The Beast's Heart

A Novel of Beauty and the Beast
Narrated by: Jim Dale
Length: 13 hrs and 34 mins
Categories: Romance, Fantasy
4.5 out of 5 stars (176 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A luxuriously magical retelling of Beauty and the Beast set in 17th-century France - and told from the point of view of the Beast himself.

I am neither monster nor man - yet I am both.

I am the Beast.

He is a broken, wild thing, his heart’s nature exposed by his beastly form. Long ago cursed with a wretched existence, the Beast prowls the dusty hallways of his ruined château with only magical, unseen servants to keep him company - until a weary traveler disturbs his isolation.

Bewitched by the man’s dreams of his beautiful daughter, the Beast devises a plan to lure her to the château. There, Isabeau courageously exchanges her father’s life for her own and agrees to remain with the Beast for a year. But even as their time together weaves its own spell, the Beast finds winning Isabeau’s love is only the first impossible step in breaking free from the curse....

©2019 Leife Shallcross (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

“What a delight! This is a beautifully crafted, deeply romantic reworking of the fairy tale.” (Juliet Marillier, author of the Blackthorn & Grim series)

“A lush retelling of my favorite fairytale classic. Beautiful, poignant, and enchanting…Leife Shallcross’s Beast shines.” (C. L. Wilson, New York Times best-selling author of The Sea King

"Glorious.... retells Beauty and the Beast in a compelling and surprising novel filled with peril, darkness, romance and beauty." (Kate Forsyth, author of Bitter Greens and The Wild Girl)

What members say
Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Just ok

I love Jim Dales narrations and was excited to listen to this book, as Beauty and the Beast is my favorite Disney movie, but the story just seemed to drag on and mostly involved Isabeau crying and the beast with his big feelings and tendency to play the humble victim with grand noble gestures. There wasn’t so much a climax as there was just long menotinous tale of anticlimactic longing. I really wanted to like it more, and over all I did like the writing style, but unfortunately the story just didn’t deliver in my opinion.

6 people found this helpful

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I love Jim Dale

But this was a waste of his talent.
The side stories of isabeau's family was interesting enough... But oh my goodness the book dragged on and it really highlighted the manipulation, sick, stalker/Stockholm's syndrome relationship... I do not recommend

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Disappointing

I honestly can't tell you whether or not I got this book because I am so impressed by Jim Dale's performances on a regular basis, or because I love the beauty and the beast story and its spin-offs so much. however, I struggled to invest in the characters I felt that with his performance history this book severely underutilized Jim Dale's talent and I just wanted it to be over. the name Isabeau and Claude where odd names for girls especially when the heroin is Bell and all other versions that I have read so it made me feel like it was being mispronounced when it was red without any kind of l sound. I did like the fact that the beast wasn't altogether terrible and that she had sisters, but I did fail to grasp how he needed to change after he realized he loved Isabeau. even after he was turned back into a man the ferry still said that he basically gets to live because she loved his grandmother but didn't say still what she found disappointing or unworthy of him. All in all the book was, disappointing.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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loved

I loved every minute of this book. I so love the way Jim Dale brings the story to life as the author intends. I will be listening again to it. I have listened to this book 2 times now & the book is soooooo good. yes I like the narrator also however the flow of the book is awesome.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Nice slow burn! Loved it!

I will definitely be listening to this audiobook again! This story is a slow burn. The pacing and character development are realistic and just really great. The characters are likable. They go through small changes, experience failures and setbacks, and triumph with hard-won victories. You root for them all the way through! There is a lot of talking and working through feelings in this story, but always a sense of progress and growth. Just the kind of story I like! It’s a romance (of course!) and does have some scenes of kissing, etc, but is not raunchy. It stays PG and the relationships are refreshingly healthy!
One criticism I do have is that for such a slow burn, I wish the author had spent more time with the ending. It felt a bit rushed. For a story that is so focused on growth, I would have liked more time to see the characters settling into their new normal. So... my critique is that the book is too short and I didn’t want it to end, I guess?
I found this book after listening to the performer’s reading of the Harry Potter series and wondering what else he had done. Jim Dale’s work is always a pleasure to listen to!
In summary: this audiobook is an enjoyable, thought-provoking experience, well worth the money!

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Best Beauty and the Beast Retelling

I have read every YA beauty and the beast retelling I can get my hands on- from Maas to McKinley. if you liked those, you will LOVE this!

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A Tale From A Different Perspective

Everyone knows the classic Beauty and the Beast fairy tale. Although in this story we see and hear the views of the beast. Connecting more on the terror of how ones actions shape those we love around us. Beast is plagued with his demons of an unloving, hot tempered father who was the cause of so much devastation within his life. Thanks to a curse and the true love that is not blinded by wealth or appearances, Beast discovers the true happiness in life. Understanding who you are, knowing what has shaped you and always being open to true love and happiness is what a real happily ever after looks like.

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Beautiful rendition of Beauty and the Beast

Beautiful. Original perspective on a classic, rich with imagery. Must read more from this author!

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enchanting

Always a fan of Jim Dale but the story itself was so beautiful and made my laugh and cry. Will listen to it over and over again.

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A truly wonderful and magical story!

A truly wonderful and magical story! I will be rereading/relistening to this story again and again.