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New World Fairy Tales

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  346 ratings  ·  54 reviews
In contemporary America, an un-named college student sets out on an obsessive journey of discovery to collect and record the life-stories of total strangers. The interviews that follow have echoes of another, far more famous literary journey, undertaken long ago and in another world.

Drawing on the original, unexpurgated tales collected by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, six of
Paperback, 155 pages
Published December 15th 2011 by Salt Publishing
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Average rating 3.96  · 
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 ·  346 ratings  ·  54 reviews

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I’d initially thought that this collection of short stories was going to be very strong on the fantasy element but, while it’s clear that these are all fairytale retellings, all the stories are realistic with only hints of magic scattered throughout—which was in itself expertly done.

The stories are as follows:
Interview #4 - 4 stars. Unsurprisingly, this was the one I loved immediately—since Cinderella was amongst my favorite tales growing up—even though it was the simplest one. It’s also the
Holly Dunn
Jul 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I’ve read quite a few collections of fairytale retellings in recent months, and this one is among the best. It’s rare for me to read a short story collection and enjoy every story, and this is one of the few times that it has happened. Parkin does an incredible job of subverting traditional fairytale tropes and also linking them to contemporary life. The collection is set up as a series of interviews done by a college student, documenting the stories of strangers. The most memorable story was a ...more
Mar 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Surprisingly good real life stories with just a gentle touch evoking fairy tales we all know. Mostly Grimm's brothers ones.
What's makes it even more interesting, although on the other hand a bit too straightforward, are political and social themes running through out those stores. White cops crimes on Afro-Americans, corporations sucking every bit of life you have in you and throwing you out like a pice of garbage, celebrities culture, etc...
Having said all of that it was a good and smooth
I was on the fence about this one. I really liked the first story. The second one was okay. I loved the third one! And then the rest were again just okay. So overall, I liked it, hence three stars.
Karen Mace
Oct 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Any Fairy Tale retellings are fine by me, and when you set them in modern day America it just adds something a little extra to the mix and I found this book to be a fabulous little read - around 150 pages - that offers something very different.

it was fascinating trying to work out the original fairy tale - some are easier to work out than others! - and the messages from each story were also very relevant to the times we're living in. The mix of characters and settings also worked so well and
Gorgeous! The retellings of the Three Little Pigs and Rapunzel were my favourites. I really recommend this. One of the best books I read in February.
Aug 17, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3/5 stars

A really interesting collection of short stories inspired by fairy tales set in the modern day. The way I hear people talk about this collection, I expected there to be more of a connection between stories and more supernatural/fantastical elements, but I was let down in that department.

I did enjoy some stories more than others- the second one was probably my favourite just because of how uncomfortable it made me feel, as well as the 3rd one set in a cabin that was really cute- but I
Alisha Wells
Aug 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
New world fairytales
Interview #4
Loved it! Cinderella is my favorite 5

Had some every important and political themes. Raised very important questions. 5

I might need to reread this one. I just didn't click with it at all. So for now 2

This one was really interesting and the ending actually surprised me. I had to go back and reread it once I finished it. 3.5

I liked this one but I didn't love it. I did like the themes it played with and the presence of the LGBTQ+ characters. However it's a solid 3

Rebecca Rouillard
Jul 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
'New World Fairy Tales' is a collection of short stories, influenced by the Grimm Brothers’ fairy tales, set in the ‘new world’—chronologically as well as geographically. It is also the winner of Salt’s 2011 Scott Prize for a debut collection of short stories. I must confess that I didn’t have high expectations—it seemed a rather hackneyed concept; what could possibly be extracted from these stories that hasn’t already been exploited by Disney or parodied by Dahl? (Although, who doesn’t ...more
Apr 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Mark by: Salt Publishing
This book contains six short stories, ostensibly based on individual Grimm's fairy tales but with a twist. A big, hard, twisted twist. Not all of the tales are actually from Grimm's, by the way, despite whatever maketing hype or other reviewers might say. This isn't a bad thing by any means, just a little more complex than the simpler statement.

The tales are also ostensibly based on a series of interviews with assorted fairy tale characters living in the U.S. We get interviews #4, 9, 15, 17, 27
Elli (The Bibliophile)
Aug 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really liked this collection of fairy tale retellings! I liked the way the book was organized, and how each was told as if it was actually being told orally. I think this aspect would make it a fun read to read out loud! The two things I appreciated most about this collection are, first, how varied the stories are, and, second, how each narrator has a distinct voice. While they were all, obviously, fairy tale retellings, each was very distinct. Although I do enjoy when short story collections ...more
May 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
I adored this collection of short stories. Especially now that it’s had a few days to sink in, I really loved these characters. I love character development focused stories and these are money. The stories are told as “interviews” for the narrator’s book, so the characters indirectly speak to the reader for a section of every story. I thought that suedo-breaking the fourth wall added so much to the book as a whole. Parkin is a phenomenal writer and creates vivid, distinct, memorable characters ...more
Jan 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
I very much enjoyed this collection of short modern fairy tales. Well written and very interesting characters.
Feb 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Loved it - easily some of the best and most original fairytale retellings I've ever read.
Jaclyn Sutherland
Jul 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I picked this up because of a video I saw by Jean of Jean BookishThoughts on YouTube. She said that it was a good read, and I needed something new and wanted something a bit different.

I was not disappointed.

Cassandra Parkin, in just over 130 pages, wove together six stories reminiscent of the fairy tales collected by the Grimm brothers. From a grownup take on Cinderella (where Cinderella is the step-mother) to a racially charged story about the three little pigs (putting policemen in the place
A Bear and a Bee Books
I enjoyed this but found that not all the stories spoke to me as much as others. I found the first one amazing and the last one was very touching but a few were less impactful. I did find them all readable and interesting. In addition, there is also some language throughout that doesn’t quite fit. However, I thought it was a great concept and found myself wanting to pick it back up after I put it down.
Kate Henderson
Jul 25, 2017 rated it it was ok
Challenge no.3 complete for the #Booktubeathon2017. (Read a book in its entirety outside). Due to the shitty weather at the moment this was the shortest book I owned so thought it was best to read this outside. Not overly impressed. Some 'interviews' / stories were better than others. Not too sure what it was trying to achieve. Bit 'meh' for me.
Jun 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
I LOVED Cassandra Parkin's reimagings of Grimm's fact, I want to go back and read the true originals of the fairy tales of my youth. Note that in many cases, the tales have been so creatively modernized that it may take a moment to identify the original on which they were based, but it is always clear by the end. A wonderful little book that I wish had more "interviews"!
Aug 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Delightful and clever writing...but the form got old. These are modern retelling of fairy tales told in an interview style. I found that the form got old.
Kristen Merritt
May 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
A really interesting read, the writing style wasn't my favorite and some of the stories could have used a little bit of TLC but over-all a really quick and nice read.
Apr 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
My only wish is that it had been longer!
I loved the magical hints. I just loved it.
It was on the short side though... There could have been more. Both more to the stories and more stories.
Mar 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: tbr-scribd, z_2018
All amazing stories, Interview #9 (three little pigs) particularly awesome.
Apr 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Not totally sure this deserves 4*s but it made me feel very #seen at points so I will go with it.
May 03, 2019 rated it liked it
All these stories were a little lacking in dimension for me. I'm honestly already struggling to remember them in any great detail. I really didn't care for the overall format that each story was a different interview conducted by some anonymous college student for a project? That didn't work for me. It felt forced and contrived, as though Cassandra Parkin wanted something that bound the stories and just used the first stirrings of an idea that popped into her head. The execution of this format ...more
Aug 06, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A quick read with a clever concept bringing fairy tales into the modern day
Jan 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
Short stories based on Grimm fairy tales. Some better than others. I like the writing style of Cassandra Parkin. This is the second book of hers I've read and I think I have another two in my TBR mountain.
Sep 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
I loved 2 of the stories in this anthology of fairy tale retellings. They're lyrical, gritty and with a realistic otherworldly feel to them. If you like the Grimm's fairy tales you'll like these.
Jan 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I’m a big fan of fairytales and modern retellings of them, but it’s not always easy to find ones that are of good quality.
Which is why New Word Fairytales by Cassandra Parkin is such a joy to read.

Because her modern-day retellings of famous fairytales is in one world mind-blowing. New Word Fairytales is basically a collection of short stories, each of them based on a different fairytale.
Among them there’s: Cinderella, the three piglets, Rumplestiltskin, Jack and the Beanstalk and Snow White.
Cassandra Parkin does very clever things with her source material, not straightforwardly adapting it for a contemporary US setting and (for the most part -- there is one exception) a non-fantastical worldview, but telling what feel like fresh new stories which on further examination have strong echoes of particular fairy tales.

For instance, in the opening story based on Cinderella, Ella is a single mother devotedly looking after her late husband's daughters, who are self-absorbed and careless of
Jan 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
I freely admit I'm not really one for short stories, give me an 800 page chunker over the most beautiful 100 pages anyday. But, I'm trying to broaden my horizons and opted for some booktube recommended reading to get me started. I enjoyed New World Fairy Tales so much. Much more than I thought I would. It's a quick read for sure but not without provoking thoughtfulness and emotion. Parkin has taken some of the most loved fairy tales and turned them on their head. The stories are set like a ...more
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Cassandra Parkin grew up in Hull, and now lives in East Yorkshire. Her short story collection, New World Fairy Tales (Salt Publishing, 2011), won the 2011 Scott Prize for Short Stories and her work has been published in numerous magazines and anthologies.

The Summer We All Ran Away (Legend Press, 2013) was Cassandra's debut novel.

Her work has been published in numerous magazines and anthologies.