Whats grimmer than Grimms’ Tales? A collection of fairy tales skewed and skewered with a modern sensibility and dark, wicked humor. See the dark side of a princesses’ hyper-sensitivity to peas (a dog lick can cause a scar!), Hansel and Gretel’s vengeance, murders most foul and terrible (and these are committed by the ‘heroes’), and where happy ever after is the worst after of all.
Good news: this is smart, funny, dark satire that looks at all sorts of modern, ancient, and timeless hypocrisies; and the power of storytelling to celebrate, lament, explain, obscure, and change the best and worst of things that cannot be explained and things we wish we could wish away. Bad news: this excellent and slender volume of wickedly funny verse is almost entirely unintelligible if you don’t know the original fairy tales by heart. Conundrum! Fortunately we have a solution! You can read the absolutely wonderful Grimms’ tales in Grimms' Tales for Young and Old: The Complete Stories at call number 398.210943 GRIMM. And they are AWESOME! They are creepy, dark, and filled with the fear of the unknown that makes for the best horror and the worst sleepless nights. What’s great is that Koertge gets that and his modern retellings just look at the same fears, insecurities, and longings in the original stories in a modern light. I especially enjoy the tales where Koertge looks at the primal fascination with danger and death these stories represent. This is a truly unique read and it isn’t for everyone, but everyone that it is for will be very glad they read it.
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