Marsha's Reviews > The Hat-Shaking Dance and Other Tales from the Gold Coast

The Hat-Shaking Dance and Other Tales from the Gold Coast by Harold Courlander
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's review
Aug 02, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: children, classic, fantasy, literature-fiction, supernatural, anthology-short-stories, owned-books
Read from July 29 to August 02, 2012 — I own a copy , read count: 1

Trickster stories abound throughout many cultures; tales of Crow, Fox, Hare, Coyote, etc, delight and amuse their readers as these frail animals manage to outwit and overpower much larger and more dangerous foes. Fans of Gaiman’s “Anansi Boys” will appreciate this look into the origin myths of the cunning Spider, a ruthless creature of guile, greed and gluttony.

Morals thinly disguised as lessons and people disguised as animals, insects and gods show the universal and timeless quality of truly enduring myths. Goodness and innocence are not always rewarded, especially when dealing with an amoral shyster like Anansi, while the wicked don’t always prosper.

Stories of the trickster from West Africa are gathered here along with other folk tales. This collection features familiar aspects such as talking animals, difficult or impossible tasks, the normal urgings of the spirit and deep flaws that can lead even tricksters to their downfall. The illustrations have an intriguing look, displaying native Kente imagery to highlight the stories.

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