Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Twist Of Grimm

Picked up a book on impulse the other day (shocking I know).  It was just to pretty not to and I figured even if the book sucked, it would at least look super cool on my shelf.  Lucky for me the book did not suck.  The book is called Grim, a collection of short stories edited by Christine Johnson. According to the blurb on the back they are supposed to be a dark twist on some of the classic fairy tales, which it accomplishes with varying degrees of success.  Here are the stories that really stood out in this collection.
Figment by Jeri Smith-Ready - This was one of my favorites, a fabulous modern twist on The Puss In Boots that keeps all the feel of the original and adds the perfect bit more.  I like the characters in this story, especially the main guy who is a fun mix of angsty musician and weird kid.  This kind of story is the type of retold fairy tale I particularly enjoy because it retains the essence of the original, but feels like a new story all at the same time.

The Brothers Piggett by Julie Kagawa - Three Little Pigs with a truly dark twist!  The story starts out fun and a bit humorous and it took me a few minutes to figure out what story it was.  Then as your reading, smiling BAM!  The wolf comes in a most unexpected form.  I would have never guessed in a million years that reading The Three Little Pigs would ever be more then a funny simple story...I was wrong.

Untethered by Sonia Gensler - If we are going off of the idea that most of these stories are rewrites of Grimm Fairytales then the closet story I could find was The Shroud to base this one off of.  I don't want to say to much about this story as it will ruin it for you, but I loved it.  The twist was actually surprising, but that was only one small part of its appeal.

Better by Shaun David Hutchison - I am still trying to decide if this story was based on Pinocchio or Frankenstein.  This story about a man trying to save his son and all the other children by experimenting on a bio cyborg goes horribly wrong when the boy and girl fall in love and use some pretty controversial techniques to keep him alive.  All of this and a scene with proverbial pitchforks makes me think the author had more then the classic fairytale in mind when he wrote this.

Light It Up by Kimberly - AWESOME twist on the Hansel and Gretel story.  It is the perfect reminder that while it may have been a children's story, it is still about a homicidal guardian and a cannabalistic baddie.  Seriously even the original story was dark and scary, and this one has even more of the elements that make this such a dark story.
I found this collection to be hit or miss in a lot of the stories.  The ones I like, I loved, the ones that didn't do for me were not worth reading again.  There were a couple instances where the story was kept almost exactly the same, which seems to negate the idea that they were supposed to have been rewritten.  The book itself is beautiful with a gorgeous cover, old school font, creepy trees, and even a bookmark!  I recommend it for anybody who likes a re-written fairy tale and does not mind some darkness, violence, or cannibalism (seriously so much cannibalism).  Definitely one you do no read to your kid before they go to bed at night :-)  I give it 7 out of 10 Brothers Grimm
How hard do you think it is to make some of these tales darker then they already are?  Do you like your tales to have a happy ending?  Do I need to quit buying books based solely on their looks?

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