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3.74  ·  Rating details ·  72 ratings  ·  20 reviews
Experience a darker side of "The Beauty and the Beast" where, in a world of vindictive fairies and scornful magicians, not everyone will live happily ever after. Pulchritude tells the tale of Bella, a beautiful girl caught between her selfish father and an enchanted prince ready to sweep her into a dangerous romance built on deception and betrayal.

This debut novel by femin
ebook, 200 pages
Published February 19th 2012 by Acacia Moon Publishing
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Average rating 3.74  · 
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If you have a 200-odd page book in which about half is dedicated to your Author's Notes explaining why you did this and that and yonder thing in your retelling, then you've failed at writing a retelling.

Think of it for a moment: half to tell your story, and half to tell what we should see in your story. That's a monumental failure as a storyteller.

This is made even truer by the fact that your overly bloated Author's Notes are taken up by superfluous overexplanations when it could (and should) ha
colleen the convivial curmudgeon
Disclaimer: Received a free copy from author for review.

I was reading this last night, instead of during my workout as I had been doing, because it was later in the evening and I didn't want to start anything new. I had nearly 100 pages left, by my ebook count, so I wasn't expecting to finish it.

But then, suddenly, it was over.

See, what I didn't realize is that of the 250 pages listed on my nook, only 163 of them are actually story. The rest is author notes, discussions about character developm
Caleb Blake
Apr 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Cross-posted from Papyrus Independent Author Reviews (

A young prince is cursed by a capricious fairy; a young beauty is exchanged for her father’s life, and only a love willing to sacrifice all will result in a happy ending.

Pulchritude is a retelling of the story of Beauty and the Beast and author Ana Mardoll’s first novel. The plot itself is not an attempt to create a faithful facsimile of the original story. Mardoll uses the
Feb 28, 2012 marked it as abandoned
Disclaimer: I got a free promotional copy of this book from Ana's blog, which I visit regularly.

With that said, I've got to admit something: I didn't finish reading Pulchritude. It turns out that it just wasn't my type of story. That isn't to say that it was a bad story. It just wasn't my cup of tea. And so, because I didn't read enough to feel that I got a firm grasp of the plot and the characters (the pictures were gorgeous, though, and they were a wonderful touch), I'll refrain from rating th
Lindley Walter-smith
Jun 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I've read so many retellings of Beauty and the Beast that i thought that all that could be said already had. This one, though, is something special - especially in the complex characterisation, the multiple viewpoints, and the understanding that this is a story about a girl taught to please men and sacrificed by her father to a husband who needs her for his own happy ending. It's enthralling, and ultimately devastating.

Nearly the last hundred pages of the book are notes and dicussions about the
Mar 24, 2012 added it
I learned a new word. It actually sounds like quite its opposite at least to me, but Pulchritude, the title of this novella, is a synonym to “beauty.”

And just as that harsh sounding word means something completely different than one may think, the novella itself is also an anti-fairy tale, an alternate retelling of Beauty and the Beast.

Born perhaps of her popular deconstructions and a keen understanding of tropes and literary stereotypes, Mardoll has riffed on a well-known story with her on uniq
Mar 20, 2021 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this retelling. I had a particular liking for the portrayal of the stepmother and stepsisters. The pacing was a bit strange - I found the three week time span from curse to meeting Bella to be way too short. But, on the whole I enjoyed it.
I didn't read most of the author's notes. I feel like those are mainly for the author and, if made available, should be on a blog or something. At least, when they are extensive.
My overall impression is that this is an enjoyable retelling with some
Aug 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is it a wonderful, interesting, and unique retelling of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. There is also an academic essay in the back of the book on the history and themes of the tale, which I very much enjoy!
Derek Shaw
Mar 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Loved, Loved, Loved this retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Give it a chance...
Aug 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: adult, romance
A sad and short retelling of Beauty and the Beast. It is not bad for a debut novel. Support an indie author and check it out.
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A desperately maudlin retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Full of flawed people. The tell retold stripped of all the whimsy, the brutality laid bare. Brilliant!
Kristen N.
Aug 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
If you are wanting to read the typical Disney, happily ever after Beauty and the Beast then Pulchritude by author Ana Mardoll is not the book for you. If you are like me and like stories that are not always the happily ever afters then you will enjoy Pulchritude. Ana Mardoll shows great talent in her writing by making the characters her own and bringing them to life. I really enjoyed the fact Ana Mardoll has links in throughout the book to words such as Pulchritude and fata to their meaning for ...more
Mar 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2012
A refreshing and intelligent re-telling of Beauty and the Beast. Wonderful characterizations lend this novel complexity beyond the classic fairy tale.

I found the character portraits at the end extremely insightful; they give a glimpse into how much care and thought authors put into writing these works for their readers. Also included was the author's fascinating deconstruction of the classic fairy tale.

I look forward to reading the next novel by Ana Mardoll!
Anthea Carson
Apr 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed reading this book so much, I was sorry to see it end. It is the retelling in novel form of one of my favorite fairy tales, The Beauty and The Beast. I love fairy tales anyway, and this retelling did not disappoint. It held my interest to the very end. This is Ana's first novel, and I hope very much, not the last. Ana is one of the top reviewers on Amazon, and you can see clearly from her book that she knows writing. I say, keep up the good work Ana! You will have many fans. ...more
Sep 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobooks
This book resonated with me so strongly I have a hard time describing it. It was beautiful and powerful and heartbreaking. The characters came to life vividly through the author's strong voice and beautiful prose. They felt very real in their flaws, fears, desires, hopes, and failings. Although the story is ultimately a tragedy, it doesn't end on a hopeless note. Rather, I was left with the bittersweet reminder that human beings are capable of both terrible and beautiful things. ...more
Jun 07, 2012 marked it as to-read
I'm not in the right frame of mind for this right now. I will return to it though. I think the writing is bit heavy handed but it's unique and definitely worth a second shot. I was surprised and found the first character I met to be edgy and powerful. This is an interesting plus... ...more
Aug 05, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fairy-tale-remix
An interesting take on a classic fairy tale. I didn't realize the original story was a critique of the author's society, and Ana Mardoll's engaging update makes it one of ours. ...more
Jillian -always aspiring-
Jun 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People who enjoy "Beauty and the Beast" yet recognize its problematic elements
(Actual Rating: 3.5 stars)
Lady Delacour
An enchanted retailing of the classic, Beauty and the Beast.
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