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Snow White, Blood Red

(Adult Fairy Tales #1)

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  6,414 ratings  ·  242 reviews
Once upon a time, fairy tales were for children... But no longer.

You hold in your hands a volume of wonders -- magical tales of trolls and ogres, of bewitched princesses and kingdoms accursed, penned by some of the most acclaimed fantasists of our day. But these are not bedtime stories designed to usher an innocent child gently into a realm of dreams. These are stories tha
Paperback, 414 pages
Published December 1st 1993 by Eos (first published January 1st 1993)
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3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,414 ratings  ·  242 reviews

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Heidi The Reader
Oct 20, 2016 rated it liked it
A very adult collection of fairy tale re-tellings. From Little Red Riding Hood to Snow White, these are not stories that I'd share with my child or any impressionable young mind.

Fairy tales haven't always been exclusively for children as Terri Windling explains in the introduction: "..most fairy tales were never initially intended for nursery duty. They have been put there, as J.R.R. Tolkien so evocatively expressed it, like old furniture fallen out of fashion that grown-ups no longer want. And
Jan 02, 2009 rated it did not like it

Aside from a few surprising gems, like Neil Gaiman's thing about a troll, and something else that I forget... this book is disappointing. The trouble with "modern fairy tales" is people think that the only way to make a fairy tale "adult" or "dark" is by involving lots and lots of rape and molestation of little girls, and while I suppose that sort of thing works for a while, there's a point at which I have to say, "I'm sorry, your deep inner meaning was lost in the ICK." Get a damn imagi
Nandakishore Varma
[M]ost fairy tales were never initially intended for nursery duty. They have been put there, as J. R. R. Tolkien so evocatively expressed it, like old furniture fallen out of fashion that the grown-ups no longer want. And like furniture banished to the children’s playroom, the tales that have been banished from the mainstream of modern adult literature have suffered misuse as well as neglect.

- Terri Windling

Many adults dismiss fairy tales as being too childish, too sweet and innocent, but fairy
Sep 12, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fantasy fans with slightly twisted minds
These are retellings of classic Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson fairy tales that we're all familiar with with adult twists and turns put on them, some of them reworked in a modern setting, some not. Some of them are horror stories, some of them are suspense thrillers, all of them are at least mildly creepy. I enjoyed all of them, if only for seeing how all the tales I grew up with were subverted and twisted around. I also enjoyed learning that these tales are probably closer to the or ...more
These are mostly a little too nonconsensual for my taste. Too much stuff in here made me feel really icky, and not in a good, scary horror way. In a "this is practically child porn" kinda way. Not good. Skip it and read a different Datlow collection. The extra star is for the other stories, the ones that were very good and should've been put in a better collection.
Aug 14, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Those hungry for fairytales with meat, not empty calories
It has been a long time since I sat down and read this book, and so I can barely remember a lot of my impressions and thoughts about it. However, it retains a place in my book case for several reasons.

The first reason why it will never leave my bookcase is because it contains a story called A Sound, Like Angels Singing. This story, written by an author who I had not heard of at the time (Leonard Rysdyk), is pure genius. It is visceral, haunting, and touching -- and outshines every story in this
Very disappointing first installment, and that was a big negative surprise. In hindsight, it's turned out to be for the better that I got into these fairy tale anthologies picking the books out of order, because had I started with this, the sheer mediocrity of the stories would've probably thrown me off of reading further volumes, and it'd have been a great loss, for there's dozens of amazing stories in this collection's books.

As positives: the short story "I Shall Do Thee Mischief in the Wood"
Aug 10, 2012 rated it it was ok
Of the various fairy tale anthologies in this series that I've read, it is certainly the darkest and most unsettling. I really enjoyed Charles de Lint's story, The Moon Is Drowning While I Sleep, and I liked Patrica McKillip's The Snow Queen, but other than that, I thought that a large number of the stories were too dark for my taste.

Trigger warnings: Little Red contains implied seduction of a minor by a "wolf." In I Shall Do Thee Mischief in the Wood, it is implied that the narrator is intendin
Jan 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
A terrific collection of fairy tales told and retold in the fashion of the originals. Violent with adult themes of angst and sexuality. This is Snow White before Disney diluted the tales. A fun and exciting read.
The original, or older, or simply "non-Disney" versions of most fairy tales are highly disturbing. It seems that half the authors in this collection took that as a challenge to make modern fairy tales five times as disturbing as the disturbing originals.

This does not mean the tales are bad. These are very good authors, with a highly developed sense of writing, of the magical, of imparting ideas without spelling out every minute detail, of leaving the audience with a good starting point for disc
Oct 15, 2009 rated it liked it
As a fan of fairy tales, I had great hopes for this collection of reinvented classics. Sadly, most of the stories in the collection were fairly lackluster, neither inspiring new depth to old stories, nor faithfully recreating them. There are some stunning exceptions, however, most notably the stories by Neil Gaiman, Leonard Rysdyk, and Patricia McKillip, offering their takes on the Billy Goats Gruff, the Pied Piper, and the Snow Queen, respectively.

"Troll Bridge" has a boy who promises his life
Aug 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fairy Tale Fans
This collection of short stories are re-tellings of fairy tales. Some are very recognizable, told from varying view points or told in a different time. Others are more subtle but still maintain the fairy tale theme. Most of the stories are good, though there are a few that are a bit hard to get through. Some are funny, most are sensual, and all have been re-done to appeal to adults.

There are several books in this collection, this one being the first. Fairy tale fans should enjoy this collection
Dayna Smith
This is a collection of fairy tales re-written for adults. It seems that when the authors, who are fabulous in their own right (i.e. Charles De Lint, Tanith Lee, Patricia McKillip), were asked to do work on this project they were just told to "make them for adults". This book reads like a contest to see how much sex, violence, and gore can be crammed into a beloved fairy tale. While one or two are engaging, most are filled with violence and sexual content. We cannot recommend this collection for ...more
Jenni DaVinCat
I have a lot of thoughts about this book, but I'll try to condense it as much as possible.

My theory is that fairy tales and the realm of fantasy adult literature has changed since Neil Gaiman has come to prominence. This book was collected before he came into his own, when Good Omens was his most famous work. Since then, I feel like his take on what an adult fairy tale should be has become the gold standard, so to say. He manages to find that perfect blend of magic, realism, moral storytelling a
Sep 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
Like a Red, Red Rose: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Moon is Drowning While I Sleep: ⭐⭐⭐

The Frog Prince: ⭐⭐⭐

Stalking Beans: ⭐⭐⭐

Snow-Drop: ⭐⭐

Little Red: ⭐

I Shall do the Mischief in the Wood: ⭐⭐

The Root of the Matter: ⭐⭐

The Princess in the Tower: ⭐ Didn’t read. I literally couldn’t figure out what the hell the blanks are for? And it just confused me, so I skipped it \_(ツ)_/

Persimmon: ⭐

Little Poucet: ⭐

The Changelings: ⭐⭐

The Springfield Swans: ⭐

Troll Bridge: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

A Sound, Like Angels Singing: ⭐

Puss: ⭐⭐

The Glass Casket: ⭐

Karen Wapinski
Jan 01, 2013 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
There was only one story in this collection that I would say was actually good, and it was by Neil Gaiman (no surprise). There were a few others that were moderately enjoyable, but most were trying too hard to be weird, or dark, and they ended up missing the mark.

These three stars go largely towards Esther M. Friesner's "Puss", which delivered on every promise of sensual, fantastical horror that most of the others largely failed to keep. Some tantalized, if rather obtusely ("Little Red", "Snow-Drop"), while others were somewhat novel ("A Sound, Like Angels", "I Shall Do Thee Mischief in the Wood"), and second place has to go to "The Glass Casket", wise in its choice of historical fiction to demonstrate blood-bloomed love and sorcerous menace, all wr
Bevin lost in Wonderland
I was really looking forward to this book. I actually recognized a few of the authors (not something that happens much for me), one of which happened to be Neil Gaiman.

Seeing this book went something like this:
Wow, what a neat cover. Oh, fairy tale retellings? That sounds like it would be something I'd real- OMFG NEIL GAIMAN MUST BUY NOW

Yea, that's basically how it went down in the store. Maybe a bit more fangirling and squealing, and clutching of the book. Maybe. I won't admit to it though.

I really wanted to read this book because it was a collection of retold and twisted fairy tales and I'm obsessed with books like that! I felt like that would be no different, that I'd love the stories in this book, but I ended up feeling like most of them were mediocre at best.

I did like how some of the stories focused on the less well-known fairy tales, so even if I didn't know the specifics of those stories I could always see the fairy tale feel of the writing. Yet a lot of it didn't click for
Lacey Louwagie
Apr 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Lacey by: Keir
This came very close to being a five-star book, and it was easy for me to see why it's garnered so much admiration amongst fans of retold fairy tales. The only thing that kept it from getting five-stars is that there were two or three stories that fell short. But the rest of the stories more than made up for it.

Most of the stories in this collection felt just the right "length" to give fairy tales a deeper exploration without dragging them out more than necessary. As I work on my own fairy tale
I read this anthology a few years ago, but it stays in my mind pretty well. I thought a few of the stories were really creative retellings. Leonard Rysdy’s “A Sound, Like Angels Singing” was especially unique and interesting, even though it was not one of my favorites. Patricia A. McKillip’s “Snow Queen” and Lisa Goldstein’s “Breadcrumbs and Stones” were great stories that also had interesting premises. For the most part I didn’t like the other works in this book very much. It isn’t that I mind ...more
Nov 08, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to like this book. I really really did. With the exception of a few stories, mostly contributions by Charles de Lint and Neil Gaiman, I was over all disappointed. This collection of short stories means to bring dark twists to classic fairy tales for a more adult audience to enjoy. Most these stories just contain very awkward sexual scenes, some of which even include child molestations, which is beyond my comfort zone. I feel most these authors thought adding sexual content would make th ...more
Jan 30, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
This was something I had been looking for all of my adult life: darker re-telling of classic fairy tales. It's probably the reason this was a disappointment. These aren't so much as re-tellings as they are alternate tellings to the point where where they where for the most part unrecognizable.
There are a few standouts, such as Neil Gaiman's re-telling of The Billy Goats Gruff (which reminds me I must return
to Gaiman's Sandman comics soon) and Gahan Wilson's take on The Frog Prince, but the rest
Aug 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
My Favorites:

Like a Red, Red Rose -- not a retelling of any particular tale, but it feels so very familiar.

The Root of the Matter and The Princess in the Tower - perhaps I just have a soft spot for the Rapunzel tale.

Troll Bridge -- one of my favorite tales as a child, and one I remember making my Grandmother read over and over to me again...Three Billy Goats Gruff

A Sound Like Angels Singing -- I won't ruin it, but a beautiful tale, from a different perspective

Knives -- a poem, a fairy tale, beau
Highly recommended for fans of erotica, horror and dark fantasy, this collection of original short stories revises well-known fairy tales for the adult reader. Many take place in contemporary settings and feature strong sexual and/or horror themes. More than a few are quite disturbing (much to my delight). While Snow White and Red Riding Hood seem to get the most treatment here (at least 2 versions of each), my personal favorite is a vivid and harrowing spin on Rapunzel titled " At The Root of t ...more
Nov 28, 2010 rated it it was ok
While I enjoyed the stories they all started feeling the same. They are a retelling of fairy tales like Cinderella, Puss in Boots, Hansel and Gretel, etc. These take the brothers Grimm route. Very dark, very adult, very erotic. While it was interesting having such a spin put on them it felt like it was only one spin, sex. While that's not all bad they just started blending together after a while.
Jan 13, 2010 rated it liked it
Started off promising. The first few stories were really good but it seemed to kind of drop off from there. That's one problem with anthologies - you usually don't like all the authors. Some of the fairy tales were interpretations of established stories, others seemed to come from out of the blue. Generally, the interpretations were not as good as the original stories in this collection. The more disappointed I got, the more I skimmed and didn't bother actually read.
This is the first fairy tale collection that Datlow and Windling did. It includes several intersting and very dark (and adult) retelling of stories. Overall the collection is excellent. Stand-outs include Yolen's dark poem about Cinderella, "Stalking Beans" about Jack and the Beanstalk. A wonderful retelling of Puss in Boots, that harkens back to the older story that few people know.
May 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a fine collection of dark adult fairy tale re-tellings. I love fairy tales and believe they resonant with the deepest and sometimes darkest aspects of our collective human culture and nature.
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Ellen Datlow has been an award-winning editor of short science fiction, fantasy, and horror for over twentyfive years.

She is editor of the Best Horror of the Year and has edited or co-edited a large number of award-winning original anthologies. Her most recent are Supernatural Noir, Naked City, Blood and Other Cravings, The Beastly Bride, Teeth, Trolls Eye View, and After (the last three with Ter

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Adult Fairy Tales (6 books)
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  • Black Swan, White Raven (Adult Fairy Tales, #4)
  • Silver Birch, Blood Moon (Adult Fairy Tales #5)
  • Black Heart, Ivory Bones