In this collection of short stories, Angela Carter takes a feminist, supernatural, slightly creepy slant on several different classic fairy- and folktales, including “Little Red Riding Hood”, “Beauty and the Beast”, and “Puss in Boots”.
I’m not usually a fan of short story collections. I think that short stories are really hard to write well, because the reader does not get as much of an opportunity to connect with the characters, or the plot, or the setting. As a reader, you simply do not get to spend as much time with the story as you would with a novel.
That said, I really enjoyed my time in Angela Carter’s stories. The Beauty and the Beast inspired stories were particularly haunting. These stories are dark, sensual, and fulfill all of the longings in your soul that remain from your ancestors who were burned at the stake. What I loved the most about these stories, is that the endings were not what I had anticipated. I am not going to give anything away (which, to be fair, I could – these stories are almost 40 years old), but each story took a turn that I wasn’t expecting – so each story felt refreshing.
These are not stories for children. These are fairytales for everyone who hates that there seems to be nothing in between our sappy Disney-fied fairy stories and the violent warnings of the “originals”.