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The Witch And Other Tales Re-Told

3.30  ·  Rating details ·  633 ratings  ·  165 reviews
Great fairy tales are not always stories designed for children. The lurking wolf in Little Red Riding Hood, the gingerbread house that lures Hansel and Gretel, the beauty asleep in her castle—these fables represent some of our deepest, most primeval fears and satisfy our longing for good to win out over evil (preferably in the most gruesome way possible). In this captivati ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published September 25th 2014 by Blue Rider Press
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3.30  · 
Rating details
 ·  633 ratings  ·  165 reviews

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2/2 - This is a book of short stories, fairy tales retold into realistic (the first one was, at least) stories of modern life. As each story is individual I will review them individually.

The first story was The Witch and it was a retelling of Hansel and Gretel with the witch played by an old woman who takes in foster kids. The children are Jo and Kerry, whose father neglects them daily by leaving them in the car alone for hours while he spends his days in a bar. They try to find their
Jun 13, 2014 rated it it was ok
This book is composed of eight short stories, which were inspired by fairy tales. Some of the stories I was able to recognize the fairy tale and others I’m still not sure about. I was very excited to read this since I love fairytale retellings, and I thought that it would be an easy read since, it was split up into short stories. However, I never really fell in love with any of these stories.

I thought that the stories were very well written, and were original. I could tell the author truly enjoy
 Linda (Miss Greedybooks)
I received an advance copy of this book from

I love Fairy Tales, and re-telling of fairy tales too. These 8 stories were so different in writing, I had to check that it was not a compilation by different authors.

Too many of the following stories I was surprised when all of a sudden I had to look to see that was the ending? ... Was that IT?

I liked the Hansel and Gretel DCFS angle in the first story.

Then I was a bit confused at times just what tale some of the stories was a re-telli
Diane S ☔
Jul 08, 2014 rated it liked it
An imaginative and entertaining re-telling of fairy tales, giving them a modern day setting while staying true to the outline of the tale itself. A few I did not recognize but the first s a re-telling of Hansel and Greta using a sited and brother in foster care. Interesting and different.

ARC from NetGalley.
Jul 12, 2014 rated it liked it
I am a complete and total sucker for a re-told fairy tale, so it's probably not surprising that I enjoyed this collection. Even without the fairy tale connection, the stories stand on their own--I would usually start a story asking myself what it was based on, then get so immersed in the writing that I forgot to wonder about it until the end.
Mauoijenn ~ *Mouthy Jenn* ~
These were great short stories that most of them, I had heard of before. Some had a different spin to them and others were brand new to me. I enjoyed these some better than others, obviously. But all in all still a great book of shorts.
Cody Sexton
Mar 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Fairy tales carry us back to a primordial kind of attention, the attention we gave the world when everything was “for the first time.”
We accept the irrational elements of fairy tales and its enchantments in the same way we acknowledge that parts of our minds are unconscious—unknown and unknowable to us—and yet very much there, extant, real, true, significant.
In a 2012 lecture, Jack Zipes said that fairy tales are examples of what he calls "childism.” He suggests that there are terrible aspects
Bèbè ✦ RANT  ✦
Aug 15, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: arc-copies, dnf
Who doesn't love fairytale retellings? It amazes me how many times the human mind can come up with different sides of the same story and retell it differently.

Maybe this was my problem with The Witch & Other Tales Re-Told... Having my mind set on fairytale retellings, I was expected to see some sort of resemblance but after I finished, yet another disappointing story, I wanted to break my Kindle.

How many stories, you say? I heard there were eight. I barely finished the first three. Yup, I
Iris Bratton
Apr 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
2.5/5 STARS

A collection with intrigue but holds a title that is its ultimate downfall.

Jean Thompson is an amazing author. Her stories leap off of the page which make them a fast read. They hold all the darkness and moral weight of fairy tales but also delve into the darkness of human nature. The author's note is an important key to really enjoying this work. It is an enlightening explanation of why it is written the way it is. Although fasted paced, it lacks some of the magic that makes it memor
I received this book from Penguin First to Read.

I was intrigued in this book because of the modern day spin to well-known fairy tales. And the three stories I read certainly succeed in that area. I did really like trying to guess what fairy tale I was reading, although the first one was very easy to guess. The next two took me a couple of pages to figure it out. But as I was reading, I couldn't help but feel like I was being talked to like a child, that the book wasn't anything more than storie
Rowan MacBean
Aug 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs, short-stories
Five stars. More stars. ALL THE STARS.

I love the idea fairytale/folktale retellings, but I'm picky about them when they're actually in front of me. They can't just be a simple rehashing of the exact same thing. They can't just have a gender-swap, or just be set in outer space, or "just" anything. They have to add a layer of complexity, relate the old stories to a new place or time, make them relevant in a new way. The stories in this book do that with spectacular success.
Penguin First to Read ARC.

I love fairy tales and I love fairy tale retellings. But this really missed the mark. After finishing it, I barely remember any if the stories. The one I remember most is the first one! Half the time I couldn't even tell what fairy tale was being retold. Not what I was expecting.
Jessie McMains
Aug 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
By turns funny, poignant, dark, and beautiful - like faerie tales and like life - the stories in this book will pull you along and leave you wanting more. It is worth reading for the delicious twist in "Candy" alone.
Oct 17, 2014 rated it it was ok
Fractured fairy tales,
reset with modern casts.
The final (dog) story, "Prince,"
rescued it for me.
Molly O'keefe
Oct 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is pretty bonkers creative... I'm loving all the stories...
I loved, loved, loved these stories, especially the titular tale, "The Witch," which is a modern retelling of the Grimm's Hansel and Gretel and "Your Secret’s Safe With Me," a Bluebeard-esque story about an arrogant and controlling new husband.

Reminiscent of Karen Russell and, to an extent, Angela Carter. I would read The Witch and Other Stories again in a heartbeat!
AmberBug **
Aug 07, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc review

Dear Reader,

I reached out to the publisher to get this book early because it caught my eye as being "my thing". And it was but I've been reading so many short stories lately which had me craving a good novel. Without that trouble, I really did like this book. This is a compilation of revamped fairy tales and folklore, each one brought to the modern day (or almost all of them). Most of the stories don't have that "happy ending" and are steeped in actual tragedy within the
Lolly K Dandeneau
May 12, 2014 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed these tales. The story that humored me the most is about the young naive woman that marries the devious creepy older man. I think what captivated me about it was how ridiculous he becomes as his true self was exposed. My favorite is the first tale,in the vein of Hansel/Gretel , as it was creepy and a much too real version of the original. Children are at the whim of adults and corrupt systems, they have such little power or say in anything, and that is frightening. Is it such a ...more
Aug 17, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: unfinished
Goodreads! You do exist! I have been stressed which, for me, leads to distraction via internets which means no reading of things like BOOKS when there are stupid message boards where I can lurk, doing nothing, ruining nothing, thinking about nothing.

I figured a collection of reworked fairy tales would be a good way to transition out of ghosting around true crime boards, back into real fancy spine-having literature.

I'm usually a sucker for retold fairy tales, so despite the fact that I picked Th
Emily Lombardi
May 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I received an advance copy of this book from

This is an excellent book, sometimes frightening and sometimes very funny. Jean Thompson has put a modern day spin on some well known fairy tales, which was very enjoyable, thought provoking, and at times surprising. Not all of the stories are immediately recognizable and some of them took me to the very end before I realized which fairy tales were being re-told. That was definitely part of the fun of reading the tales. The book includes
Maria Beltrami
If you want to tell today some famous fairy tales, what would emerge? As if it would pick the two brothers of Hansel and Gretel, for example, or who could be a modern Sleeping Beauty? The answer is provided by Jean Thompson with these hilarious stories, set in the middle of the twenty-first century and certainly not politically correct.
Writing eye-catching, very well defined characters, and perfect environments make this collection of "tales" a book to be read at all.
Thank you Blue Rider Press a
Oct 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
The Witch and Other Tales Re-Told is a collection of 8 modern fairy tales. I really enjoyed these stories. These tales capture the monsters and magic of the 21st century. Each story is different but all were interesting. Some I recognized which fairy tales they were based on and others not quite as much. I absolutely loved the last story, Prince but I'm not 100 percent sure which fairy tale it represents.

Be warned, most of these are not happily ever afters. Some have some disturbing aspects but
Alpheus Williams
Dec 26, 2014 rated it liked it
The Introduction takes us back in time to the author's memories of her childhood dentist's clinic and a woman dentist who specialised in treating children. It's a wonderfull start to this collection, lyrical and beautifully written. Here the author first encounters the world of make believe.

I enjoyed the stories in this work. Many of them are set in modern urban and suburban environs, with people who we easily identify in our world. The magic is in the characters and the telling and the day to
Sep 02, 2014 rated it liked it
I won this book on a Goodreads giveaway. I have to say I really was excited to read it as I love Fairy Tales and retellings. I was a bit disappointed with this one. I had a hard time telling which fairy tales the stories were supposed to be based on and was not as happy with the ones I could figure out. The cover is amazing. I can say that. However I am not so sure about this book as a whole. Some of the stories were pretty good, some were enjoyable and others I just didnt care for. I had higher ...more
Kelly Wagner
Dec 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Goodreads wants me to recommend this to my friends who like fantasy, and there's a problem with that: these stories aren't fantasy. Yes, they are re-told fairy tales, but here's the thing: they are retold as stories, not as fairy tales. Mostly sset in the present day, with nothing magical about them. They are, as many of the originals were, very dark; definitely not disnified or cute. Ambiguous endings, not happy-ever-after. Sometimes, "Well, at least you're still alive" is as happy as life gets ...more
May 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Witch and Other Tales Re-Told is exactly that, tales re-told in a very unexpected and surprising way. Some of them read like a punch to the gut, and some I still have not figured out which "tale" is being retold, simply because the ideas are presented in such an original way that the story feels new and untarnished. I really enjoyed this collection.
Aug 14, 2014 marked it as did-not-finish
Shelves: digital-galley
Been feeling lately like it's time to start DNF'ing more books that just aren't doing it for me because I have too many books that I really want to read. Digital galley is about to expire + this just isn't really grabbing my attention right now = DNF.

I received an advance digital galley of this book through Penguin's First to Read program.
Jun 18, 2015 rated it did not like it
I was so excited about this book because of its description and summary and then I started reading it. It was so boring that I couldn't even finish it.
Oct 31, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
The Witch is a re-telling of fairy tales in a modern sense. Her stories are subtle. The fairy tale element is there in fine woven threads. A real craft, done quite well by the author.
Christian Hamaker
Dec 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
A mixed bag as a collection, but the endings of the last two stories - the latter of which I was scoffing at until the very moment I wasn't - are horrifying. I won't soon forget them.
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Jean Thompson is a New York Times bestselling author and her new novel, The Humanity Project will be published by Blue Rider Press on April 23, 2013.

Thompson is also the author of the novel The Year We Left Home, the acclaimed short fiction collections Do Not Deny Me, and Throw Like a Girl as well as the novel City Boy; the short story collection Who Do You Love, and she is a 1999 National Book