Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter

This short story collection is mainly retold fairy tales, which is a genre I adore, so I was naturally excited to read this book. Some of the author's takes on fairy tales were quite intriguing. I especially enjoyed the title story, Bluebeard with a quite a twist, and "The Courtship of Mr. Lyon," a sweet Beauty and the Beast. From there, though, it seemed to go straight downhill. The author's overwrought style, peppered with extremely obscure words, was enjoyable at first, but grating on the nerves after several stories. It never seemed to change, and a number of the stories, I felt, would benefit from a different style. Some of the stories had twist endings that made no sense, and some, particularly "The Lady of the House of Love," were just not interesting. (The last may have been more fun when it was first written, when the trope of the reluctant vampire wasn't quite so done.) I do recommend many of the stories if you enjoy the genre, but perhaps one at a time would be better.

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