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Search tags: sleeping-beautyrapunzel
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review 2014-12-31 15:09
First collection is better
xo Orpheus: Fifty New Myths - Kate Bernheimer,Laura van den Berg,Ron Currie Jr.,Anthony Marra,Dawn Raffel,Maile Meloy,Willy Vlautin,Gina Ochsner,Madeline Miller,Manuel Muñoz,Benjamin Percy,Edith Pearlman,Joy Williams,Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud,Victor LaValle,Ben Loory,Elizabeth Mc

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                This collection is not as good as the previous collection, though it does have slightly more international feel (several stories are translations). Despite the title, there is more than Greek mythology in play here as well. Perhaps because it is sadder, the term that Bernheimer uses in her introduction. Perhaps. But it also felt less magical and, in some cases, more like an audition.

                Regardless, there are some stunners in this book. In particular, “Labyrinth” by Ron Currie Jr, which uses the famous maze to tell about a different type of being loss?  

                The best story in the collection is “The Squid Who Fell in Love with the Sun” by Ben Loory. It is lovely, funny, touching, and beautiful. It is rivaled, though it does surpass, “Sawdust” by Edward Carey. “Devourings” by Aimee Bender does something to right the ignoring of a central character in some fairy tales.

There are several versions or influences by Demeter in this collection, so many that after awhile they seem to bleed together. Perhaps this is the reason why the collection is not as good as its older sister.

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review 2014-12-28 21:35
Beauty Awakened: The Queen and the Honey (Beauty Awakened #1) - Maddy Raven

Not my cuppa.

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review 2014-11-09 17:11
Myth and Magic: Queer Fairy Tales - Radclyffe,Stacia Seaman

 

Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley.

 

                Okay, this isn’t the type of thing I normally pick up. It isn’t because of the fairy tale motif; I mean really have you seen my shelves? It’s more that erotica or whatever you want to call featuring same gender partners really doesn’t do it for me. My reaction is really, oh that’s nice or at least it’s better written than Anita Blake porn. Truth be told, 50 Shades of Grey didn’t do it for me either.

 

                But enough about me. I just wanted you to know that because if you are the type who read queer erotica I have no frame of reference really for this collection, so you might want to look at a review that does.

 

                Let me say, however, I am glad I caved into whatever moved to request this book via Netgalley and what or whoever decried I should get approved.

 

                But, I can hear you say, you didn’t give these five stars, so why do you say that?

 

                Well, it’s true, I didn’t give it five stars, but it is a short story collection so I have to judge it on the whole, and the erotica bits weren’t my cuppa.

 

                However.

 

                This collection contains one of the best, if not the best, retelling of the Snow Queen I have ever read. Hands down. “Heartless” by Veronica Wilde retells the story using lesbian lovers and with an emphasis on the Snow Queen herself. Seriously, it is absolutely stunning in its beauty. It is worth the price of the book alone. Honestly, it is one of the best short stories I have read in a long time, and it haunts you.

 

                HCA would be proud.

 

                Andi Marquette’s “Red” – a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood – is my second favorite, a close runner up - and hearkens in many ways to Angela Carter’s “In the Company of Wolves”. Quite frankly, both “Red” and “Heartless” deserve to appear in any Best of Collections that come out. They are both brilliant.

 

                There are some humorous pieces, including a few that focus on the evil queens and stepmothers from the tales. There are two good, solid good, beanstalk tales. The most enjoyable thing about the book is how some authors play or showcase either homophobia or the use of tropes. This is most obvious in the beanstalk stories. The first “Beanstalk” by Clifford Henderson plays on the idea of the world above and the world below being different. One more conservative and threatening; the other more open. The second story involving Jack, “The Beanstalk Revisited”, inverts and plays with the evil stepmother trope and appearance. It isn’t as strong as “Red” or “Heartless” but it is an enjoyable story nonetheless.

 

                The stories fulfill the traditional purpose of the fairy tale - to teach and to discuss or showcase topics that are perhaps too sensitive (less so today) to deal directly with. This collection does that very well, making it a worthy heir to the fairy tale tradition.

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review 2014-06-16 20:02
Still ground breaking if dated
Once Upon a Time: On the Nature of Fairy Tales - Max Luthi,Lee Chadeayne,Francis L. Utley

Luthi’s study of fairy tales is concerned mostly with German fairy tales, and therefore, mostly with the Grimms. It is a tad dated, especially when he looks at the tale so of primitive people (ie Non-whites). However his comments about tales and story telling are still important.

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review 2014-01-15 21:43
HCA meets MP
Sister Emily's Lightship and Other Stories - Jane Yolen

 

Jane Yolen is known as America’s Andersen, which is pretty accurate considering her volume of work and her use fairy tales in her writing.

 

But she has a Monty Python Streak.  She does.  Read “Dick W. and His Pussy or Tess and Her Adequate Dick” and tell me otherwise.  I double dare you to read it while riding public transportation. 

                This collection presents a couple new tales with previously published work.  The stories are geared, as you have no doubt discovered, to the more adult reader.  They range from the absolutely hilarious to the political (a tale dedicated to Rushdie) to the most wrenching version of Rumplestilken you will ever read (“Granny Rumple”).  Three of the stories are interconnected and concern the trials of a fairy family who finds itself sucked into Sleeping Beauty, Romeo and Juliet, and a bottle of bad wine.  There is a harsh because of its truth version of Thousand Furs and a rather delightful version of Snow White.  If you don’t like one story, odds are the following one will leave breathless from laughter or a darker emotion.

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