Saturday, November 6, 2010

Friday Review, only one day late - 11/6/10

P.G. Wodehouse - Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit
Can I confess a weakness? Well, of course I can - who's going to stop me? I have a weakness for P.G. Wodehouse. I'm not sure that there's a way to review this book - if you like Jeeves and Wooster, you already know and love this - it's the one with the mustache. If you don't like Jeeves and Wooster, you're probably damaged in some indefinable way. Or I am damaged in some indefinable way? At any rate, if you don't like the books, you won't like this one, mustache or otherwise. And, if you don't know Wodehouse, you should go and read some. He wrote comedies of manners, set during the inter-war period in England (and sometimes, the US), and they are particularly British. If you like that sort of thing, you'll probably like these.

Gregory Frost - Fitcher's Brides

This was one of the first books in the re-boot of Terri Wilding's Fairy Tale Series. Wilding edit(s?ed?) a series of re-tellings of classic fairy tales for adult readers. Each book opens with a short essay on fairy tales, and on the specific tale being re-written, which are pretty good on their own.

Frost is re-telling Bluebeard. It's a grim tale - a young wife is told not to go into a room of her husband's house. She does so. It contains the mutilated corpses of his previous wives. When he returns, she either escapes, or is killed, depending on the version of the story. Frost sets the story in upstate New York, during the late 19th century. Fitcher is a preacher, leading an apocalyptic cult, which were common in upstate New York during the late 19th century. The novel is good, but gory - I especially liked the setting.

Michael Buckley - The Fairy Tale Detectives

Speaking of fairy tales - this was a cute children's book, the first of the Sisters Grimm series. Two sisters discover that they are the youngest heirs of the Grimm family (the Brothers Grimm, that is), and that fairy tale and legendary creatures are real, but needing much careful supervision. Like DC Comics Fables, but for a much younger set. Not a lot of substance, or a particularly deep plot, but satisfying for what it was. A few laugh out loud moments. 


  1. I'm taking note of the fairy tale books to try in the future, when I have access to an English library (I'm currently working in a small city in France). I've always loved any and all fairy tale adaptations, ever since I was a kid and watched "Rocky & Bullwinkle" with my dad, which always had a segment on fractured fairy tales.

  2. Wilding's collection is quite good. I especially like the Steven Brust contribution (The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars) and Pamela Dean's Tam Lin.

    Mercedes Lackey has a whole series of stories which are adaptations of fairy tales, and those are quite good too - not part of Wilding's collection.

    I'm also a big fan of fairy tale adaptations. I'm fascinated by the continuities and congruences in stories from vastly different cultures and time periods. Fairy tales seem to tap into something fairly basic in our psyche.