Reading Level: Adult
Size: 128 pages
Publisher: Penguin Books
Release Date: January 1, 1990
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Source: Swapped through Paperbackswap.com
Rating: 4/5 stars
This book was recommended to me as an excellent set of adult short story fairy tale retellings (which I am a fan of). This book contains a number of fairy tale retellings told in a beautifully descriptive and somewhat disturbing story style. I enjoyed it, but it was a slow read for me. Something to be savored and not rushed.
This book contains a number of fairy retellings including (but not limited to) the following retellings: Bluebeard, Puss in Boots, Beauty and the Beast, and Red Riding Hood. It also includes a couple short stories about vampires and werewolves.
I enjoyed reading this, although it is a slow read because it is written in a flowery style with older style language. This makes the story beautifully descriptive, but you really have to read carefully.
Although they are beautifully written these aren’t a set of tales for children. On the back it describes them as “vulgar” at times and that is pretty much right on the mark. At times the language and disturbing scenes of violence and/or sex are almost jarring embedded in this beautiful flowing language. It makes for a fascinating contrast, but is definitely adults only suitable.
A number of tales feature young woman who place themselves in a risky situation to gain wealth and power. As you might expect they are forced to pay the price by sleeping with older disturbing men or a beastly animal-like man…etc.
Overall I enjoyed the book and found it a interesting read. The language is beautiful, the stories are crafted in an old-fashioned way with flowery language, the vulgar scenes provide an interesting and disturbing contrast to the rest of the stories. These are not happy faerie tales but more disturbing cautionary tales. Recommended to adults who enjoy fairy tale retellings and are up for something a bit different than your standard retelling.