Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Beauty is in the eye of the Beholder....

I've been thinking that I ought to split this blog into two different blogs -- one for family stuff / goofy things -- the other for books. BUT -- darn it, I'm not keeping up with the ONE blog I have as well as I could, so splitting seems a bit daft. If you have a preference, let me know. I have been trying to show lots of children's books as I've had comments about them, but I deal in all sorts of books, and sometimes some other subject really catches my fancy so I want to blog about it.

Today, it's a toss-up how you want to label this book. Beauty by Robin McKinley is considered by the publishing business to be a "Young Adult" story (for 10 & up or so) but it has been read by younger children, older teens, and adults with equal entertainment and enjoyment.

This particular copy is my own personal copy -- which is now up for sale. Long story there, but I'm not going to go into it. This was one of the last books (well.... I've still got my C. J. Cherryh collection and a few stray SF / Fantasy books I've kept back ) that I would ever consider parting with, but the time has come.

As I said, long story.

But getting back to the book. If you HAVEN'T read it -- go out and get a copy. While the basic story is one just about everyone over the age of 3 has deeply ingrained in their being (if nothing else, there's the Disney movie / video version which just about all girls have seen -- Actually, I haven't seen it, but then I'm officially odd anyway). Robin McKinley has taken the story of Beauty and the Beast and transformed it into a personal narrative that is full of grace, emotion, longing, familial duty, love and tenderness. All in one fairly smallish book (by today's standards it's a piffle -- just 247 pages).

I've blogged about Robin McKinley here before. You all know she's a favorite author of mine. This book however, has another significance -- it's one of the classics / highlights of modern fantasy fiction. It's darned hard to find with the first edition having less than 900 copies printed, and it is NOTORIOUS (by sf / fantasy dealers) known for having real problems with the dust jacket that make finding a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket like pulling hens teeth. It can be worth a solid three figure amount and -- if signed (Lloyd Currey has an inscribed copy) can be in the four figure range.

It's a great book & a great addition to any SF / Fantasy collection.

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