What’s it all about?:
From familiar fairy tales and legends – Red Riding Hood, Bluebeard, Puss-in-Boots, Beauty and the Beast, vampires, werewolves – Angela Carter has created an absorbing collection of dark, sensual, fantastic stories.
What did I think?:
I have been meaning to read another Angela Carter book for a while after enjoying “Nights at the Circus.” This book seemed like a perfect opportunity to dip into her short stories, and I was intrigued by the premise of this book – a “warping” of classic fairy tales as I enjoy a bit of magical realism from time to time. So, these fairy tale are definitely warped and certainly not for children! This book was first released in 1979 and I can imagine it causing a bit of a stir then, and probably still would even today. They are not really “re-tellings” of fairy tales, but rather Carter’s take on them, with occasional vague references to the original story. Some of the quotes are unforgettable and completely hilarious, for example – in the words of Puss in Boots:
“I went about my ablutions, tonguing my arsehole with the impeccable hygienic integrity of cats, one leg stuck in the air like a ham bone;”
My star rating is based on the book overall, as some stories were a bit hit and miss, but the stories I loved included the title story, Puss in Boots, and “The Werewolf.” Throughout the book however, I was mesmerized by Carter’s beautiful descriptive writing and ease with language. The vivid imagery she uses had me transported to a different place, to the extent where I found myself quivering – particularly after the end of “The Werewolf.” Read it to see what I mean!
Would I recommend it?:
But of course!
Star rating (out of 5):