Book Reviews of Beast

Author: Donna Jo Napoli
ISBN-13: 9780689835902
ISBN-10: 0689835906
Publication Date: 6/1/2002
Pages: 272
Reading Level: Young Adult
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.

3.6 stars, based on 28 ratings
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

11 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Beast on + 774 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
A retelling of the story of Beauty and the Beast, told from the Beast's perspective. (it's also told in present tense, which I found rather distracting - but overall, it was quite good, although not as good as the other book I've read by Napoli, 'Zel'.)
Here, the Beast is a young Persian prince. Inadvertently, is crosses a peri, who curses him that his father will kill him the next day. The next day, his father has a lion hunt planned - and the prince realizes that he has physically become a lion.
He manages to avoid being killed, and hopes that the curse will wear off, but it doesn't - and he learns that his only hope is to have a woman love him for who he is, without knowing that he is under an enchantment. He finds that to be hopeless, so he simply goes in search of a place where he could live as a lion, without the danger inherent in staying in his father's hunting park.
In an unlikely and quickly-skipped-over journey, he gets from Persia to France, and finds an abandoned castle (which mystifyingly, still has lots of useful stuff in it), and from there, the story-as-we've-heard-it basically ensues...
reviewed Beast on + 29 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I thought this was an awesome retelling of 'Beauty and the Beast'. Definitely worth reading.
reviewed Beast on + 27 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I LOVE Beauty and the Beast- my all time favorite fairytale....and so I was fired up about finding this...
Yes, it has a different take on the tale, as all attempt...but I felt that for ME, the style was a little amateur.... Ugghh, I feel bad saying it...but I did try...gave it about 100 some pages of its 250...and couldn't take anymore....I believe that is probably why it's suggested for young readers, although I did find some of the content to be a bit suggestive and think it may be a little inappropriate for them....
You may not mind...your preference may be different...if you like the B&Beast story- you may like it...but if you order it- order if from my bookshelf! ; )
reviewed Beast on
Helpful Score: 1
This was a fairly good book though the content is sometimes meant only for people older than teenagers. It is an interesting take of one of the age old fairy tales.
reviewed Beast on
everyone one knows the cartoon version of Beauty and the Beast. but this is the original story of Beast. I read this title last year and absolutely loved it. I would recommend this book for anyone 11 and up.
reviewed Beast on
Napoli's retelling of Beauty and the Beast is taken from the perspective of the prince this time around. The prince is cursed from a spiteful diety and must adapt to life as a beast, losing everything he once held dear. Napoli likes to take a very introspective stance on the prince's character and the majority of the tale focuses on how he copes with his new life.

Fans of Napoli or retold fairy tales will find Beast a very interesting take. It's not my favorite retelling (that would be Beauty by Robin McKinley) but it's still good. Probably 4 out of 5 stars.
reviewed Beast on + 26 more book reviews
This version of Beauty and the Beast starts out slowly. I felt that the addition of Arabic and Persian words and their definitions was possibly the reason. There is less of that towards page 50 and then the story begins to pick up. I started to really get into the book when all of a sudden it ended. I had so many questions and was very disappointed in the ending. Overall it was a good book and worth the read.
reviewed Beast on + 386 more book reviews
This book is heavily Muslim from beginning to end, with many Farsi/Arabic words thrown in. They are always explained in the text. The author meant them for atmosphere, but I found them distracting. The middle half of the book bogs you down with the minute-to-minute life of a lion; eat, sleep, lust after female lions, sleep some more. Then toward the end we finally get to the castle and things perk up.

If you're a Beauty and the Beast fan, there are a few differences in this telling that are worth reading the book for. Other than the djinn turning the prince into the beast, there really isn't any magic in the entire book. The candles don't light themselves, food isn't magically provided, everything must be gained the old-fashioned way; by stealing it from the neighbors. Belle isn't as sweet and loveable as I'm used to her. There's a third character in the castle with them, a baby fox named Chou Chou. Beast can't speak at all, and has to communicate by scratching in the dirt with a claw. (If he had done that at the beginning with his father, it would have saved him a lot of trouble.) The biggest difference is that the book is told exclusively from the Beast's point of view.

I do recommend this book for fans, but I recommend more Robin McKinley's Beauty and Mercedes Lackey's The Fire Rose.

A sample bit from Beast, so you get a feel for the writing style. His mother is speaking to the prince before a religious sacrifice.

"I'll leave you to prepare, then," she says, straightening up. "At the prayers before the sacrifice, be sure to make your rakatha - your bows - deep and low, and to linger a moment before rising. That way I can pick you out from the other hajjiha and send you my strength." Mother leaves.

Her strength? A prince should rely on no one. But it is too late to protest; she is gone.
reviewed Beast on + 5 more book reviews
good book
reviewed Beast on + 328 more book reviews
I was really looking forward to this book. I love all the fairy tales and thought a different take on Beauty and the Beast would be refreshing. While this book was not bad, it was not that great either. It seemed to stretch on forever. There were a few good parts which got me going but for most part, I just didn't feel compelled to read it. It was more of a struggle for me. I would have to admit the last part of the book was probably best. Once I got to that part I didn't want to put it down. I'm not really sure if I would recommend this book or not. I know that I didn't find it compelling but I think that some might.
reviewed Beast on + 93 more book reviews
Back Cover Reads:

Orasmyn is the prince of Persia and heir to the throne. His religion fills his heart and his mind, and he strives for the knowledge and leadership his father demonstrates. But on the day of the Feast of Sacrifices, Orasmyn makes a foolish choice that results in a fairy's wretched punishment: He is turned into a beast, a curse to be undone only by the love of a woman.

Thus begins Orasmyn's journey through the exotic Middle East and sensuous France as he struggles to learn the way of the beast, while also preserving the mindof the man. This is the story of his search, not only for a woman courageous enough to love him, but also for his own redemption.