TRULY GRIM TALES by Priscilla Galloway
Kirkus Star


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Eight familiar folk and fairy tales retold with twists more ironic than grim. ""The Prince"" chases after glass-slippered Cinderella because he has a foot fetish; the foulmouthed Queen's need to be Fairest One Of All is driven by a desire to distance herself from her wife-beating father (""A Taste For Beauty""); ""The Woodcutter's Wife"" denies any intent to eat Hansel and Gretel--she just wants to keep them around as sources of blood for potions and lab experiments. Other apparent villains turn out to be nothing of the sort: the misshapen little man in ""The Name"" is the queen's real father, and the giant that Jack eludes is dying of a wasting disease that can only be halted by human bone meal (""Blood and Bone""). In a distinctive, formal narration, Galloway disguises each story of her first collection, and expects readers to know the traditional versions well enough to fill in details of plot and character. She writes in a tone that darkens even tales with happy endings, but most of the violence is psychological rather than physical. Readers who appreciate Donna Jo Napoli's disturbing Magic Circle (1993) will find this equally thought-provoking, but William Brooke's lighthearted reinterpretations in A Telling Of The Tales (1990) and its sequels have more child appeal.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1995
Page count: 132pp
Publisher: Delacorte