255 STARSA collection with intrigue but holds a title that is its ultimate downfallJean Thompson is an amazing author Her stories leap off of the page which make them a fast read They hold all the darkness and moral weight of fairy tales but also delve into the darkness of human nature The author s note is an important ey to really enjoying this work It is an enlightening explanation of why it is written the way it is Although fasted paced it lacks some of the magic that makes it memorableThompson describes her work as a loosely based fairy tale retelling There should definitely be an emphasis on loosely based It s so loose the story falls off the page Although I was in rapture at the plot I realized about halfway through that I had no clue what fairy tales these were based off of Only two made it clear The rest were a mystery to me Granted I m a little shabby in my fairy tale nowledge I felt excluded not nowing embarrassed almost Thompson is a part of a deeper fairy tale club that I wasn t invited to It created a rift between the Finding Reason knowledge of the reader and that of the writer Keep in mind also that there absolutely no magical elements in this collection I half expected this to be a magical realism collection but the majority of stories are contemporary All excluding The Prince which has a talking dog I feel like that s really what was missing from the story Perhaps magic elements would have given it the oomph it needed a twist to make it a bit alluringThe stories were very immersive and interesting but I honestly feel like the blurb is very misleading It s not necessarily the author s fault but I found that it did take away most of my enjoyment as a whole This collection is mainly character focused If that appeals to you then definitely give this collection a try If it s the fantasy element you re searching for it s best to look elsewhere Fairy tales carry us back to a primordialind of attention the attention we gave the world when everything was for the first time We accept the irrational elements of fairy tales and its enchantments in the same way we acknowledge that parts of our minds are unconscious unknown and unknowable to us and yet very much there extant real true significantIn a 2012 lecture Jack Zipes said that fairy tales are examples of what he calls childism He suggests that there are terrible aspects to the tales which among other things have conditioned children to accept mistreatment and even abuse Which may help explain my affinity for the title story and why it resonated so much with me As a boy I can remember numerous times when my brother and I were left alone in a parked car while our father was away visiting a new house in some new neighborhood always cycling back around by the end of the week however and then coming out hours later and simply leaving No explanation was ever given as to why we were there or what he was doing there or why we weren t allowed in with him although we speculated wildly at times as to the reason for our visits much like Jo and Kerry whose father neglects them daily by leaving them in the car alone for hours while he spends his days in a bar Years later it was revealed he was simply going door to door trying to get pain medication to feed his addiction an addiction he still struggles with today It s a wonder we survived our childhood at all now that I reflect on itAccording to the most reductive notion of how archetypes work the stories in The Witch are what fairy tales are really about they convert the tales figurative fancies into literal fact Candy is really a warning of the perils that adult male sexuality poses for young girls The Curse asserts the impossibility of protecting our children from the world s dangersThe psychologist Bruno Bettelheim in his 1976 book The Uses of Enchantment The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales argued that the recurring motifs of the form particularly the wicked stepmother offer children a symbolic language with which to understand the confusing and sometimes frighteningly mercurial world of adult behavior Although Mother is most often the all giving protector she can change into the cruel stepmother if she is so evil as to deny the youngster something he wants In the fairy tale world the dramas of the psyche are externalized and the contrasting sides of a single person become literally. Great fairy tales are not always stories designed for children The lurking wolf in Little Red Riding Hood the gingerbread house that lures Hansel and Gretel the beauty asleep in her castle these fables represent some of our deepest most primeval fears and satisfy our longing for good to win out over evil preferably in the most.
Two different entities loving Grandma and the predatory wolf dressed in her clothesThe moralizing strain in the Victorian era however altered a lot of these classical fairy tales Which ended up weakening their usefulness for both children and adults as ways of symbolically resolving issuesIn a uote from his childrens novella Coraline Neil Gaiman said that Fairy tales are than true not because they tell us that dragons exist but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten People children especially need to Sniper (Women of the United Federation Marines, know that no one is coming to save them not their fathers not the police and certainly not their gods and stories like these show them that the worst really is possible It also shows them that occasionally the world can be made better but it s up to them to make it happen An imaginative and entertaining re telling of fairy tales giving them a modern day setting while staying true to the outline of the tale itself A few I did not recognize but the first s a re telling of Hansel and Greta using a sited and brother in foster care Interesting and differentARC from NetGalley SPOILERS22 This is a book of short stories fairy tales retold into realistic the first one was at least stories of modern life As each story is individual I will review them individuallyThe first story was The Witch and it was a retelling of Hansel and Gretel with the witch played by an old woman who takes in fosterids The children are Jo and Kerry whose father neglects them daily by leaving them in the car alone for hours while he spends his days in a bar They try to find their way home but end up getting picked up by the DCFS Department of ChildrenFamily Services who place them with the witch while they try to work things out with the children s fatherI thought this was a very intelligent way of telling the Hansel and Gretel story with a realistic spin on it This The Pleasure-Dome kind of thing happens all the time if you believe what SVU tells you children removed from their family home because the parents are deemed to be unfit they re placed in a foster home but are mistreated by their new family even worse than before To be continuedThe second story was Inamorata a retelling of Cinderella from the guy s point of view The original story of Cinderella is complicated here by the fact that the prince has permanent brain damage from a car accident when he was a child that has left him with random memory blackouts Every so often he will suddenly lose time and find himself in a different location or situation than where he was only moments before The story follows his attempts to find the girl who left her shoe behind and left him feeling inordinately happy for reasons he can t remember To be continuedThe third story was Candy and I believe it was Red Riding Hood It didn t really bear that much similarity to the original tale except that in a couple of scenes she was on her way to Grandma s house and the final words of the story were that she was going to gobble him up alive So she starts off the story as innocent Red Riding Hood but by the time it was finished she had become the wolf An interesting take on the story To be continuedThe fourth story was Faith and was The Pied Piper I didn t like it nearly as much the previous three because of the strong religious overtones The story revolved around a priest and the church he was in charge of and his misgivings relating to a land agent who was taking most of the town s children away to begin a new settlement I don t reallynow the story of The Pied Piper but this didn t end with the Piper as the bad guy as I would have imagined it would The children weren t illed by the Piper it was a band of brigands who slaughtered them and took all the supplies they had been carrying with them to the new settlement To be continued32 The fifth story was clearly Goldilocks and the Three Bears from the title Three onwards I didn t find it particularly interesting It read a bit like a family drama in which nothing much happened The mother leaves one night after having had enough of the father We then spend some pages learning about each of the three bears the children she left behind It becomes clear over a slightly disastrous Thanksgiving dinner that the father wants the mother to come back although he hadn t made any effort to reason with her prior to this disastrous dinner Each of the ch. Gruesome way possible In this captivating new collection critically acclaimed author Jean Thompson takes the classic fairy tale and brings it into the modern age with stories that capture the magic and horror in everyday life The downtrodden prevail appearances deceive and humility and virtue triumph in The Witch as lost childr.
Ildren make an attempt to draw her back to the family but only the youngest thinks of going to see her She agrees that she has missed the family even the father and that it s time she came home but the child decides that he will stay away that it s his turn to have time away from the father A bit slow and boring To be continuedThe sixth story s origin was a mystery to me until the very end Finally I realised it was a truly twisted version of Rumplestiltskin It becomes obvious why an overprotective father is so worried about all the things that could happen to his teenage daughter because he nows what drunk teenage boys are capable of and now the savage acts of his past have come back to haunt him A good story with a bit of a mystery working out where the fairy tale came into things and what made the father so paranoid about what might happen to his daughter It played on a number of my own fears and I completely side with the father he had very good reasons for his paranoia To be continuedThe seventh story s origin was even of a mystery than the last one I m still not sure whether I guessed right Cinderella An ordinary woman Edie is plucked out of her normal life by a rich intellectual man Milo who treats like a ueen compared to the deadbeat guys she s used They marry and she s happy to begin with but he is evasive about many parts of his past and tries to eep his numerous ex wives secret She becomes suspicious and manages to get into his locked study using the old credit card trick While he s away on business she gets into his computer and finds evidence that show exactly how many women he s been hiding from her and the fact that not all of them are in his past When he gets back from his business trip and realises what she s done he becomes enraged and threatening she escapes into his study and locks herself inside while she does further investigating eventually Skypeing his first wife He manages to break down the study door and she turns the computer around so his first wife can attempt to calm him down through Skype Unfortunately he hasn t looked after himself and his cholesterolblood pressure are dangerously high add that to the conniption he s worked himself into and he dies of a heart attack with his ex wife still watching through Skype At the end Edie realises that she would be far happier living the life she was born into middle class Clearly Cinderella doesn t always want to be rescued sometimes she s happy in her middle class situation To be continued42 The last story was definitely my favourite A woman Ellen who has had some mental health issues that involved her hallucinating a sexual relationship between herself and the local reverend One of her five sisters Sheila lives with her in order to eep a watch over her make sure she s taking her meds and not having any relapses One day a stray dog is found outside their house and despite Sheila s protests about the risk of fleas or rabies Ellen adopts him and names him Prince Ellen and Prince get closer and closer over the next few days Prince starts out sleeping on the porch is then moved to the basement then the The Stoic Theory of Oikeiosis kitchen and finally Ellen s bed Prince defends Ellen from some mean neighbourhoodids and they promise retribution One day after a trip around the block in her father s car with Prince her first attempt to drive in many years Sheila confronts Ellen as she s getting out This is the moment the neighbourhood ジョジョメノン [JoJomenon] kids decide to exact their revenge shooting Sheila dead All this time since almost their first meeting Prince has been talking to Ellen To start with Ellen thinks she s hallucinating again and tries to ignore what she s hearing Eventually it becomes clear and Prince admits that Ellen isn t hallucinating that there s someind of magic going on This is the only story that involves any ind of real magic but it was the inclusion of a wonderful dog who needed help then going on to help his human that made this my favourite I have no idea what fairy tale this originates from Anyone got any ideasLooking at some of the other reviewsratings I m in the minority in that I really enjoyed these retellings of classic fairy tales I m giving this 35 stars but I m feeling generous so I ve rounded up to four If you like fairy tale retellings I recommend you give this a goPopSugar 2015 Reading Challenge A Book of Short Stories. En try to find their way home adults cursed by past unspeakable acts are fated to experience their own horror in the present and true love or is it enchantment conuers all The Witch and Other Tales Re Told is a haunting and deeply entertaining collection showcasing the inimitable Thompson at the height of her storytelling prowe.
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Jean Thompson Ó 5 Read
Jean Thompson is a New York Times bestselling author and her new novel The Humanity Project will be published by Blue Rider Press on April 23 2013Thompson is also the author of the novel The Year We Left Home the acclaimed short fiction collections Do Not Deny Me and Throw Like a Girl as well as the novel City Boy; the short story collection Who Do You Love and she is a 1999 National Boo