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review 2017-10-24 17:02
Wise Children / Angela Carter
Wise Children - Angela Carter

Dora and Nora Chance are a famous song-and-dance team of the British music halls. Billed as The Lucky Chances, the sisters are the illegitimate and unacknowledged daughters of Sir Melchoir Hazard, the greatest Shakespearean actor of his day. At once ribald and sentimental, glittery and tender, this rambunctious family saga is Angela Carter at her bewitching best.

 

Read to fill the “Magical Realism” square of my 2017 Halloween Bingo card.

The large cast of off-beat characters in this book reminded me strongly of Canadian author, Robertson Davies. And all of the links back to Melchior Hazard, Shakespearean actor, made me think of Station Eleven! But Carter definitely makes this tale all her own, despite the echoes with other authors.

Like the Shakespeare that permeates the novel, there are lots of twins, sudden changes in fortune, costumes, and a lot of uncertain parentage. As the old saw goes, it’s a wise child that knows its own father. Dora Chance, Melchior’s illegitimate daughter and twin to Nora Chance, tells the tale and it unrolls like an article in a gossip rag. Whether you can trust all she says or not is a Chance that you’ll have to take! The Lucky Chances, as the sisters are known, can only be considered lucky in comparison to others in the tale. For instance, they were raised by a woman who seemed to actually care about them, rather than by their biological parents and in this, they seem to come out ahead.

Dora and Nora sound like they would be a lot of fun to have a gin and tonic with, but I wouldn’t want to stay in their house!

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text 2017-10-17 18:24
I'm late, I'm late, I'm late!
Wise Children - Angela Carter
At the Mountains of Madness and Other Tales of Terror - H.P. Lovecraft
Bitten - Kelley Armstrong
Late Bite (Toronto Chronicles, #1) - John Matsui
The Green Man - Kingsley Amis
Doctor Sleep - Stephen King
The Severed Streets - Paul Cornell
What the #@&% Is That?: The Saga Anthology of the Monstrous and the Macabre - John Joseph Adams,Douglas Cohen

Yup, I feel like the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland!  I'm way behind on my Halloween Bingo reading.

 

I'm about half way through Wise Children (my magical realism choice).  Lovecraft, Bitten, and Late Bite should all go pretty quickly. I'm a bit concerned about The Green Man and Doctor Sleep--if they're too scary to read after dark, then Houston, I may have a problem!

 

Wish me luck as I push to the finish!!

 

 

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review 2017-09-17 14:57
Magic Realism Square
Nights at the Circus - Angela Carter

- A story about stories and illusion.



Magic and reading have something in common. It’s that thin wedge that question of what is real and what is fantasy. We know that the magician is doing some trick, but we just can’t get it, can’t figure it out. With books, good ones at least, the trick is the writing taking you someplace else. Books aren’t the only thing that can do this – a good movie, painting, music. 
It’s this line between reality and fantasy that Carter explores in this novel about a circus performer who may actually have real wings. At first glance it seems as if Fevvers is the only character with this problem, but every character in the book comes into contact with this question. Even the tigers, which may or may not really be jealous lovers.
In many ways, this is the human condition, the search for ourselves. Is our work face our real face? It might not be the wings that Fevvers has, but the question of reality and fantasy is one we change and fight in some way every day

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review 2016-11-28 02:41
Fairy Tales - Angela Carter's Version
Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault (Penguin Modern Classics) - "Beauty is a fine thing in a woman; it will always be admired. But charm is beyond price and worth more, in a long run. When her godmother dressed Cinderella up and told her how to behave at the ball, she instructed her in charm. Lovely ladies, this gift is worth more than a fancy hairdo; to win a heart, to reach a happy ending, charm is the true gift of the fairies. Without it, one can achieve nothing; with it, everything." Such words are true to its form but were ignored. The Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault is a wonder of its own but some thing that may not be the liking to others. While we all heard the popular fairy tales of Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Puss in Boots and Little Red Riding Hood, these are the true origins from Charles Perrault stories with others like Bluebeard, Ricky with a Turf and a few others in this book. But this... is actually Angela Carter's translated with her view of his stories that is mix with modern perspective. One can say while reading it, the moral values written for each story is just like the above. Its not that isn't true, but some of the stories like Cinderella moral value can be quite stirring. I still love the stories here, but given a 3 out of 5 star is because I know these stories some how and its nothing new that we do not know about and there are some I have not heard of. While the moral values written as a end story is interesting, I do enjoy her views of each story that she finds Perrault's fairy tales can be some thing she feel a defying moment during she translates them to her liking. Short and simple, it's a children's story for adults even though its meant for children but its seriously, written for adults.
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review 2016-09-16 00:00
The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories
The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories - Angela Carter So I read this for The Dead Writers Society 2016 Genre Challenge for September 2016 and also decided to include this for Halloween Bingo 2016 Scary Women (Authors) square. After hearing how bad the book I chose for that bingo is, I already see a DNF in my future, and as you guys know, DNFs don't count for the bingo.

I finished this collection in about 2.5 hours. I would have finished it faster, but I was half asleep while reading, and had to go back through other parts again just to refresh myself.

I thought all of the stories had a dark bent and sexual element to the story. I thought the writing was a bit much in the first story, "The Bloody Chamber" but it definitely evoked more Gothic writing so I got why the author chose to do that. That was hands down my favorite story of the collection. There was more depth in this story and I loved the dark bent on Bluebeard's Wife which is already freaking dark to begin with.

"The Bloody Chamber" (5 stars)-An update to Bluebeard. I really liked the story, but I really don't get how the young wife and her husband met.

"The Courtship of Mr. Lyon" (5 stars)-An update to Beauty and the Beast. I kind of hated Beauty in this one.

"The Tiger's Bride" (3 stars)-Color me confused. I am still trying to figure out the fairy tell aspect of this one. I just gave up. It felt like another twist to Beauty in the Beast.

"Puss-in Boots" (3 stars)-This one was fairly long and I was bored throughout. Definitely one of the weakest stories.

"The Erl-King" (3.5 stars)-The most lyrical of all of the stories. I liked it, but really couldn't figure out the fairy tale one it was linked to. And since I had the longest week of my life, didn't try to look too hard.

"The Snow Child" (1 star)-Creepy and pretty gross. This is the author's take on Snow White.

"The Lady of the House of Love" (3.5 stars)-Seemed to be a mix of Jack and the Beanstalk along with Sleeping Beauty. I needed a rebound after Snow Child.

"The Werewolf" (3 stars)-Take on Red Riding Hood. The lice parts were so gross.

"The Company of Wolves" (3 stars)-This was okay. I just got tired of reading about wolves after the preceding story and the next story after this one.

"Wolf-Alice" (3 stars)- Once again an okay story.

I honestly only had two stories that I thought were really good, with the remaining ones being just okay to meh.
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