Jenna's Reviews > Cupid

Cupid by Julius Lester
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's review
Jul 17, 10

bookshelves: listen-book, young-adult, retelling, retelling-mythology, mythology
Read from July 13 to 17, 2010

I loved every second of this book. I have always loved the myth of Cupid & Psyche, and I loved the narrator's flair for story-telling. He had a very understated poetic method of telling the story, that seemed like an old-fashioned trick to keep the listener enthralled. It was very effective and entertaining. I loved the way other myths were blended into Cupid and Psyche's story to explain the other gods. Both well-known myths as well as lesser-known gods were mentioned and given life in this story. Even the sun and moon and all four winds were given parts and personalities.

If I were to make one complaint is that the title of the book is CUPID, and not CUPID AND PSYCHE. It's her story as much as his. Minor quibble, but I did feel like an injustice was done (however small it may be!)

As the story progressed I noticed some parallels between elements of this story to some well-known (and more recent - compared to this ancient myth) fairy tales, which I thought was interesting. The goddess Venus's jealousy of Psyche's beauty parallels Snow White and the queen. Psyche being taken away and cut off from civilization is similar to Rapunzel's isolation. Psyche's two evil older sisters remind me of Cinderella's step-sisters. Psyche being beautiful and told that Cupid is a hideous monster (and the two of them falling in love anyway) has seeds of Beauty & the Beast. Psyche's sisters persuading her to stab her husband with a knife are reminiscent of The Little Mermaid's sisters convincing her to do the same with the prince she's in love with. Venus demanding that Psyche sort grains before the sun goes down is similar to the princess that was given the impossible task of spinning straw into gold like in Rumplestiltskin.

Cupid and Psyche have the quintessential fairy tale, and I love it. Specific to this particular retelling, I loved the narrator's quirky personal anecdotes. Which, in my opinion, gave the story more flair and depth and made this an extremely enjoyable experience.

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Reading Progress

07/16/2010 "Disc 4 of 5. Loving this story. Going to be sad when it's over."

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Lacey Louwagie I agree that the title seemed incomplete, and it had me thinking of other fairy tales, too. Doesn't Cinderella also have to pick lentils out of the ashes in the Grimm fairy tale before she can go to the ball? That's what the grain-sorting reminded me of.

At first the narrator got on my nerves (like Krystl's review), but then he grew on me (like yours). One thing I wanted to know was "why" he was telling the story and "when" it was (he made mention of high school, etc.) even though I know I shouldn't get hung up on those kinds of details in a story like this.

Jenna Yes, that's right about Cinderella! I just recently reread it a week or so ago, so I wouldn't have remembered otherwise.

The narrator is what made the story for me. I wouldn't have loved it nearly as much without all his asides and commentary. But I'm a total sucker for that kind of stuff.

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