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Six-Gun Snow White

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  3,753 ratings  ·  887 reviews
From New York Times bestselling author Catherynne M. Valente comes a brilliant reinvention of one the best known fairy tales of all time. In the novella Six-Gun Snow White, Valente transports the title’s heroine to a masterfully evoked Old West where Coyote is just as likely to be found as the seven dwarves.

A plain-spoken, appealing narrator relates the history of her pare
ebook, 207 pages
Published March 1st 2013 by Subterranean Press (first published February 28th 2013)
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Average rating 3.67  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,753 ratings  ·  887 reviews

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Jul 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of myth, Valente
Take fairy tale mythology, the sideways structure of Native American folklore, a Wild West setting, weave it through with themes on race and gender and wrap it in Valente's wordsmithing, and you'll have Six-Gun Snow White.

"A body can only deliver up the truth its bones know. Its blood, which is its history. My body is my truth, and I have laid it out as evidence on the table of my father's reputation, for by know you may have guessed my next revelation." --from The Creation of Snow White

This bea
Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁
Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

4.5 stars

When you’re a booklover, you read all kinds of books for all kinds of reasons. Sure, you have your favorite authors and series, but what about the lesser known quantities?

Could be the hype, could be a recommendation, but whatever it is, you go into the reading of it with hope.

Hope that it will make you feel something. Hope that you’ll love it. Hope that it will teach you something about yourself. Hope that it will teach you something about the world.

Hope that
Dan Schwent
When a half-breed girl saddled with the nickname Snow White has had enough of her wicked stepmother, she goes on the run in the Wild West. As she lives by her gun and her wits, will past catch up with her?

Six-Gun Snow White is a retelling of Snow White as a western. It hearkens to earlier, non-sanitized, pre-Disney versions of the tale. Mr. H, Snow White's father, buys her mother, Gun Who Sings, from her tribe. Gun Who Sings dies in childbirth and things are as good as could be expected until th
Oct 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 2016-shelf
I think this is an excellent novel with or without its being a retelling of Snow White.

Unfortunately, I'm not and never have been a huge fan of Westerns. That being said, I was only able to get into it as far as Cat Valente could carry it, which was quite far, indeed.

The best things I can say about it is that this was never tongue-in-cheek or a lackadaisical mapping of the fairytale into recognizable parody. It felt like a serious and heartfelt rendition of magical realism, where we are never q
Feb 09, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Catherynne M. Valente must be one of the most imaginative and talented writers in speculative fiction in the last ever so many years.

Six Gun Snow White, her 2013 novella (160 pages) re-tells the old German folk tale made famous by the Brothers Grimm and Walt Disney, but in a similar way that Stephen King did with The Gunslinger, by casting a fantasy story into a western. Unlike King’s surreal fantasy with western themes and settings, though, Valente has this Snow White, as a Native American daug
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

“Magic is just a word for what’s left to the powerless once everyone else has eaten their fill.”

First things first . . . .

Are you fucking kidding me right now, Goodreads???? Go home, recommendation feature. You. Are. Drunk.

If you couldn’t tell by the title, this is a retelling of the classic. Some changes include Snow White not being quite the damsel in distress the original made her out to be, but instead . . . .

The seve
Algernon (Darth Anyan)
Mar 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
I have noticed recently the popularity of spoof novels, mashing together Jane Austen and zombies or Abraham Lincoln with vampires. I am not much tempted to give them a try, having low expectations from the lack of originality and from the low-brow/cheap type of humor. The reason I mentioned them is that I want to stress that Catherynne Valente doesn't belong in this category. She has found a niche as an
author from re-examining classic fairytales and myths from a modern and usually revision
Peter Tillman
Nov 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Peter by: Carol.
About all I knew about Snow White is the Disney version, with the Seven Dwarves. And Prince Charming. None of that here. But the Wicked Stepmother is, in spades!

Lots of interesting stuff, and I got more caught up in the story as I got further into it, and sussed out some of the backstory details she’s using. Mr. H, the mining magnate, was modeled (I'm almost certain) on George Hearst, The Blue is the sticky blue clay, that clung to the early gold miners’
Richard Derus
Mar 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rating: 4.9* of five

This glittering reimagination of a foundational myth wins an almost-perfect score from me. Go take a gander. Valente is a reliable source of wonderful and creative takes and re-takes on fairy tales, but she's also a wordsmith of astounding facility.
Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance
Bloody brilliant!

This gun slinging girl is no Snow White….unless red juicy apples are blood pumping hearts and the 7 dwarves are 7 coyotes!

The girl was born with hair black as coal, lips red as blood and skin reflecting that of her mothers. She is the daughter of ‘Gun That Sings’, the Crow Indian Bride her father took from Montana Territory to California.

Living a sheltered live in a zoo that daddy built, she never is allowed to leave the grounds and has a gun she calls Rose Red. Since her mothe
Words. Wordswordswords. Cat Valente is one of those authors that uses lots of words, many of them pretty. But (for me) it's fucking difficult to extract the story from all them thar pretty words.

Are you in there, story? I feel like you must be! Everyone raves about your "gorgeous/lush/elegant/poetic" prose, but what good are all these beautiful sentences if I can't parse their meaning?

Calm down, sentences, you're giving me a headache.

Cat Valente writes books that I want to love. I read what ot
Catherynne Valente is such a master prose smith that anything she writes is worth reading, but I run hot and cold on the stories she actually tells. Sometimes her stories just seem to get lost in the craft of telling them.

Six-Gun Snow White holds together admirably as a Western retelling of Snow White, with Snow being the half-breed daughter of a rich silver baron and a Crow woman.

Pampered and spoiled and kept hidden away in an upper floor out of sight by Daddy, Snow lives a lonely but untrouble
Nov 16, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I've never used "absolutely disgusted" in a review title before today, but I did precisely that today at my blog, American Indians in Children's Literature. I am absolutely disgusted with SIX GUN SNOW WHITE. There are vile things in the world. Some of them are subtly vile, which makes them dangerous because you aren't aware of what is going into your head and heart.

Some things, like Catherynne M. Valente's Six-Gun Snow White are gratuitously vile. As a Native woman, it is very hard to read Valen
Jan 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To be honest I didn't really go into this with any specific expectation as the only other book by Catherynne Valente I had read was The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland and that was a truly beautiful but also a very bizarre story. Of course, I did expect at least some parallels to Snow White, but this is quite a lot more than that becuase it's also a weird western take on the whole affair, and again it's beautifully written.

We follow the main character as she narrates her story of her early li
Sep 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just wonderful.

Valente has a powerful voice and a gift for visceral descriptions, which breathe a vibrancy to the stories and the uncanny ability to take myth and fable and turn them into modern tales. Allegories of womanhood and what it means to be female. The themes are universal and in many ways cautionary tales.

I loved this version of Snow White in the Old West. I was captivated by the concept when I spotted it, but it was even better than I tried to imagine. Valente took the story and turn
Stuti Rai
Jun 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people not born in red clothes
Recommended to Stuti by: someone in a red suit
You’re in a story and the body writing it is an asshole.

There are stories and there are characters. Then, you also have stories with characters and characters with stories.

But what Valente does is entirely different. She creates her characters, and they move on, swirl around, slowly and surely coalescing into a story, pushing it forward even as they become the story.

Six-Gun Snow White is a retelling and it stays very true to the original fairytale, but it is much more honest and original tha
Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship
Valente’s writing can be pretty “out there,” to my mind. The Orphan’s Tales duology is great and Deathless also very good, but I wasn’t able to get past the sample of Radiance. Six-Gun Snow White is deceptively grounded: it’s a retelling of a familiar fairytale, and it’s set in the 19th century American West. Valente shows her extraordinary versatility by writing the book in the language of a western: from other work I know she is capable of lyrical writing heavy on figurative language, but this ...more
Dec 23, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Not sure
So so

Nice spin on the story but overall it felt cold and distant. The atmosphere was there but it felt like we were being kept at arm's length the whole time. The switch from Snow White's perspective wasn't all bad but felt awkward at times.

I did get a kick out of the hints to the original though.

The ending felt like (to me) the author just wanted to wrap up the story.

Nice attempt but overall lackluster. *shrugs*

2.5 stars
By all accounts (in my mind), this book should have irritated the hell out of me.
I'm not sure why it didn't.
I know that the writing is gimmicky. I understand that it's trying to be all hep with the westernizing of a fairy tale because retelling fairy tales is all the rage but retelling them as they mostly haven't been retold is even better and I can totally see the "I'm trying to be cool" in this effort.
But for some reason, it just all worked for me and I really enjoyed this book.

In this retell
Nov 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, fantasy

"Everything in this world requires a heart in trade," Mrs. H whispers. "There’s no such thing as a good bargain."

Possibly the best fabulist novella you’ll ever read. A retelling to remember.

Catherynne Valente’s words are beautiful knives. You will be beguiled as you bleed out.

When Mrs. H said I was not human, she meant I was not white. She was wrong about the reason but not about the thing. I wasn’t human. I was a small device who knew only how to shoot a gun, play the slots, and dress up
Feb 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think this might be my favorite Valente so far and the first one that I rate higher than the Fairyland books.

Snow White is a half-Crow Indian child with a wealthy father in the late 1800s. She has an odd but indulgent childhood until her father remarries and her horror of a step-mother takes over her life. The parallels to the Snow White fairytale extend from there.

The technique that Valente uses here is something that she's done before. There's a brilliant interweaving of a fairytale told in
Jan 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: subterranean-own
This is copy 851 of 1000 signed numbered copies.
Jun 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
A western-based retelling of Snow White. Valente's text is great, with yummy prose that sounds great (I listened to this book). Snow White is a violent tale, and Valente doesn't stint on the abuse and violence here, with Snow White’s encounters with her new stepmother, who brutalizes her biracial stepdaughter to make her “pretty” and a woman. The young woman who escapes lives a hard life, and then I lost the tale towards the end, and wasn't entirely sure I could appreciate where Valente took her ...more
Feb 01, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: standalone, fantasy
Six Gun Snow White is a strange story but I expected nothing less from Catherynne Valente I mean all her books are written with lots and lots of description and prose. You can either love it or hate it and I am gratefully on the love side even if it does hurt my head at times.

“A stepmother is like a bullet you can't dig out. She fires true and she fires hot and she fires so quick that her metal hits your body before you even know there's a fight on.”

Snow white as she is dubbed is a bi rac
Eon ♒Windrunner♒
I really wanted to like this one. Look at that cover. Read that blurb. Can’t go wrong. Right?

Alas, it was not to be. There were small moments I loved, but overall I did not enjoy the writing style or the story.
3.5 stars. Beautiful storytelling style, but not that good a story after the middle of the book, where it lags significantly and the conclusion is disappointing. A very original reworking of Snow White, though.
Claudia ✨
"You can't kiss a girl into anything."

My rating: 3.5 stars

I'm not the biggest fan of weird west, but I do love fairytale retellings, especially feminist ones. And Valente. And PoC representation. And lyrical writing. So the scale was definitely tipped in favour of me loving this, but while I definitely enjoyed this very strange novella, I unfortunately didn't find myself head over heels.

Snow White is the daughter of a white man and a Native American woman, stolen from her tribe. As her mother ki
A powerful, dramatic and gory retelling of Snow White as a western, filled with Native American folklore analogies, worth reading and re-reading until you get all the subtleties.

Even if I'm not a big fan of westerns, I liked this retelling and reinventing of the characters very much, though the ending was bizarre and left me a bit confused. The language is vivid and highly metaphoric, with an ambiguity that reminded me of Claire North's writing in Gameshouse series.
Once you take away the end
Feb 01, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
I'm all for weird and different books, but this one just didn't do it for me. And there was something about the short, choppy sentences that I didn't like.

Well, at least Snow White has a social security card and a doctorate now, so that's great.
Creative idea, poetic writing. While I understood what this was about fundamentally, I'm not sure I understood most of what actually happened. ...more
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Catherynne M. Valente was born on Cinco de Mayo, 1979 in Seattle, WA, but grew up in in the wheatgrass paradise of Northern California. She graduated from high school at age 15, going on to UC San Diego and Edinburgh University, receiving her B.A. in Classics with an emphasis in Ancient Greek Linguistics. She then drifted away from her M.A. program and into a long residence in the concrete and cam ...more

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