The Bloody Chamber ~ Angela Carter


The Bloody ChamberThe Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I must admit I don’t think that I am intelligent enough for Angela Carter. I have for a while believed that my own intelligence is slowly diminishing. Perhaps it is a simple case of growing up, I don’t know, but I am sure this book confused me far less as a young 20 year old. Now I feel like I didn’t particularly understand most of it. Of course there is no doubt that Angela Carter is an accomplished writer deserving of the utmost respect. I just cannot help but feel a slight bit of pressure while reading her books because they make me feel incurably stupid.

 

rs-3

View all my reviews

Through a Tangled Wood


Through a Tangled WoodThrough a Tangled Wood by Jamie Campbell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m giving this collection of stories a four star review simply because I enjoyed reading it. Most of the stories stretched far outside of their traditional counterparts and I absolutely loved the creative retelling. If I were to meet any of the contributors I imagine I might just get a little bit gushy. I especially loved that almost none of them we “obvious” in the beginning and I found myself racing through each tale, enthusiastic to discover which story was being retold. A definite must-read for anyone who love retellings.

rs-4

The Trials of the Woodsman ~ Cassie Wright


The Trials of the WoodsmanThe Trials of the Woodsman by Cassie Wright

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

So this is what happens when you decide to furnish your reading list with free stuff from Kindle: You end up reading a whole bunch of sorta weird stuff that you would otherwise never have glanced at before. I guess that is a good thing in the spirit of expanding one’s horizons…

Anyway – here I was exposed to a bit more “Fairytale Erotica” which I must admit is still kind of weird as all hell to me. For instance, with this story you’re merrily going along reading about a man and his son living in the woods and then there are a couple of lions and other creatures and it’s all sort of lovely….and then all of a sudden you find yourself reading the word “cock” and suddenly all is no longer right with the world. Now don’t get me wrong, as much as I don’t usually choose erotica as my default genre, I certainly have no issue with graphic sex scenes should they find their way into a book that I actually want to read (this almost never happens by the way). It is usually as impossible to read about sex without getting randy as it is to watch porn (or a particularly steamy non-porn-but-still sex scene) without getting a little randy….but this? I can’t say it did much for me at all. It was just kind of icky. And not because of the throbbing vein on the engorged member (*snortlaugh*) but because again I found myself reading about a sort of rape fantasy. The fact that the usual gender role was reversed in this situation didn’t really make it any better. It was still a bit yucky. Basically, Circe (a goddess) forces the huntsman to sexually gratify her in exchange for the return of his son.

rs-2

Grimm’s Fairytales


1794613_10153800297415094_158069784_nI picked this book up because it fits into Fairytale February but I must admit to finding it rather dull. Despite being a short and easy read I found myself labouring through it with no real desire to get to the end. Funny because I’m not even sure where it came from or why I chose to have it in my possession. I can be rather superficial when it comes to choosing books, especially children’s books. The children’s books that I do find myself purchasing usually have incredible illustrations or they hold a certain nostalgic value to them. This book possesses neither of those qualities, and despite being retold, the stories themselves possess a rather dull and old fashioned voice. Oh perhaps they are original? I actually have no clue. Perhaps I should be ignored… The illustrations aren’t necessarily “bad” but they are just not spectacular, and not at all something that would excite my imagination at all. It’s a pity I guess…. rs-2

 

The Fairytale Retelling Realm


525075_10151694943265094_239616766_n-2So I spent most of last weekend reading a couple of fairytale retellings and I kind of planned to continue during this week but I played Candy Crush while watching The Big Bang Theory instead. I’m not proud…but at least I’m honest. Anyway – we’re doing fairytales in February and I thought I’d revisit the genre this weekend….on my TV…. so I can play Candy Crush and feed my computerised sheep…. And blog about stuff….

Of course a little digging has lead me to discover that the world is quite filled with far more fairytale retellings that I could have possibly ever imagined. I’m not sure why, but this fact makes me feel slightly hopeful, and considering the state of my fragility today the discovery has certainly come at a good time.  There are so many beautiful worlds to get lost in. I know that in today’s progressive society it is perhaps felt that many fairytales are an old fashioned and somewhat misogynistic idea of the dynamic between men and women, but honestly for me the magic of fairytales has never been about princesses being rescued by princes so much as it was always about the magical places in which they lived. The beauty of these places has possessed my mind for as long as I can remember and I don’t imagine that will ever change. These realms far exceed the warm-and-fuzzies gleaned from the idea of being a helpless princess waiting for her prince charming. As a child the idea of boys was a bit gagsome. In my adulthood I kind of know better – boys are not gagsome, after all, but I still don’t need them to rescue me (although it is nice when they offer to make tea so that I don’t have to do it myself). My love for fairytales remains despite my lack of feeling any real excitement in reference to the “love” part of the stories. And even though I do love wearing my sparkly tiara, I have no real desire to be a princess.

As a child I longed to get lost in Neverland, Narnia and Wonderland. I wanted to live in Doctor Seuss books and I (strangely) wanted to hang out with Lowly Worm.  As an adult this longing has not changed. I remain better suited to the imaginations of others that I do to the actual world around me. As much as it pains me that I shall never get to meet Aslan or The Weasleys or the smoking caterpillar, I do have to take comfort in the fact that I am not alone in feeling so. If I was, fairytales and retellings would not exist in their thousands as they do.

It truly is time that I add to their number.

 

The Queen and the Honey ~ Maddy Raven


The Queen and the Honey (Beauty Awakened, #1)The Queen and the Honey by Maddy Raven

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

So…. fairy tale erotica is something else then, huh? *shuffles feet awkwardly* Ok – so this story was about some random chick who decided that shagging a stranger in a library was a good idea. Obviously it was a bad idea a because apparently his…erm….finger skills…somehow made her pass out and then wake up in an enchanted realm of sorts. There she was captured by the Lord of the realm and made to join his harem. A bit of rape fantasy-ish stuff happens. It’s a bit odd and I have to wonder if this particular story was influenced more by Fifty Shades than by Grimm’s The Queen Bee as was stated by the author. Not the best book I’ve read in a while, but it was definitely better than some of the many other fairytale retellings I have read. The storyline was kind of interesting at least, even though the writing style was a little meh. Is it customary in erotica to refer to a vagina as a “rose”. I found that slightly odd. And i don’t know…. I get that it’s erotica blah blah blah….but it’s in a fiarytale setting. I sort of feel like the writing language should perhaps try to reflect that. References to “Ass cheeks” and “doggy style” just seemed a bit weird to me…

My Goodreads rating is only 2 stars, but here I’m giving an extra half star because I did appreciate the imaginative storyline (although technically I should remove it again as punishment for the cover that doesn’t match the book at all!)

rs-2,5

View all my reviews

Little Bad Wolf and Red Riding Hood ~ Timothy Tocher


Little Bad Wolf and Red Riding HoodLittle Bad Wolf and Red Riding Hood by Timothy Tocher

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A sweet children’s retelling of the classic Red Riding Hood tale. A bit dorkishly snarky in some places but I imagine that children would appreciate the silliness. I quite liked the idea of the wold preceding to be Little Red instead of the grandmother, but it didn’t quite work out like I was expecting it to. I guess that means that it gets points for not being too predictable?

rs-3

View all my reviews

The Seer’s Seven Deadly Fairytales ~ Elizabeth Marx


The Seer's 7 Deadly Fairy Tales: A CompendiumThe Seer’s 7 Deadly Fairy Tales: A Compendium by Elizabeth Marx

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

So I decided to read this because a.) it has “fairy tales” in the title and b.) it was free on Kindle. I seem to be a little lost though. It seems this book is supposed to be read alongside another book and that the intro to this book is possibly supposed to make you want to read the other book. Unfortunately the only thing this book did was make me question my sanity a little because I just couldn’t really wrap my head around anything that was going on. Now I imagine that leaving some stuff to the imagination is not the worst thing a writer can do, but this was a bit weird. The narrator kind of speaks as if you’re supposed to know what is being spoken about. I have no idea what was being spoken about. Perhaps I’m not so clever….but the cover is really pretty!  (It may have helped to read the Goodreads blurb: “Okay, let’s start out by saying this book is a compendium, not a novel. I had no idea what a compendium was until my good friend Merriam Webster informed me. Compendium: 1) a brief summary of a larger work or of a field of knowledge; 2) A collection or compilation.” —-always read the manual!)

rs-2

Cinderella is Evil ~ Jamie Campbell


Cinderella is EvilCinderella is Evil by Jamie Campbell

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

While I do appreciate the effort of this particular story I must admit I didn’t love the writing. I do however admit that this is possibly because I recognise within it the same infuriating immaturity that I cannot stand in my own writing. Things like using the same words and phrases too often and in such a short space of time drive me insane. It is something I desperately wish that editors would pick up on. I try to see it in my own writing but often fall short because that is kind of how it works – the glaring faults stop glaring at you after you have spent too much time with a piece of writing. In this case, the case of this story I mean, the word “sulky” was used to death, as was “drama”. There were also too many cliched phrases – another thing that I am guilty of. There were other silly mistakes too. At one point Cinderella’s dress was “butter yellow”. In the next chapter it was pink. The dress she ended up wearing to the ball was described as “brilliant light blue”. Can a colour be brilliant and light? Anyway, bygones. Like I said, I did appreciate the effort. The classic Cinderella story is told from the perspective of one of the ugly stepsisters and of course the feel of it is much different. I did kind of like the idea of Cinderella not being the victim so much as playing the victim. Unfortunately, in pointing out that Cinderella was merely someone who loved to play the victim, the narrator took on the role of playing the victim instead. Then again… it is kind of very difficult to balance precisely on the line between victim and outright cow, isn’t it?

rs-2

Click ~ Various Authors


ClickClick by Eoin Colfer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Click is a book written in ten chapters by ten different authors. I imagine you will have heard of a few of them. I bought it because I am a fan of Nick Hornby. While I was reading this book I kind of planned to give it three stars. My husband asked me “Is it awesome?” and I had to answer “no” because I could not truthfully call it “awesome”. But the thing is…it definitely is something special. I just don’t quite know how to put – you just have to get to the end so that you can feel it. When I started reading it I kind of thought that it was a great way to write a book and I should try and do this sometime. By the time I got to the second half I started to realize that I am a bit of an idiot and that there is obviously a tremendous amount of skill that goes into making something like this work. How did they do it? Did someone write an outline and then each author followed it? Or was there just a basic concept and as it progressed everyone just kind of hoped for the best? I imagine being responsible for the beginning is rather unintimidating. Being responsible for the ending would kind of be ok. But the rest? I doubt very much that I could be responsible for, say, chapter eight, and not feel a definite massive responsibility about it. All-in-all it was a great read. Something light and friendly, but also poignant and meaningful without being too preachy. I will now have to go and look up all the author names that I didn’t recognize…

rs-4