THE TALE OF PARADISE LOST by Nancy Willard

THE TALE OF PARADISE LOST

Based on the Poem by John Milton
adapted by , illustrated by
Age Range: 11 - 13

KIRKUS REVIEW

High marks for ambition: Willard recasts Milton’s epic poem into measured, often powerful prose, preserving the original’s plot and themes, and at least a sense of its grand vision, but condensing or excising its long speeches, wordy descriptive passages, and sermons. Satan’s beguiling (to some) pride and courage still come through clearly (“Better to reign in Hell than to serve in Heaven. Hail Horrors! Receive your new ruler”), as, later, does Eve’s culpability—“What if I’m banished? Adam will marry another Eve and live happily in Eden with her. No, Adam must share my fate”—and the Archangel Michael’s concluding recitation of Old Testament events and New Testament redemption. Tiny figures act out the story’s central moments with elfin grace in Daly’s small, occasional, delicately detailed paintings, adding a sort of distant elegance. Willard retraces Milton’s narrative arc, though she divides it into 17 chapters, rather than the original’s 10 (later 12), and closes with a biographical note. Readers expecting a radical or modernized retelling may be disappointed, but even in this reduced form, it’s still a huge and moving story. (Fiction. 11-13, adult)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-689-85097-2
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: Atheneum
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2004




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