Sunday, May 21, 2017

Read - Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast
adapted by Elizabeth Rudnick
2017
275 pages

'Belle wants more out of life than the small provincial town of Villeneuve can offer.  There she stands out from the crowd with her unique point of view, her strong-willed independence, and her love of books.  She longs for travel and adventure, for a life as exciting as the stories she reads.

But when Belle's beloved father is taken prisoner by a beast in an enchanted castle, her path is forever changed.  Risking her freedom and her future, she takes her father's place, secretly vowing to escape.  But as she learns more about the Beast and his mysterious castle, Belle realizes there may be more to his story -- and her own -- than she ever could have imagined.'
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Can you believe I have never read Beauty and the Beast, have never seen the classic Disney cartoon version, did not even know the story???  When this new Disney version came out recently I was curious because I'm really drawn to these live action adaptations of the Disney classics, but I wasn't wowed enough to pay much attention because I just didn't know anything about it.  I like to buy the books of these movie versions too as they come out.  I have Maleficent and Cindrella, and I grabbed Beauty and the Beast when I saw that one on the shelf.

It's a short and easy story to read, only 275 pages.  I finished it last night and oh my gosh, why did it take me so long to come around to this story???  I absolutely need to see the movie now.  I think it's even still playing in my local theater.  Ah, who are we kidding?  I'll probably wait for the DVD to come out.  But anyway, I loved this story!  Yeah, it's predictable as all fairy tales tend to be.  I mean, we all know they're going to fall in love and live happily ever after, right?  The thing that makes this one so much more appealing to me than, say, Cinderella, is the fact that there is a *beast.*  It sort of fits into that weird fascination I have with seemingly dark, very powerful people still being good and caring underneath it all.  

By the way, does The Beast have a proper name?!

I do have a couple little gripes about this adaptation of the story.  Maybe some of these things are answered in the movie?  Like, how did Belle's father escape after Gaston left him tied up for the wolves to find?  Did no one else see Gaston fall and apparently die at the end?  Did no one wonder about where he was?  Did no one care because the spell was broken and they were all thinking clearly now?  Why was The Beast cursed but Gaston, who was just as bad, never was?  I'd started to wonder if there was some time warp or alternate universe thing going on where Gaston and The Beast were the same guy.

And didn't the enchantress put an unfair curse on The Beast?  How was he supposed to learn to love if she'd also cursed the castle and the townsfolk, so they'd eventually forget it existed?  How was he ever supposed to encounter anyone that he could learn to love??

I'm being nitpicky, I suppose.  I just want more of the story though!  LOL

I finished the book last night, and first thing this morning I looked up the movie trailer on YouTube.  And yeah, I cried.  I can't wait to see it now!

So am I the last person on earth to learn the story of Beauty and the Beast?
Are you a fan of this story?  Have you seen the movie?
Can you answer any of my questions??

13 comments:

  1. LOVE THIS!! Beauty and the Beast is my favorite Disney tale. And this latest movie blew me away. I cried like a baby so much. In the animated movie Belle's father was locked up in a looney bin truck but Chip helped him out I think? I have a hard time remembering. In the movie version there is a shunned town "hag" who rescues him. I can't say more than that though for potential spoilers. I have a feeling Gaston had worn out his welcome and none were too concerned about his death. The Beast got cured because he denied a magical lady hospitality. I guess Gaston got lucky he never ran into her. He should have been cursed for sure. Jerk.
    I think maybe she wanted him to go out into the world as an ugly beast and havevto face rejection like she did in order to be hurt like she was (though she wasn't really ugly but anyway). Only my guess though. I loved Belle and how adventurous and bookwormish she was. And I love the French village setting.

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    1. I thought Gaston had encountered the hag enchantress too. It mentioned his mean actions towards a beggar lady at least once. Maybe I just assumed it was the same hag.

      Gaston and LeFou first left Maurice tied up in the woods. He eventually made it back to town though and then in his pleas for help to save his daughter from the beast he was locked up in the loony bin truck. Belle was also thrown in there when she showed up, and her father picked the lock to free them.

      I can't wait to see the library in the movie! And the village. When we were in Germany we took a day trip to a medieval town in France called Riquewihr. I sort of pictured it like that while reading this book. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_shOlJpJE4)

      ~Deb

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    2. oh! You are right! I was the same hag. Hm. Maybe she expected more from the prince??

      Off to check out the video link.

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    3. Gaston is the greatest. He uses antlers in all of his DE-CO-RATING! Come to think of it, so does my uncle. :(

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    4. I'm almost afraid to see Gaston in the movie. I already, uh, strongly dislike him just from the book. lol

      ~Deb

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    5. He's especially good at EX-PEC-TOR-A-TING! I kind of love Gaston...what bothers me most is that Belle wants adventure in the great, wide somewhere. She doesn't want to be someone's wife, fast forward one imprisonment, and a few song and dance routines later and she's perfectly happy to marry and become a princess.
      Great escapist book choice, I also plan to read B and the B someday, but think I might try the original de Villeneuve version. I've read it offers a different spin and more backstory on Beauty's parents, the Beast, etc.

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    6. I hadn't really thought of that, what you say about her wanting adventure. Hmmm. Maybe the castle and the beast and the amazingness of it all was adventure enough for her.

      I'm curious about the original version now.

      ~Deb

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  2. Replies
    1. I'll probably wait for the DVD.

      ~Deb

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    2. Well, yeah. But still. Once you do I wanna talk!!

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    3. I saw some Beauty and the Beast cereal at Walmart this morning and was all like *sigh* "There's Belle....." LOL

      ~Deb

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  3. How? Why? How? I'm so flummoxed - how have you gotten through life without Beauty and the Beast-ing?! Perhaps because you've got sons; I can't imagine that Beauty and the Beast and the like were the kind of movies they gravitated towards as children!

    I never thought it was a favourite (the Disney version; I've also never read the book) but I watch it at least once a year, so who's the liar now? And I adored the live version (I think it's coming out at the beginning of June) so much more than I thought I was going to - the songs are just so wonderful.

    There's seriously so much to be confused about, though. My big beef is when the Beast turns back into a handsome human prince at the end and Belle's all "La la, you look like Fabio now! We're in love, tra-la, tra-la!" I'd seriously never stop screaming if I woke up to find a totally different man in my bed than the one I went to sleep with, particularly if he was a dog one minute and kind of a douche the next. No, just me? :)

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    1. I think I even own the Disney classic animated version on VHS! My boys might have watched it when they were small, but I don't remember ever doing so myself.

      LOL about him changing back to human. I had thoughts along those same lines, and even had to do a sort of "Aha! She's thinking the same thing!" in the book when Belle suggests HumanPrince could maybe grow a beard. LOL!!!

      ~Deb

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