Review: Angela Carter’s Book of Fairy Tales – Angela Carter

acftMy final book of 2014! I managed to get this one done just before the bells which was a great relief to me. I hate starting a new year on a half read book! Given that I started this on December 1st, it’s taken me the full month to get through – ideally I feel I needed more than that though.

This book was great, but I wish I hadn’t read it like I did. It is definitely a book that requires a longer period of time; or maybe not dedication but a casual dip in, dip out of stories when you feel like reading but you’re not sure what. As it was I read a couple each night before bed and that felt too much at times! So in future, I will definitely pick this book up and pick a story or two at random to read because I think following the chronology of this was sort of exhausting and I really don’t think that’s how fairy tales – or their adaptations – are supposed to be read.

I did love her writing though. This is the first experience of Angela Carter I’ve had and I can’t say I’m disappointed! I think I’ll definitely try some more of her work in the future. Her writing is just beautiful and really, so captivating. Also, with it being pretty heavy on fabulous female protagonists it was a very big pro! Nothing better than a good, feminist fairy tale!

Some of these stories were familiar; not many though as they came from all around the world. I loved the globe-trotting in this book. Fairy tales and mythological stories from other cultures is something that I’m really getting in to and being able to explore a culture through a traditional story – even if it’s a retelling – is, I feel, a really good way to get a taste. Being able to read stories from Iceland then one from Egyptian culture is just awesome. The compilation was thoughtful also as it’s by main theme of the story, rather than geography or origins or chronology which is often how short story collections are compiled. I really liked that!

So this is one I will definitely dip back in to when I feel like a little something to read but I don’t have much time or I’m not quite sure what to pick up. Definitely not one to read with your kid at bed time, there is a lot of sex and violence. I can’t get Blubber Boy (or whatever it was called) out of my head – that one had some pretty spectacular imagery!

Ultimately it’s a 4/5 – but I’m feeling particularly kind hearted and generous!