Catherine Siemann's Reviews > The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories

The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories by Angela Carter
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's review
Jan 30, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: book-group-books
Read in January, 2011

Angela Carter's rewritings of fairy tales are, for me (and apparently for Salman Rushdie, who wrote the preface to the omnibus edition of Carter's short stories that I have), her standout work -- I admire much of what she's written, but these are indelible. The descriptions and the sense of growing dread in "The Bloody Chamber", the Bluebeard story, are worth the price of admission alone, as is the ending. Other standouts are the Beauty & The Beast stories ("The Courtship of Mr. Lyon" and "The Tiger's Bride"), the different approaches of which are very much worth reading together, "The Lady of the House of Love" (part Dracula and part Sleeping Beauty), as well as, of course, the wolf stories, "The Company of Wolves" and "Wolf-Alice." Humanizing and dehumanizing are both major themes here; the conflation and separation of sexuality, death, and appetite is also notable. These are wonderfully-written stories, lush, gorgeous, and just exactly the right length. The one that puzzles me is "The Erl-King," as it did when I first read it ten years or so ago; I'll have another look at it before book group meets next.
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