Book Title: Beauty and the Beast.
Author: Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve.
Publication Date: 1740.
Rating (Out of 5 Stars): 2.
** CONTAINS SPOILERS BECAUSE I’M SORRY**
If it has not been made obvious enough, I absolutely adore Beauty and the Beast. The story holds very close to my heart and when I had realized that there was an original French story to the amazing story that I had been in love with for so long, I knew that I had to read it.
So, I read a poorly translated version of the story that was probably directly translated from French to English without any polishing for it to make sense which caused some confusion on my part but it was still a fascinating read.
There were a few things that bothered me within this story, such as the relationship with the inanimate characters and Beauty. In this version, it takes her a significant amount of time to realize what was happening. They give scenes where “music is playing but with no humans anywhere around.”
So, in terms of enjoying characters such as Lumiere and Cogsworth, it was disappointing to see Beauty’s perception seriously lacking. I also found myself wanting to hear the music in this version, while in the other Beauty and the Beast book review, an adaptation from the movie itself, I enjoyed the lack of music as it gave extra information. However in this version, I felt like the lack of music took away from the story which disappointed me.
An aspect that I found interesting, was the trade between Gaston and the sisters in the story. In this version of the story, Gaston is nowhere in sight and instead replace with cruel sisters which partially reminded me of the blonde girls from the animated version, from their jealous nature towards Belle all the way to how Gaston saw the girls and preferred Belle.
In some ways, I found myself preferring this story to the animated version. As this version gave a backstory as to why they were living in a small town and even a backstory in regards to why she had asked for her father to return with a rose.
In other ways, I was disheartened to learn that the live action explanation had been wrong as I enjoyed the Black Plague backstory and her love for her mother.
I disliked the relationship dynamic between Belle and the Beast, as it took away the romance and how it made sense and made it seem more like a Cinderella story with the evil sisters and how fast the entire situation moved, as they only shared about two conversations before they were suddenly married.
I know that you’re not supposed to compare the movies to the books but I couldn’t help it with this story, I loved the movies so much that I was almost disappointed that this story was not identical. It seems to me that the roles were COMPLETELY reversed to me.
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