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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best-selling author Robin McKinley has won numerous awards for her writing, including the prestigious Newbery Medal. Though her two sisters are beautiful, Beauty, despite her name, is thin and awkward - but she's also courageous. So when her father makes a terrible promise to a Beast living in an enchanted castle, Beauty knows she must volunteer to be the Beast's prisoner.

©1978 Robin McKinley (P)2013 Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Performance

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Story

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Absolutely Lovely

I have read this book in print a number of times in the past and I always have enjoyed it. I find that the characters are sweet and genuinely good people in this story and I love it for being an affirmation of the goodness of humanity. I do feel that it is naive, but I find it soothing to read something so charmingly innocent and good-natured. I felt that the narration by Charlotte Parry was wonderfully done. I found her voice to be extremely pleasant to listen to and I felt that she maintained the characters consistently in the voices that she created for them.

17 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • susan
  • Port Perry, ON, Canada
  • 08-09-13

Nice twist on an old story.

Probably more suited to a younger reader. But still made for a pleasant commuter read.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Best version of B&tB I've ever read, seen, heard.

There are a lot of versions of Beauty and the Beast out there. I've read different versions of the fairy tale, seen a TV movie, and of course Disney's version. This one is my favorite.

Audible has this categorized as a book for 8-10 year-old kids. I didn't encounter it until I was in my 30s, I am now in my 60s, and I still reread it. So I recommend this book to women of any age.

25 of 28 people found this review helpful

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  • C. Telfair
  • Shepherdstown, WV, United States
  • 09-14-17

Honor and Beauty

So, she did have another name! And what better name than Honor.

Robin McKinley creates a wonderful re-interpretation of the classic story here. Unlike in the Disney (and many other) versions, Beauty is not really an outsider or a misfit. She is a vital part of a caring family, not simply the adored daughter of an old man. This is one of my favorite aspects of McKinley's retelling. Beauty may not be as attractive as her sisters, and she is more interested in books, but her role in a growing family is complete and necessary.

We spend a good portion of the book in this very real and very down-to-earth family. Although financial misfortune brings them down in the world, this marvelously-portrayed group of people become an emotionally and financially supportive unit - no misfits here. McKinley is adept at creating characters - and at describing and bringing to life mundane family life and a magical world.

Several reviewers mention Stockholm syndrome. When dealing with ancient fairy tales, I believe this is a mistake. The lesson of Beauty and the Beast is not one of loss of freedom or being worn down by one's captor; it's rather a tale of growth of understanding and maturity and, yes, of Honor and duty - not particularly popular character traits in modern culture!

Yet, we keep telling and reimagining these ancient tales. They still have something to offer us in our growth and development as human beings. It's terrific that authors keep them alive for new generations.

I thank Audible for bringing me back to the world of Robin McKinley, and I look forward to listening to some of her other works. They are truly a a breath of fresh air for all ages.


5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Donna
  • The Bayou
  • 12-04-15

Beauty: a re telling of Beauty and the Beast

The magic of "Beauty" is that it is easy to forget that it is a retelling until you reach the end. The character Beauty adds realism to an unrealistic fable because she does not know she is beautiful. Such insecurity on her part drives the story and makes it believable. Through her naivety, the enchantments and sorcery are not surprising. I found myself accepting the magical as common place. I was, however, pleasantly surprised that I liked this novel so very much. Sometimes you just need a fairytale.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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she's really quite a perfect reader

Would you listen to Beauty again? Why?

Robin McKinley is my favorite author and the reader does a practically perfect job with this wonderful story. Her English accents make it quite enjoyable. Relatively new to audio books and it's great for me because I tend to rush to my favorite parts.

What about Charlotte Parry’s performance did you like?

not overly enthusiastic because McKinley is a calm, meditative writer

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Beautiful Re-telling from a superb author

This is a wonderful novel-version of the story of Beauty and the Beast. What makes the story fascinating is the details and idiosyncrasies--the ways in which McKinley's story differs from the traditional fairy tale. Beauty, first of all, considers herself distinctly un-beautiful throughout the story, especially in comparison with her two sisters. The Beast's library contains books which do not yet exist and Beauty fights with her invisible enchanted maids over what to wear. The writing is subtle, the story is funny and meaningful. A great read (definitely for adults, too!) and a great listen.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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A Much Beloved Story

Where does Beauty rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It's a favorite Story from my childhood.

What did you like best about this story?

It's beautifully told.

Which character – as performed by Charlotte Parry – was your favorite?

Not sure.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I wouldn't go that far, but it does transport you away from reality.

Any additional comments?

I recently bought an audio book edition of this much beloved book from my childhood. I honestly still love this story, and I know I've read it five or six times. It strays very little from the traditional telling of the story but it's charm is in Robin McKinley's masterful prose. Many people immediately draw similarities between this book and the Disney movie but it should be noted that this story was first published in 1978 and the Disney movie came out in 1991. I highly recommend this if you enjoy fairy tales.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • bebe
  • South Carolina
  • 04-13-16

Wonderful sweet story

Any additional comments?

Beauty and the Beast was one of my favorite fairy tales when I was a child. This is a very well done retelling but it is on an adult level (don't get excited - no sex!). I started listening and could not stop until I had finished. All the characters are well written by the author and well performed by the reader. They are a little different from the characters in the original story but I found them even more likable. I particularly connected with Beauty, who tells the story from a first person perspective. My only complaint is that it stops and I would have liked for the story to have gone on for years!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Excellent Rendition

If you are a fan of Fairy Tales, the fantasy genre, or Robin McKinley then this is an excellent fit for you.
The story is charming and well written with solid characters.

The narrator, Charlotte Parry, could have been better. I have the print version of this novel and read along with it. The narrator appears to pause every four or five words whether there is punctuation for it or not. The cadence of the audible version becomes stop and go because of this. The director dropped the ball.

Overall, if you are a fan of Beauty and the Beast, this will not disappoint.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Kelly
  • 06-30-13

a childhood favourite now available

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, my friends have similar tastes to me and over the years have all been given a copy of this paperback as I love it so much. It's a fairy tale rewriting of Beauty and the Beast but what is lovely about this is the lead is a bookworm :) a girl after my own heart.

What other book might you compare Beauty to, and why?

Ummm... Beauty and the Beast :) no. Ok, Robin McKinley has gone on to write Rose Daughter another retelling of a classic fairy tale. I would also say Patricia C Wredes Enchanted Forest Chronicles would be a similar read.

What does Charlotte Parry bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

I love that it's a British narrator. I've happily listened to America narrators and it's such a delight to listen to a great voice. She brought Beauty to life.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes and I did :) listened to it all in one day whilst pootling about the house entertaining the tiddlers and doing some housework.

Any additional comments?

a great standalone listen.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Genevieve
  • 05-20-15

Love Beauty!

I have read the traditional novel many times and it was great to finally hear the audiobook version. Charlotte Perry does work fantastic with all the voices. A lot of the time I read this book and hope it never ends. I hope you enjoy it too!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Joe
  • 05-09-17

Beautiful!

This was wonderful in every way, we loved the story and the performance. It is a beautifully written reselling of a classic tale and expertly performed.