Book Review: Beasts and Beauty by Soman Chainani
Beasts and Beauty: Dangerous Tales
Author: Soman Chainani
Publisher: 4thestate.co.uk (HarperCollins, India)
As a child, I always dreamt of a happily-ever-after. The culprit behind perpetuating this idea in my mind was none other than Disney and its fairytales. The ideas of damsel in distress, tall-dark-handsome prince to the rescue, evil stepmother and magical love seemed so beautiful. Cinderella, Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty, Little Red Riding Hood and many other fairy tales were the epitome of love and romance. Never in my wildest imagination did I think of an alternate possibility because that would mean watching my idea of romance shatter before my eyes. When ‘Into the Woods’ was released, I was overwhelmed by the idea of collating all the stories and arriving at a happy end. But when I laid my hands on ‘Beasts and Beauty’, I couldn’t control my excitement because of the anti-fairytale theme. It was something that wasn’t possible!
Beasts and Beauty is a collection of 12 classics that have been retold with a wilder and more realistic plotline. Whether it is sleeping beauty, who turns out to be a reclusive prince, or Snow White, who has eyes as bright (white) as snow, or Little Red Riding Hood, who decides to avenge the dead girls of her village, each story borrows the scaffolding from the original yet transgresses into an unprecedented direction. The beauty of this book lies in the metaphorical title where beauties fight the beasts without relying on a prince and the men in the stories do not shy from shedding tears. Breaking the stereotypes, each story has been carefully curated for young readers. The lyrical narrative further keeps you hooked. The beautiful illustrations and well-spaced indentation act as a cherry on the cake.
The title says that these tales are dangerous, for they might break the heart of those who still can’t get out of the fool’s paradise. They have bloodshed, they have gore, and that’s why they might not be suitable for younger children. Read at your own risk but if you miss this, you will miss a masterpiece!
Looking forward to reading more from the author!
Buy this book from here: Amazon