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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.


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.