Beast

Beast

by Donna Jo Napoli

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Beast 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 41 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a person who can read up to ten books a week if I feel like it, but when I read this book I had to read it, completely. Except... At the start it started a bit slow, I was so sick of it was wanted to put it back, but once I read a little bit more it was like it dug its claws in my and pulled me in. Wonderful book. My Absolute favorite, it will be one of the first I buy for the library I plan on making. I was so impressed I spoke with Donna, she also told me, when I asked about the endings of her books, that it wasn't her story to tell, she was just writing what her heart told her. She is my favorite author, not to mention she is great to talk to.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Interesting book that FINALLY tells the side story from the beast's point of view where we've always heard about beauty's. Entertaining book that makes you forgot to stop and keep reading until the end of an chapter and soon starting on the next. Nice details on the location and words including the religion background of the character.
eidolons on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I've always loved the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, so when I found this retelling I was excited. It is shelved in my local library as Young Adult, and I couldn't agree more with that designation. The story itself is interestingly set in Persia. I found the religious references and the folk lore fun to read. The majority of the story is set in both Persia and India. These were my favorite parts. I was hoping the Beauty part of the story would vary more than it did. But again, we had to travel to France and meet an oh-so-sweet girl who is destined to free the Beast from his curse.I was honestly disappointed with the lack of originality in the end. This did not stop me from enjoying the book for what it was - a retelling of a classic aimed at a younger audience than myself. I will definitely be recommending it to my niece and my own children when they're a bit older.
Rhinoa on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A look at Beauty and the Beast where the Beast is a Persian Prince. He is making an offering of a camel but she is not pure. He decides to go ahead with the sacrifice anyway as all of the preparations have been made and there are no other camels they can use. As a result he is cursed to be killed by his own father and transformed into a lion.He first tries to live as a lion and travels to India. He tries to fit in with a couple of different prides but he doesn¿t really understand the laws of the lions. He has his own mind but in a different body. He is chased away on more than one occasion and is lucky to still be alive. From there he travels to France and the story becomes more traditionally Beauty and the Beast when a man finds the castle where he has been living and in exchange for his life he promises to being his youngest daughter to live with the Beast.I wanted to like this but it didn¿t really grab me. It was like reading two completely different books that had been sandwiched together. I know it¿s a fairy tale, but I still wanted to be able to believe in the story and the characters and I really didn¿t. My favourite was the little fox cub who got a very raw deal I felt poor thing. One thing I did like though was all the Persian detail and the glossary at the back of the book. A lot of research clearly went into writing it and it¿s a shame it felt so short and glossed over.
deslivres5 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I decided to read Beast by Donna Jo Napoli after reading Robin McKinley's retellings of the Beauty and the Beast (Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast ; Rose Daughter).Beast tells the story of Belle and the Beast falling in love under extreme circumstances a castle in France, but the beginning of Napoli's tale starts in Persia with the son of the Shah and his beastly curse being handed down by a djinn.The language is lovely, the Beasts travels from Persia to France a bit heart breaking and the Islamic insights add lots of interest in this retelling.
spartyliblover on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The class story of Beauty and the Beast told from the Beast's point of view starting from the curse until he finds a women who can love him. The main character is the Beast and he is well developed in his Persian identity and how becoming a lion changes him. The plot is well developed and although is just Orasmyn for about half the book, his struggles with how to remain human while a lion is intriguing. The changing setting from the deserts of Persia to the safari of India to the mountains of France are all well developed and easy to picture as the reader follows Orasmyn on his journey. This is a great view of the story of Beauty and the Beast for the tales lovers, also for slightly more romantic boys since the story is from a male point of view. It is an excellent book for a public library in the teen section for mature middle school readers and high schoolers.
_Zoe_ on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I can't say that I really enjoyed this book. It's a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, a story that I love, but in this case I didn't find that the retelling improved on the story at all. The premise is intriguing enough: this is Beast's story, starting from before he met Beauty and explaining how and why he came to be a Beast. Unfortunately, I thought the reason for his transformation was unsatisfying, the descriptions of his time as a beast were distasteful, and he was a pretty unlikeable character overall.Beast is set in Persia, and the protagonist is a prince. As his servant is preparing a camel for sacrifice at a religious festival, he notices that the camel has a scar that makes it unfit for this sacrifice. The servant has no alternative camel ready, an oversight that could result in a severe penalty, possibly even death. The prince, who has a good heart and a dislike for the suffering of others, weighs the risks and benefits and decides that the camel should be sacrificed despite the flaw. This will save the servant and help the people, who receive portions of the meat. And, he reasons, God is merciful.It's not entirely clear why this reasoning breaks down. The prince is turned into a beast (a lion, in particular) not by God, but by the angry spirit of the camel. I can't honestly say why the camel was angry, because it wasn't explained what exactly happens to an animal that is sacrificed inappropriately. For whatever reason, though, the prince is punished for his attempt to do good by being turned into a lion, and the curse will only be broken if he wins a woman's love (this part is explained by the camel being female, though again, the logic here isn't entirely clear to me). Needless to say, if the goal is to bring the Beast to life by providing his backstory, the backstory needs to make sense. I wasn't exactly satisfied in this regard.So then the prince is a lion, and does lion things. Although as a man he has never laid eyes on a women other than his mother, his first act as a lion is to mate with some female lions in the palace hunting grounds. This wasn't described in very much detail, but I still could have done without it. I just didn't need to hear about his ¿thrusting¿. Also, note that this is a YA book, or possibly even children's. The prince also spends a lot of his time hunting, which I didn't find very interesting. Basically, I wasn't really into the story until the requisite scene where Belle's father encounters the beast while seeking shelter from the storm; i.e., until Napoli's story converges with the traditional version. Unfortunately, this didn't happen until more than halfway through.I did enjoy the development of the Beast's relationship to Belle, but I couldn't fully like him because of the way he treated her pet fox. This fox was possibly the best character in the story; he was loving, playful, loyal, forgiving, and basically wonderful all around. And the Beast constantly thought things along the lines of ¿What a stupid animal¿ or ¿That foolish fox....¿, for no particular reason that I could see. I'm not sure how he changed from someone who seemed so compassionate initially into someone who thought badly about innocent animals; and no matter how well he treated Belle, I think his ideas about the fox were more telling about his personality.So, an initially likeable man is transformed into a beast because he made a religious error while trying to help others; once he's a beast, he becomes less likeable rather than learning any sort of valuable lesson.I've enjoyed other books by Donna Jo Napoli in the past, but I think I'll stick to Robin McKinley for Beauty and the Beast.
datwood on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I Love Napoli's books with a fairy tale base. The stories are interesting and the characters great. She doesn't talk down or preach to her audience. I really need to buy some more titles.
snapdragongirl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a story of a Shah's son from Persia who improperly allows a camel to be sacrificed. In revenge, a pari (Persian fairy) turns the man into a lion. The only way to remove the curse is to have a woman fall in love with him. Conveienced that this will never happen, the lion goes to India to live as a lion. Unable to live in a pride, the man must face the reality that his only hope is to find a french woman who loves roses just as much as he does. I didn't particuarly like this book. I felt it was a little long. The writing was good but uneven. The first part of the book is dedicated to the main character living as a lion. I felt this part of the book could have been much shorter. The author feels the need to document every kill. The end feels almost forced, as though the author needed to finish up the story and didn't want to spend too much time on it. It's an okay read, but not what I had expected.
SiennaLC More than 1 year ago
I'm a huge fan of this writer, I have yet to read a book of hers that I do not like. This book is no exception. It had me from start to finish and even though I know the story and how it ends I was curious to see how she would write it out. Job well done
SleepDreamWrite More than 1 year ago
That cover, the one with the rose. Love stories with theme of Beauty and the Beast. This one was really good. The setting was good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I first read this book when i was in middle school, its one of the few books i aculy remeber the title to. So i took some thing from it. Its from the beast point of view. its not some disney fariy tale just to let you know.
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EmilyD More than 1 year ago
1.5 stars. One of my friends once said that Donna Jo Napoli has her "good" books and her "weird" books. I can't compare since this is the only book I've read by her, but it's definitely one of the weird ones. First of all, this retelling of "Beauty and the Beast" was well-written and well-researched (though apparently she did more research on lions than on history). The fact that the Beast was a Prince of Persia was a unique twist. It was also unique in the fact that the Beast was completely animal instead of an animal/man hybrid. In most reviews of this book, people said that the focus on Orasmyn's religious practices was unnecessary, but I thought it was very interesting, and was one of the very few things I liked about this book. Yes, very few. Napoli described Orasmyn's leonine bodily functions in too much detail. There was one scene that I won't name since this is a spoiler-free review, but at that part I just thought "Did I really need to read about that?" It was too graphic for any book, YA or not. I didn't like the pace either. It was very slow (nearly slow to the point of being dull) until Belle comes in, and then the last 50 pages of the book are pretty rushed. The book literally ends at the exact moment Orasmyn turns back into a man. I would have liked it better if we could have seen Orasmyn and Belle's relationship develop a little more, instead of just reading about Orasmyn as a lion. Also, I think that since there was a glossary of Farsi and Arabic words in the back of the book, it was unnecessary for the meanings to be given in the text.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought it was great. This story is about a Persian Prince who turns into a beast and he has to leave Persia to find his true love. He goes to France and he meets Belle. Its a new twist on Beauty and the Beast. This time Beast gets to tell his tale.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is forever carved into my heart, love is like the universe-nobody really knows what happened but they do know so much life came out of it. I completely love how the author stirrs love with utter confusion and loss into a tale of two people so inexistent to themselves but the entire life,love and fate of each other.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I would give this book zero stars if I could. Its weak storyline gives it nothing but even weaker characters make it even worse. And since when is the beast a Muslim? This book will eventually become part of the forgoten masses of book that were acclaimed when first written but will not stand the test of time itself. All in all it is a peice of junk so save your money and don't buy it.