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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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text 2016-09-15 14:49
A modernized version of the Bluebeard story.
The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories - Angela Carter

 

This is a bit darker than I recall the original being!

 

The chamber contains way more than a few bloody heads lined up on a table.

 

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review 2016-09-09 01:23
The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories - Angela Carter

I was very excited to read this book after it was described as a feminist retelling of fairy tales. But I was kind of disappointed by the stories. Some were good, but others were very confusing and just weird.

The writing was very complex, which I think was good and bad at the same time. At times, Carter creates descriptions that are truly amazing. She demonstrates her mastery of language. But other times the writing just seemed to go too in-depth without furthering the plot. This made some of the stories a little boring for me. There were too many descriptions and not enough movement of the story.

"The Bloody Chamber" was by far my favorite. This one definitely met my expectations. It was a cool retelling and I loved the empowering ending. A lot of descriptions, but they added to the story for the most part.

"The Courtship of Mr. Lyon" and "The Tiger's Bride" were both okay. They were retellings of Beauty and the Beast, but I didn't really see the point of them. At times they were very creepy, and not in a good way.

I did like "Puss in Boots", because of the feline narrator, but the story itself was a little off-putting. Silly, juvenile love stuff that was often humorous, but took a pretty dark turn at the end.

"The Erl King" was really confusing and I did not like the heroine very much until the very end.

"The Snow Child" was my least favorite. It was disgusting and had no point to it whatsoever. It's a very short tale, but every word of it made me grimace.

And the rest of the tales ("The Lady of the House of Love", "The Werewolf", "The Company of Wolves", and "Wolf-Alice") were all overly descriptive, sensual vampire and werewolf stories with lots of sex stuff. Not really my kind of thing.

Overall, it was a good book, but there was definitely a range of stories. Most of them included blood (menses) and sex, which seemed to be the "feminist" aspect of the story, but there is more to feminism than women who enjoy sex. Definitely worth reading solely for the story, "The Bloody Chamber" though.

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review 2016-05-11 18:09
The Bloody Chamber: And Other Stories: 75th-Anniversary Edition (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) - Angela Carter,Kelly Link
Link's introduction to this book is good. Carter's dark fairy tales are still wonderful to read. She has the perfect combination of gothic decadance and folklore.
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text 2015-08-04 15:48
Top Ten Tuesday: August 4
Briar Rose - Jane Yolen
Tam Lin - Pamela Dean,Terri Windling
Zel - Donna Jo Napoli
The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories - Angela Carter
Spinners - Donna Jo Napoli,Richard Tchen
Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister - Gregory Maguire
The Rose and the Beast: Fairy Tales Retold - Francesca Lia Block
Snow White And Rose Red - Patricia C. Wrede
Fitcher's Brides (Fairy Tale (Tor)) - Gregory Frost
The Nightingale - Kara Dalkey

(Original Top Ten Tuesday concept from The Broke and the Bookish)

 

This week's Top Ten Tuesday is Best Fairytale Retellings I Have Read and/or Want to Read.

 

Reimaginings of fairy tales and classic stories is one of my favorite genres. I've read quite a few, but there are a lot out there still to tackle, so I've split the list between "read" and "want to read." Some of these are compilations rather than single stories (The Bloody Tower, The Rose and the Beast). I probably could have easily made a whole list out of the Donna Jo Napoli books I've read and loved (she seems to specialize in YA fairytale retellings), but I limited it to my absolute favorites to give room to others I have enjoyed.

 

Read:

 

Briar Rose by Jane Yolen. The Sleeping Beauty story told in the context of the Holocaust.

 

Tam Lin by Pamela Dean. A very bookish campus novel that reimagines the Scottish folktale of Tam Lin and the Fairy Queen.

 

Zel by Donna Jo Napoli. Rapunzel in 1500s Switzerland. I recall it as a very beautiful YA love story, though I read it years ago.

 

The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter. A classic feminist reimagining of multiple famous fairy tales, though the title comes from a version of Bluebeard.

 

Spinners by Donna Jo Napoli. Napoli reimagines the story of Rumpelstiltskin, giving new motivations and greater depth the the characters.

 

Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire. It's been a while since I've read this, but I remember being fascinated by the nuance Maguire gives his characters.

 

The Rose and the Beast by Francesca Lia Block. A charming, if very short, collection of multiple retellings.

 

Want to read:

 

Snow White and Rose Red by Patricia C. Wrede. Wrede sets her version of the famous tale in Elizabethan England.

 

Fitcher’s Brides by Gregory Frost. This one recasts Bluebeard as a charismatic preacher in mid-19th century New York. This is probably the one I want to read the most.

 

The Nightingale by Kara Dalkey. Dalkey recasts the Andersen tale in the court of ancient Japan.

 

(These three to-read titles are all part of the same Fairy Tales series, as are Briar Rose and Tam Lin, edited and compiled by Terri WIndling, who often worked with Ellen Datlow on their famous anthologies).

 

BONUS to read: All the Ellen Datlow-edited short story anthologies (Snow White, Rose Red; Black Heart, Ivory Bones; etc). I have several of them, and have dipped in and out, but I really want to read them all eventually.

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