I had been eyeballing this book on goodreads, but my library didn't have it. Suddenly this awesome covered, 75th anniversary edition was in the catalog and I was on it! I was not disappointed!
Currently, there is a huge wave of fairy-tale retelling in the world. Some of them are good, though I feel like most them are just kind of rehashed and uninspired. This book was not like that. Each of the stories will sound vaguely familiar, though we are more familiar with the Disney-fied version of each of them. These original stories had sex and violence, and so do the ones in this book. No singing candlesticks either.
I think her writing style is just great, and here is a brief little snippet to show you what I mean:
"At last the revenants became so troublesome the peasants abandoned the collage and it fell solely into the possession of the subtle and vindictive inhabitants who manifest their presence by shadows that fall almost imperceptibly awry, too many shadow, even at midday, shadows that have no source in anything visible; by the sound, sometimes, of sobbing in a derelict bedroom where a cracked mirror suspended from a wall does not reflect a presence; by a sense of unease that will afflict the traveler unwise enough to pause to drink from the faucet stuck in a stone lion's mouth".
Fun, right? The writing, not the fact that something not good is OBVIOUSLY lurking there.
The stories are all creepy, sexy and a little weird and most are inhabited by interesting women. I think the first and a the last couple of stories were my favorite. If you're looking for a fairytale that has a hard edge, this is them! 3.75 out of 5 stars!