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Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Bloody Chamber - Angela Carter

Read for the RIP IV Reading Challenge.

There’s a surprising amount of variety in this slim book of short stories – all of which are retellings of fairy tales, with a modern, adult twist.

The title story is a retelling of the story of Bluebeard, this time set on the coast of Brittany, as a young piano player from the turn of last century comes to live in the castle of her much older, new husband.

I also enjoyed “The Courtship of Mr. Lyon”, one of two Beauty and the Beast retellings in the book. This one involves a father with a broken down motorcar, who happens upon a country estate with a seemingly non-present owner. You can imagine the rest of the story, but the modern setting keeps it fresh.

There’s also Puss-in-Boots, Red Riding Hood, and stories of vampires and werewolves. It’s an interesting mix of stories, and they’re all refreshingly adult-paced. I also enjoyed the author’s descriptive style. “The Erl-King” is probably the best example of this. It’s almost less of a story then a descriptive piece of a brooding forest.

This is the first time I’ve encountered this author, and I’ll definitely be seeking out more of her work.

2 comments:

Nymeth said...

Angela Carter is amazing and I'm so glad you enjoyed this book! I definitely recommend reading more of her work :)

Amanda said...

I discovered the joy of Angela Carter in college... she brought back my obsession with fairy tales.