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Happily Ever After

3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  763 Ratings  ·  104 Reviews
Happily Ever After is a star-studded book of fairy tales, featuring an introduction by Bill Willingham (Fables) and stories by Gregory Maguire, Susanna Clarke, Karen Joy Fowler, Charles de Lint, Holly Black, Garth Nix, Kelly Link, Peter Straub, Neil Gaiman, Patricia Briggs, and many other fantasy luminaries.

Skyhorse Publishing, under our Night Shade and Talos imprints, is
Paperback, 473 pages
Published June 1st 2011 by Night Shade Books (first published May 24th 2011)
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(showing 1-30)
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 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
Overall, I found this anthology disappointing. The ratio of stories I didn't like or was indifferent about was higher than the ones I liked or loved. I really, really hated the Peter Straub story. I don't usually have that severe a negative reaction to stories/books, but this is one of them. On the other hand, I loved the Patricia Briggs and Michelle West stories. In between were some clever and enjoyable stories mixed in with the ones I disliked. I could probably come up with a very exact ...more
Beth Anne
Jun 21, 2011 Beth Anne rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: beth, amy, brent, mom
Recommended to Beth Anne by: dave

thanks dave, for the book recommend. i loved this anthology, it was amazing...better than amazing.
perhaps because i love fantasy and fairy tales so much, i approached this book with more gusto than most...but i'm so glad i did. i couldn't put it down. i loooved it.

a few of my favorite stories i'd like to comment on:

Susanna Clarke - "Mr Simonelli or the Fairy Widower" -- i am a huge fan of Clarke’s writing. I think she has an amazing way of writing a magical story with intensity and intrigu
Oct 02, 2011 Casey rated it really liked it
Shelves: anthology, fairytale
For the most part I really enjoyed this collection. My Favorites were
The Price- Patricia Briggs
Blood and Waster- Alethea Knotis
The Rose in 12 Petals- Theodora Goss
Like a Red Red Rose - Susan Wade
The Rose Garden - Michelle West

The rest of the Stories that I liked were
The Troll Bridge- Neil Gaiman
The Night Market- Holly Black
The Return of the Dark Children- Rober Coover
The Root of the Matter- Gregory Frost
My Life as a Bird - Charles De Lint
The Little Magic Shop - Bruce Sterling
The Red Path - Jim C
Jun 24, 2013 Kayleen rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
Artwork was beautiful.


Introduction, Bill Willingham. I'm a big fan of his Fable series, and was really looking forward to what he had to say about fairy tales and such, but his introduction I have to say is one of the worst that I've ever read. It consists of four short paragraphs, where he even admits that he's no good with writing introductions; then why was he picked? His story, that he had after his irritatingly short introduction, was pretty good. But I would have liked it a lot better
Sep 13, 2014 Carol rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, anthology
Fairy Tales Retold is the unofficial subtitle on the cover. I borrowed this book to read the Neil Gaiman and Patricia Briggs stories. I felt like I had to read the rest also to see if I could find a new author. I was only fond of a few. The anthology doesn't feel edited at all. It seems as if Klima just took whatever was sent in and put it in no particular order. Some of these should have probably been rejected. Book is too long with so-so stories. It also wasn't proofread.

I may want to check o
Apr 08, 2013 Derrick rated it did not like it
Shelves: 1-star
Eeeeeuuuuggghh. This is an anthology consisting of 34 short retellings of fairy tales. One of which, I was actually quite fond of (the first one), and the rest were all somewhere between awful, awfully boring, less than okay, and there were a few, very few, that were really not that bad, but not great.
The one that I did quite like was "The Seven Stage a Comeback" by Gregory Maguire. Obviously a retelling of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The story starts out after Snow White has left the dwa
Apr 18, 2013 Greymalkin rated it it was ok
Well that took freakin' forever. There are some really wonderful stories in here but a lot of surprisingly pedestrian ones. Not bad necessarily but kinda...unmemorable. I really liked the one sci-fi spin on Puss in Boots, which really created a whole living breathing world in just a few pages and also managed to still stay recognizably Puss in Boots. It wasn't horrible but it was effortful to get through and that is a really bad sign. I guess I was spoiled after Datlow's Tails of Wonder and Imag ...more
Dec 18, 2011 Danny rated it liked it
As with any anthology, there's good parts and bad parts, but I like the idea of it. I just don't have the patience to sort through it right now so I cherry-picked some authors and stories that I really wanted to read. Unfortunately, two of the stories by authors I enjoy (Susanna Clarke and Neil Gaiman) were previously published, which means I'd already read them.

But I did read a really cool re-telling of Little Red Riding Hood set in the 1920s ("And In Their Glad Rags" by Genevieve Valentine), a
Jun 22, 2012 Robin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, reviewed
Perusing the fantasy section at my local bookstore, I saw this book and let out a fangirl squee that had people across the store staring. Gregory Maguire? Neil Gaiman? Garth Nix?!?! If Terry Pratchett had been in here I would have died of nerdgasm.

I haven't read this book all the way through (it's a collection and not really meant to be read like that) but I've read several stories I've loved, and many more that were pretty great. The stories are in turns hilarious and haunting, and it's overal
Feb 01, 2012 Kristen rated it really liked it
Just like all short story books, some stories stand out more than others.

The one I was happiest about was Charles de Lint's. It made me miss his Newford novels (it feels like it's been entirely too long since a new one has come out), and the character's writings on religion were so spot on.

Michelle West's 'The Rose Garden' was a nice play on the 'Beauty and the Beast' tale. I liked the Harry Potter references. :)

There were a number of stories that I had read before and a few that just really did
Most of these stories are very heavy on adult themes and graphic details of sexual encounters, violence, child abuse, vampirism, and bodily functions. The title of the anthology is off, to say the least. And while some might argue that the Grimm stories and Hans Christian Anderson tales didn't all end with warm fuzzies, at least they had morals and lacked the details of these black-moods and horror bits.

Not all the stories are like that, but the majority are. And the good stories aren't good en
Jul 25, 2011 Nicole rated it it was amazing
All of your favorite fairy tail writers in one place. This is a stunning collection of stories that just happens to featured some of my favorite authors. How was I supposed to resist? The introduction alone is worth the money. Why you ask? Because the intro itself is a fairy tale detailing the reason for this anthology's existence. Besides, where else can you find Neil Gaimen, Holly Black, and Charles De Lint all in one place.
May 13, 2012 Soan rated it liked it
Shelves: stories, fantasy
3.5 stars
Some of the stories were really awesome. Most were just good, not awesome. 1-2, I might have hated.
Now about the theme, I loved the take on various fairy tales esp when same story got more than 1 treatment. However I do not think it's really young adult as my library has it coded. Some are quite dark with more sexual content, and not to mention child abuse.
Most stories here are previously published, so you might have read them before.
However overall a good enough reading
Dec 05, 2011 Michelle rated it liked it
Meh. I read the retellings of my favorites, Beauty and the Beast, Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White, and Rapunzel, and mostly skimmed the rest. A few I had read before, nothing terribly compelling. 3 stars.
Beth Smyth
Aug 01, 2011 Beth Smyth rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Pete, Jessica
favorites so far:
Mr. Simonelli
My Life as a Bird (now I have to check out Charles de Lint's Newford tales)
The Night Market (LOVED the ending, so so much)
Blood & Water (really dark take on the Little Mermaid)
Sep 10, 2011 Sarah rated it really liked it
I used to read anthologies all the time. It's great for discovering new authors in a genre I know I like. This one is no exception. I added at least 12 titles to my "to read" list while reading this one.
Aug 23, 2014 Melissa added it
Shelves: books-i-own
Some of the stories are gorgeous and terrifying and amazing. Some fizzle and die. But I do think there's way more good than bad.
Sep 20, 2011 Karen rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful collection of modern fairy tales - some completely new ideas, some excellent retelling of old old tales. It was absolutely delightful.
Nov 19, 2011 Vicki rated it really liked it
There is only one story I recommend in this book - it is "The Price" by Patricia Briggs. It is based on Rumplestiltskin and is wonderful. Loved it!
What an uneven collection. It's not even just the wide variation of quality (although there IS a wide variation in quality), but it seems like the stories chosen have only a glancing association with the ostensible theme. This is particularly notable given the hubris expressed in the introduction that this will be the ur-collection of modern faery tales (Klima goes as far as to imply that it is the ONLY collection of this sort, which is laughable, given that not only are almost all of these ...more
Luciana Darce
Oct 30, 2014 Luciana Darce rated it really liked it
Essa é bem a quarta ou quinta antologia de contos de fadas reescritos e re-imaginados por autores contemporâneos que li nos últimos seis meses (mais ou menos) em que fiquei pesquisando para o especial de aniversário sobre contos de fadas (que vem mês que vem por aqui). Cá entre nós, é também a minha favorita entre todas as que li (embora o melhor dos títulos desses livros que vi ainda seja o My Mother, She Killed Me, My Father, He Ate Me).

Começa bem com uma introdução de Bill Willingham (de Fábu
33 Fairy Tale retellings with introduction by Bill Willingham.

A Night in the Lonesome November
by Bill Willingham
Bill's true account of his encounter with a fairy.
-This very short story is interesting. I think it sets the mood for the whole book. I have started reading Willingham's Fables series and enjoy it so far.

The Seven Stage a Comeback
by Gregory Maguire
A one-act play in six scenes about the seven dwarves.
-I never was attached to stories of Snow White, and I don't like to read plays.

Happily Ever After is a pretty hefty tome. It's a short story anthology edited by John Klima and featuring authors such as Gregory Maguire, Susanna Clarke, Patricia Briggs, and Charles de Lint. The short stories are retellings, interpretations and variations on classic fairy and folk tales.

On to the stars,
Selection: The vast majority of these stories are well told and well picked. Unfortunately, a couple of them fall extraordinarily flat. The great thing about anthologies, though, is that it's o
There are 33 stories in this anthology, almost half of which I'd already read, since the source was quite a few of the Datlow/Windling books put out many years ago. (I wish I'd known that. It was nice to revisit them, but I have ALL of those in my library.)

The interior art is very old fashioned. I recognized much of it from my older fairy tale books in my library. Loved it! Some of the introductions are a bit "twee". Since many of these were taken from Datlow and Windling's collections, I had al
Miss Clark
Jan 07, 2013 Miss Clark rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Mature readers only
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 19, 2012 astried rated it liked it
The stories are better than those collected in the similarly themed My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me: Forty New Fairy Tales , it has more edge and overall there's this grey and dark tone surrounding it. which leads me to say that the title doesn't fit it at all. Nor the cover. Probably better with imagery of dark forest and all those creeping menacing creature waiting for you.

Still I have the same problem with this book as with other themed short stories collection. How far should yo
Sep 27, 2011 Giselle rated it really liked it
A great collection of re-told fairy tales by all the greats and even some of the not-as-well-knowns but just-as-greats.

I have read a few of the stories collected herein in other anthologies, especially some of the darker ones, but the overarching theme of this anthology holds true the whole way through.

The authors who retell the stories here put the teeth and the blood, the sex and the gore, the death and the despair back into the old stories that have been washed clean with morality and Disney
Sep 02, 2011 Rick rated it liked it
a collection of mostly re-printed short stories which rethink classic fairy tales. Some are excellent. some are less so. I guess that's to be expected in a collection of this sort. I will confess that although I enjoyed reading almost all of the stories (and only gave up on two), it is a very long volume, and I grew somewhat tired of its conceit before I reached the end. It might be better read in spurts, separated by other reading ventures.

I don't have the volume in front of me, so my memory of
Mary Perkins
Jul 19, 2015 Mary Perkins rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
I read this anthology for a Fairytales class after reading all the other retellings I was assigned, so I'm perhaps biased very favorably to this book because I liked it a lot more than the others I read for my class. Of course, there were a few stories that weren't as exciting as others, but overall, I thought most of the retellings were quite clever and well-written. Part of me wishes I could read some of these to my kids one day (whenever I have kids!), but these retellings are for the most ...more
Jan 04, 2015 CuriousLibrarian rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014, best-reads-2014
This is a wonderful collection of retold fairy tales. Very few of the stories failed to hit their mark with me, which is rare indeed. The stories are well chosen and varied, with authors I know and love, as well as plenty of others I've never read. I tried to limit myself to only one story per day (which meant it took a long time to read, but was very worth it that way).

All that being said, if you are a fan of the Datlow and Windling collections (Snow White, Blood Red and Black Heart, Ivory Bone
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