Gaiman says in the introduction that he didn't revisit his own childhood favorites -- Kevin Crossley-Holland's and Roger Lancelyn Green's renditions of the Norse myths -- but this comes across decidedly more like an update of those books, i.e., The Norse Myths for Young Readers, than an adaptation of the actual Edda texts. I'm enjoying it, though ... author's own narration and all. I also appreciate that Gaiman is taking great pains to get the pronunciation of the Icelandic / Norse words right.
This would probably count for the "Supernatural" square anyway, but since Gaiman is my wild card author, I haven't used my wild card for anything else yet, and I also know I won't be needing it for any of the remaining squares on my card ... what the heck.
What a great early start to this year's Halloween Bingo.
I confess I didn't care so much for the first (i.e., the titular) story -- leaving aside the obvious similarities to Ann Radcliffe's Mysteries of Udolpho, it feels like I've read essentially this very story a few times too often already, because pretty much every update of Bluebeard's Castle seems to run along similar lines. Maybe I have indeed even read this exact same version before (if not, the most recent incarnation I read was most likely something by either Neil Gaiman or Susanna Clarke), but anyway ... let's just say I was happy to move on when I could.
That said, the other stories were a sheer delight, and so is the collection as a whole -- and its narration by Emilia Fox and Richard Armitage, who take turns in reading the various tales. My favorites by far were the second, third, and fourth entries (The Courtship of Mr Lyon, The Tiger's Bride, and Puss-in-Boots) -- the second and third being variations on Beauty and the Beast; both more melancholy than terrifying -- but especially so the fourth one, not least to Richard Armitage's rendition which had me howling with laughter ... and overlooking entirely that it actually is included in this collection for a reason
(after all, clever Puss and his lady help Puss's master to a rich bride by contriving the permanent, um, removal of said bride's present husband).
And now ... is it September 1 yet?
@Jennifer (of Jennifer's Books), have you listened to this? If not (yet), you absolutely need to ... for Richard Armitage's rendition of this version of Puss in Boots alone. He completely had me in stitches last night!!