chrispy's review

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adventurous mysterious slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? N/A
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated


Expand filter menu Content Warnings

trulybooked's review against another edition

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I wanted to love this book and I'm not sure why I didn't. It may just be that it has the normal problem with anthologies where some of the entries are beyond incredible which makes the average ones seem even worse by comparison. There was something about this whole collection that left me feeling blue-balled. I won't deny that it's brilliant and worth your money, but I felt ambivalent when I finished it. Maybe that's the problem of working with fairy tales as your baseline. They're interesting, but they're overdone. There were no reimaginings that were as bold as the ones done by Angela Carter in the Bloody Chamber and somehow, the change in tone from stories that set to emulate fairytales to the ones that tried to modernize them could be jarring. Still, I would recommend reading it simply because there isn't much like it out there.

rustedtrains's review

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Kindle got ruined by someone else, lost book and all progress. Going to go through and re-highlight and finish!

yanghx92's review against another edition

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I was in actual physical pain trying to get through 500 over pages of what-the-actual-fuck-is-this. 7 chapters in and I could already see the direction this book was going in. Downfuckinghill.

I decided to tough it out and see if it gets better. Spoiler alert! It doesn’t.

The sad thing is this book had so much potential but it just never reached it. The authors talk about what their inspiration is and we just don’t see it appearing in their stories. If you had such a good idea going, why didn’t you use it????

This book was just an odd, sad compilation of school essays. Some of them made little to no sense. Some of them just didn’t want to subscribe to the theme given. Some of them talk about what they wanted their stories to present and proceed to submit a completely different essay.

It would have been great if a wider variety of fairy tales had been added. We see a lot of “white” fairy tales taking up 80% of the book and fairy tales/folktales from other countries (Japan, Mexico) taking up the last few pages toward the end of the book, like a ‘by the way’ afterthought.

Would not recommend.

lauraportalupi's review against another edition

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I found many of these contemporary tales delightful. Like other reviewers, I found a wide range in the stories' appeal, though I imagine much of that is due to personal literary preferences. My favorites from this collection are:

"I'm Here" by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya

"Snow White, Rose Red" by Lydia Millet

"The Erlking" by Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum

"Halfway People" by Karen Joy Fowler

"The Mermaid" by Timothy Schaffert

"What the Conch Shell Sings When the Body Is Gone" by Katherine Vaz

"Teague O'Kane and the Corpse" by Chris Adrian

"Pleasure Boating in Lituya Bay" by Jim Shepard

"My Brother Gary Made a Movie and This Is What Happened" by Sabrina Orah Mark

"The Color Master" by Aimee Bender

"Psyche's Dark Night" by Francesca Lia Block

"First Day of Snow" by Naoko Awa

i_hype_romance's review against another edition

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I loved reading a short story every night. So many varied takes on both traditional and unfamiliar fairy tales. I felt like I had rediscovered all of the Andrew Lang collections

rubyweapon8503's review against another edition

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There were a few stories that stood out which I enjoyed or found interesting: Ardour, I'm Here, A Day in the Life of Half of Rumpelstiltskin, The Mermaid in the Tree, Catskin, The Color Master, Bluebeard in Ireland, Orange, Psyche's Dark Night. The rest were a complete slog.

mckenzierichardson's review against another edition

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For more reviews, check out my blog: craft-cycleI will start by saying that I love reading retellings, especially fairy tale retellings. I don't recall really liking fairy tales all that much growing up, but now as a adult, I cannot get enough of fresh spins on the classics.However, I was kind of disappointed with this book. I didn't connect with the vast majority of the stories and didn't care for most of the writing styles. In my opinion, most of the stories were just a mess. It all comes down to style preferences and this just wasn't for me.One thing I disliked about the collection was that many of the stories reworked elements of the original, but didn't include any of the magic or oddities. For me, this pretty much took all the fun out of the fairy tale and left the reader with a boring story that dragged on. The contemporary retelling of fantastical tales just can't compete with the original for me. Some of the stories felt way too long and didn't really end up anywhere. Most of the stories I did enjoy somehow worked in some of the strangeness that is characteristic of the original fairy tales.I did like the variety of tales that were retold. It wasn't all Grimm and Perrault. Russian, Italian, Japanese, and Mexican stories are also included as well as some Greek mythology. It is always fun to read retellings of well-known stories, but it is also nice to experience stories you've never heard before to get you out and searching for the original tale.In the collection, there were a few that really stood out. Aimee Bender's "The Color Master" was my absolute favorite. This story alone is what bumped this book up from two stars to three. I also enjoyed Joy Williams's "Baby Iaga and the Pelican Child", Ludmilla Petrushevskaya's "I'm Here", Chris Adrian's "Teague O'Kane and the Corpse", and Kate Bernheimer's "Whitework". Kellie Wells's "The Girl, the Wolf, the Crone" was also hilariously creative and fun.While there were a few good stories strewn throughout this book, the majority were too long and lacked intrigue or were just a terrible mess of confusion that didn't satisfy the reader. I was sure I'd give this two stars, but after reading "The Color Master", I had to bump up the rating a bit. 

waclements7's review

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This was a hit and miss read for me—mostly a miss. I read it because it was recommended for a class I am going to be taking and am now feeling more than a little leery about.

Many of the stories are just weird and disturbing and sometimes disgusting. I think this book is very much a matter of individual taste.

lamusadelils's review against another edition

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Los cuentos de hadas son dentro de la fantasía lo que la fantasía es dentro de la literatura: un género reservado para niňos y adultos que no queren crecer pero que aún así todos podemos reconocer fácilmente al toparnos con él. Si bien yo creo que una buena historia lo es independientemente de su género o sus temas, es interesante ver que los cuentos de hadas son mucho mas aceptados en los últimos tiempos.

Como la editora argumenta al inicio de este libro, los cuentos de hadas son una parte importante del folclore de cada cultura. Son cambiantes conforme se van transmitiendo en diversos medios a lo largo de generaciones. En algunas versiones transmiten valores o enseñanzas, en otras solo vemos eventos raros o incluso terroríficos. Por ello es muy interesante ver estas interpretaciones contemporáneas de varios cuentos de hadas, tanto conocidos como extraños.

Desgraciadamente, la versión del libro que conseguí esta incompleta. Solo pude leer cerca de la mitad de las historias. Basándome en ello, diría que es un ejercicio interesante pero muchas de las historias no me convencerían si no fuera ya una aficionada a los cuentos de hadas.

Me llamaron la atención las versiones que exploran la historia original desde el punto de vist de otro personaje y las que as sitúan en tiempos modernos. Me agradó quee haya una breve explicación del autor al final de cada una.

De lo que leí me parecieron sobresalientes The Erkling y Halfway People, ambas muy, muy buenas historias. Tambien me dio gusto ver a Ludmilla Petrushevskaya, cuyo libro There once was a woman who tried to kil her neighbor's baby es un gran ejemplo del estilo de cuento de hada oscuro.

Edit: Después de leer la versión completa, creo que varias historias al final suben bastante el nivel del libro, asi que lo dejo en 4 estrellas.