Sunday, July 17, 2016

Cyrano

Cyrano. Geraldine McCaughrean. 2006. HMH. 128 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: The curtain goes up. Silence falls. A painted moon wavers on a painted backdrop. The audience shivers with delight. For what could be better than an evening at a Paris theatre? Who more famous than the evening's glittering star? Enter the magnificent Montfleury, stage right!

Premise/plot: A prose adaptation--for teens--of the French play Cyrano de Bergerac written by British author Geraldine McCaughrean. Now, I do love the play. And I'd probably recommend the play over this adaptation--at least for adults. Especially since I believe it is now out of print. It is sad, right, that by the time I got to this review copy it was already out of print?!

Here's the basic story for those who don't know it: Cyrano is in love with his cousin, Roxane. He finds her to be the most beautiful woman in the world. Roxane is in love with a young soldier (cadet) named Christian. She thinks he is the most handsome man in the world. Christian loves Roxane, but, he lacks the skill to woo her the way she wants to be wooed. She's not interested so much in his kisses as his passionate words of longing. Cyrano who is just as skilled in wordplay as in swordplay steps in to help where he can. He'll give Christian the words to speak to win her heart. When both men go off to war it is Cyrano who risks his life--twice daily--to send letters to her so she won't worry that Christian has been killed. Those letters bring her great joy and drive her mad with wanting him....so much so that she goes into a war zone to find her man. When the two meet she declares, IT IS YOUR SOUL I LOVE, YOU COULD BE THE UGLIEST MAN ALIVE AND I WOULD LOVE YOU STILL, PERHAPS EVEN MORE. Now Christian begs her, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE LOVE ME BECAUSE I'M BEAUTIFUL AND HANDSOME AND SWOON-WORTHY. THAT'S THE WAY I WANT TO BE WANTED. She's confused. But reader's aren't. Christian knows that it is Cyrano whom she truly loves because Cyrano is "his soul." What's to be done?!?!

My thoughts: For readers who are really intimidated by reading plays, then this one is worth seeking out. I do think it serves as a good first introduction to the story. I would hope that readers would grow into the original and seek to experience the story again and again.

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

2 comments:

Tamara 5:17 PM  

Thanks for linking this review into Paris in July. We havent seen many play reviews, and your post is encouraging of plays for review. I have trouble seeing anyone other than Steve Martin in this role. It was a favourite film of mine in the past.

Becky 5:28 PM  

Yes, I think I've now reviewed the original play, the middle grade adaptation, the French film, and the BBC radio play! Not to mention the soundtrack to the French movie. :) I've been a wee bit obsessed with Cyrano this month!

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I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

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