and mythology, bedroom library

Work details

Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast by Robin McKinley (1978)

  1. 132
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    The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale (fyrefly98)
    fyrefly98: Another retelling of a classic fairy tale.
  3. 70
    East by Edith Pattou (foggidawn)
    foggidawn: Another excellent fairy tale retelling with a strong female character.
  4. 82
    Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley (infiniteletters)
    infiniteletters: A later version of the same tale by the same author. Both excellent.
  5. 40
    Ice by Sarah Beth Durst (Caramellunacy)
    Caramellunacy: Ice is a re-telling of the Norse fairy tale East of the Sun, West of the Moon. Especially at the beginning (in the castle), the description is just breath-taking and reminds me quite a bit of McKinley's Beauty.
  6. 30
    Toads and Diamonds by Heather Tomlinson (Aerrin99)
    Aerrin99: An excellent fairy-tale retelling set in an India-like world.
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  10. 10
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    ncgraham: These books share a dark portrait of the woodlands, an intimate, loving family, and an air of unknown peril.
  11. 21
    Mira, Mirror by Mette Harrison (Bonzer)
  12. 10
    The Fire Rose by Mercedes Lackey (infiniteletters)
    infiniteletters: A spin on the classic tale, with elemental magic and 19th-century San Francisco.
  13. 21
    Black Thorn, White Rose by Ellen Datlow (Larkken)
    Larkken: Both are modern re-tellings of fairy tales.
  14. 10
    The Shadow of the Bear: A Fairy Tale Retold by Regina Doman (LucyClements)
    LucyClements: Great re-telling of the fairy tale Snow White and Rose Red.
  15. 00
    The Beast's Heart: A Novel of Beauty and the Beast by Leife Shallcross (Becchanalia)
    Becchanalia: Let's face it Beauty's tale has been done to death. This is a retelling from the Beast's view and, ironically, comes out of it more emancipated than in any other telling I have read.
  16. 12
    Mirror, Mirror by Gregory Maguire (PatMock)

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Showing 1-5 of 184 (next | show all)
This was my favorite, favorite book as a teenager. And I still love re-reading it. ( )
  sophiehatter | Aug 17, 2019 |
Beauty, youngest daughter of a merchant, takes her father's place as captive of a mysterious monster in an enchanted castle. (You all know the story.)

This may be my favorite book ever -- it's certainly always in the top three (along with The Blue Castle and Cyrano de Bergerac, if you were wondering). It's been a few years since I did a reread of this one, and I found myself entirely charmed, as if reading it for the first time. It's just so good. The characters, the dialogue, the descriptions... I cannot even tell you how many times I've read it since I discovered it as a battered paperback in the school library in seventh grade. It's my ultimate comfort read. For a fairy tale retelling, it's pretty straightforward -- it doesn't take the story in new directions, the way more modern retellings do (and don't get me wrong, I enjoy those, too). It just fleshes out the story so beautifully. If you enjoy fairy tale retellings, highly recommended. ( )
  foggidawn | Aug 16, 2019 |
Here's a question for you. Do you enjoy an adaptation or a retelling more or less if you don't remember the details of the original? For me, I don't remember the details of Beauty and the Beast except to say the Disney version was centered around Belle, her sickly woodsman father, the Beast, and the talking tea kettle. I remember it also had singing furniture and, of course, a droopy rose was at the center of the story. McKinley's version has three daughters, Gracie, Hope and Honour. Honour, nicknamed Beauty, is the protagonist of the story and ironically, is not at all beautiful like her sisters. Instead she is homely, unromantic, and scholarly; the bravest and strongest of the bunch. Honour's father has fallen on hard times as a shipping merchant and the family must move to the country. Enter the proximity of an enchanted/haunted forest. We first learn about these mysterious woods when Ger becomes angry with Beauty about being in the woods of Blue Hill.
To speed up the telling up the story you know so well: father runs into trouble in the enchanted forest, has a dust up with the Beast, and promises to send a daughter to the Beast to save his own hide. Beauty, being the bravest and most admirable, is the logical choice. Beauty falls in love with Beast despite his appearance and by turns becomes a looker herself. When she promises to marry Beast, the spell is broken. The end. ( )
  SeriousGrace | Aug 13, 2019 |
***3/3.5 Stars***

Robin McKinley's beautiful imagery and writing was enough to keep my attention in this book. I love the way she describes things and sets up the scene. She is very talented and I enjoy many of her other books as well.

The story moved fast enough and I enjoyed it. The characters were interesting and I especially enjoyed Beauty's thoughts on everything. The story felt like a more detailed version of the fairy-tale and it gave us the chance to see Beauty with siblings and other connections in life. Overall, I enjoyed the read through and I love any excuse to experience a fairy-tale retelling. I guess I was looking for one epic moment, which I didn't necessarily find, but I still thought that the book was well written and entertaining. ( )
  AmyKoto | Jul 22, 2019 |
A slightly different interpretation of the classical story ( )
  SandyAMcPherson | Jun 16, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 184 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robin McKinleyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Deas, MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vallejo, BorisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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to my mother,
because it will be a long wait for Kilkerran;
and to both Mr. Rochesters, for aiding Mahomet to go to the mountain.
First words
I was the youngest of three daughters.
The sun shone through a window, then made its delicate, fawn-footed way across the broad inlaid floor, and found the Beast's blue velvet shoulders to set on fire.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
published in A Knot in the Grain and Other Stories
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060753102, Mass Market Paperback)

This much-loved retelling of the classic French tale Beauty and the Beast elicits the familiar magical charm, but is more believable and complex than the traditional story. In this version, Beauty is not as beautiful as her older sisters, who are both lovely and kind. Here, in fact, Beauty has no confidence in her appearance but takes pride in her own intelligence, her love of learning and books, and her talent in riding. She is the most competent of the three sisters, which proves essential when they are forced to retire to the country because of their father's financial ruin.

The plot follows that of the renowned legend: Beauty selflessly agrees to inhabit the Beast's castle to spare her father's life. Beauty's gradual acceptance of the Beast and the couple's deepening trust and affection are amplified in novel form. Robin McKinley's writing has the flavor of another century, and Beauty heightens the authenticity as a reliable and competent narrator.

This was McKinley's first book, written almost 20 years ago. Since that time she has been awarded the Newbery Medal for The Hero and the Crown and has delighted her fans with another retelling of the Beauty and the Beast fable, Rose Daughter. Still, McKinley's first novel has a special place in the hearts of her devoted readers, many of whom attest to relishing Beauty time and again. (Ages 11 to Adult)

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:59 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Kind Beauty grows to love the Beast at whose castle she is compelled to stay and through her love releases him from the spell which had turned him from a handsome prince into an ugly beast.

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