Tag: fairy tales

The Book of Lost Things

The Book of Lost Things

by John Connolly (Atria, 2006); audiobook read by Nick Rawlinson (Isis, 2007)

Connolly_Book of Lost Things

A drawn-out coming-of-age quest through a dark fairy-tale land (perhaps a little too dark for readers the protagonist’s age). Granted, there’s a payoff at the end, but the pacing is questionable. Elements like the communist dwarves pad the story to little avail.



Muppets Meet the Classics: Fairy Tales from The Brothers Grimm

Muppets Meet the Classics: Fairy Tales from The Brothers Grimm

by The Brothers Grimm and Erik Forrest Jackson (Penguin, 2018)

Grimm_Jackson_Muppets Fairy Tales

It’s easy to see how this would work as an actual production. As prose, however, the reworking seems… pointless. The writing is decent enough but the deviations from the original fairy tales are unfunny, diminishing both the source material and the Muppets.



Monkey: Journey to the West

Monkey: Journey to the West

by Wu Ch’êng-ên, trans. Arthur Waley (Allen & Unwin, 1942)

Wu Ch'eng-en_Monkey

For all its mischievousness and whimsy, this episodic sixteenth century Chinese fairy tale comes across as terribly belaboured in written form. When slogging through 350 pages it’s hard not to think that even Wu Ch’êng-ên would have preferred the cult television show.


The People in the Castle

The People in the Castle: Selected Strange Stories

by Joan Aiken (Small Beer Press, 2016)

Aiken_People in the Castle

This posthumous collection spans thirty-five years of Joan Aiken’s prolific career. The stories, though frequently lacking in closure, are beautifully written, with rich, dark ideas and a wondrous touch of fairy tale logic. Aiken’s characterisation of people (and notably, animals) is exquisite.