• The Beast's Heart

  • A Novel of Beauty and the Beast
  • By: Leife Shallcross
  • Narrated by: Jim Dale
  • Length: 13 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: Romance, Fantasy
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (260 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

 “Poetical, imaginative, and inventive.” (New York Journal of Books

“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 listeners say about The Beast's Heart

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    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.

5 people found this helpful

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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.

11 people found this helpful

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Jim Dale is, of course, the best part of this book

There were some very good ideas in this book, but they fizzled out or didn't have the right set up. I stuck it out for the amazing narrator. Overall, it's listenable but not great.

4 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

14 people found this helpful

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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.

2 people found this helpful

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Lovely Change

This retelling is wonderfully. For those who understand that the Beast actually had feelings and Isabell could also be cold. A switch from the commercial versions.

1 person found this helpful

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Not the type of romance I was hoping for 😑.

New author and narrator for me. This was more literary in its wording and probably safe for under 18 readers, but not too young. After outing myself as a deviant, I did enjoy this quite a bit with the story from the Beast's POV, his thought processes, perceptions and despair. A very lovely listen.

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What a wonderful retelling!

No matter what, this will always be a story of live and redemption. Hearing the story from the Beast's PoV was refreshing, giving it new depth as well as new material. The supporting cast of characters was well developed, and added much to the story beyond just being other people populating the world. Of course, Jim Dale's narration always showcases his remarkable talent, making a great tale even better.

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Amazing story and narrated magically!

I was put off slightly by some of the reviews for the book but im glad I decided to use my credit for this book!

It is a very slow burn and a bit of redundancy where characters retell parts of the book but since this is a really long read its not too out of place or frustrating.

The style of writing is absolutely beautiful. You feel like Jim Dale brought you to a beautiful French fairytale with his welcoming almost fatherly storytelling style. I'm definitely going to be digging for more of his performances!

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Couldn't put it down

One of the best books I've listened to in a very long time. this book deserves much more attention. Very well written, and of course Jim Dale did a splendid job. Listened through in almost one sitting.