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Fairy tale fail

These Children Who Come at You with Knives, and Other Fairy Tales: StoriesReviews of this book said it was "irresistibly droll," "wickedly dark," and "wildly entertaining." I beg to differ. As someone who's read widely in and on fairy tales (Kissing the Witch, Red as Blood, Snow White, Blood Red, The Uses of Enchantment, The Fairy Tales of Hermann Hesse, etc.) I found it sadly lacking. I would even say lame. I don't care whether your retellings are dark, light or total fluff as long as they're well done and respect the spirit of the story. These don't. These are Beavis and Butthead do Grimm, dragging fairy tales down into juvenile sniggering bathroom jokes. The writing is technically adequate (though if you want masterful gritty slang I'd point you to The Best of Damon Runyon, he does it much better) but the head and the haunch and the hoof of these stories is "life kinda sucks, so let's just wallow in the worst of it."

Most frustrating: the opening tale, where Satan designs the world. This is an elegant, clever, biting, funny alternate creation tale, which I loved. Everything that followed fell terribly, terribly flat. I might have dislike the rest less if the preface hadn't set the bar for my expectations so high.


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Feb. 10th, 2012 02:37 pm (UTC)
I love fairy tales!

I used to have a reprint of the first edition of Grimm's Fairy Tales, the one before they had to edit the illegal and R-rated stuff out.

I lent it to a friend, who conveniently lost it. Lost it!!!

Now there is another version of the 'first' tales out, with beautiful illustrations and all.

For about € 80.00


Feb. 11th, 2012 05:51 am (UTC)
I lent it to a friend, who conveniently lost it.

I presume you mean "ex-friend" LOL?! I've been thinking about inscribing a book curse in mine for exactly that reason.

If you're a fan of fairy tales -- original and retellings -- you might like this.
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Feb. 14th, 2012 02:45 am (UTC)
Yeah, I can't remember now what the blurb was, but it was all pretentious and isn't-he-fabulous. Blah. I hate blurbs that tell me what I will think ("You will love this!" pretty much guarantees that no, I won't). BTW I've tried to leave comments on your other blog over the last few weeks but I keep getting an Open ID error >:| Come back to LJ, birds and pie and space boots!!
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