Sunday, October 31, 2010

Tales from the Brothers Grimm and the Sisters Weird

Tales from the Brothers Grimm and the Sisters Weird
by Vivian Vande Velde

Take a cup of fairy tales, add a tablespoon of irony, and a dash of snark and you get a whole new take on the stories of the Brothers Grimm.  These aren't just fractured; they are completely smashed and then rearranged in some strange mosaic that sometimes only vaguely resembles the original tale.

Take, for example, this line from the Beast of the original "Beauty and the Beast":

Beast was looking at the man skeptically.  "Your daughter's name is Beauty?" he asked.  "What kind of name is that?  What did you do, call her 'Hey, you,' until she grew up, and then, when she turned out to be good-looking, you finally settled on a name for her?  Or did you call her Beauty from the start, simply hoping for the best, trusting to chance that she wouldn't turn out to be a dog?"... "I suppose she's lucky you didn't call her Honesty," Beast said.  "That's a fine virtue, too.  Or Sweet Breath. Or Mathematical Ability."

Final thoughts:  This is an older book that's been around a while, but I'd never had a chance to read it.  I am a fan of retold tales and a few of these were hilarious.  Unfortunately, they aren't all great.  There was a definite inconsistency in the quality of the tales.  Some of them felt very well thought out, while others felt like throwaways designed to fill space.
Rating: 3/5

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