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What would you do if you found an evil dwarf in your bathtub?

In Robert Darkly’s case you scream like a girl… and then you get taken on a journey to an entirely different world living just on the other side of our own reality; a world where fairy tales are real but not in the way we’ve come to expect them.

The aforementioned dwarf, Rumpelstiltskin, has escaped the Tower prison of Thiside determined to finish the sinister plot he started so many years ago.

Robert Darkly, oblivious that he is the son of the Mad Hatter, must partner with the mysterious ‘Agency’ to pursue Rumpelstiltskin across our world and the world of Thiside and uncover the treacherous secret that threatens to throw both realities into eternal chaos.

279 pages, Kindle Edition

First published December 7, 2013

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About the author

Andrew Buckley

9 books136 followers
Andrew Buckley is a film school-educated writer, which means he’s spent most of his life with no money and a high opinion about bad movies. Sometime around the turn of the century he attended the Vancouver Film School’s Writing for Film and Television program, graduating with excellence. He pitched and developed several screenplay projects for film and television before turning to his chosen career of novel writing (this was due, in part, to his discovery that ‘professional mongoose wrangler’ wasn’t a real profession).

In addition to writing, Andrew speaks to thousands of elementary, middle, and high school students each year about storytelling and writing through the delivery of interactive and engaging workshops and presentations. His novel writing series for teens to adults has received unanimously positive reviews, and he speaks at writing conferences and comic-cons whenever he has the chance.

Andrew is also the co-founder and lead instructor at Wordsmith Academy, is working on several new novels, has a stunning amount of other ideas, and is currently attempting to bend time and space to allow for more hours in the day.

He now lives happily in the Okanagan Valley a multitude of characters that dwell comfortably inside of his mind.

Andrew is represented by Terrie Wolf of AKA Literary Management

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 48 reviews
Profile Image for Aj the Ravenous Reader.
1,030 reviews1,044 followers
July 21, 2016

3 stars for the entire thing plus one star for the “What people say about the novel” (Totally got me! Bahaha!)

An absolutely fun and surprising read. A mesh up of numerous fairytales which I’m sure influenced the author as a child and compelled him and his wildest imaginations to retell these tales through this modern, hilarious story of a 28 year old average man named Robert who one day found himself suddenly dragged into Thiside, the world of fairytale characters (Just don’t let them catch you calling them that, it’s derogatory. Lol!) and burdened with a mission to catch the most notorious dwarf in the said world, Rumplestiltskin (who frequented my nightmares as a kid) *shudders*

At times, it felt a bit too silly and the plot seemed too jam packed. Some events felt like bombs coming off one after the other but the author’s incredible writing and storytelling ability made up for that. His take on popular fairytales, although very grim is completely entertaining and made up for an entirely enjoyable read.

Thanks to (Ate) Shelby (who is celebrating her birthday TODAY) for the indirect recommendation. HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the super cool Aunt I never had.hehe. May your day be filled with awesomeness that your super awesome self deserve. <3
Profile Image for Shelby *trains flying monkeys*.
1,573 reviews5,903 followers
January 31, 2015
"To be honest, I don't find you physically attractive, you're not bred from the best stock, you're very gangly, you don't say the right thing, and taking into account all the evidence, it seems like you are going mad.

That's the kind of romance in this book. It's a take on a different world that I loved. There is Othaside (normal world) and Thiside. I love how the world's are entwined and our reality of fairy tales aren't what really happened. It's so fun reading this book.

Now that dang ending just left me wanting so much more. Andrew Buckley-please get your arse to work on the sequel to this damn book.

Profile Image for ❤Ninja Bunneh❤.
263 reviews173 followers
March 1, 2014
Ironically, I've been on a dark fairy-tale kick this month. When I saw Stiltskin, I knew I had to snatch it.

Imagine, if you will, there is a world next to ours. One that contains every magical fairy-tale character you've ever learned about as a child. It's called Thiside. Now, take every lovely, warm, fuzzy, cozy memory of all your favorite characters and demolish them with a fucking chainsaw. You have the world of Stiltskin.

In Thiside, there are the kingdoms of Oz, the Beast, and even the Kingdom of Hearts. The Seven Dwarves run a mining corporation, Gnomes act like an army, and everyone tries to get along. Sometimes they don't succeed. There are doorways between Thiside and the human world. Doorways that are closely regulated by the White Rabbit. If creatures from Thiside cross over, they have the ability to cause too much havoc in the human world.

There's also the prison tower, where the criminals and evil-doers reside. It's here that our tale begins. It's in this tower, that Rumplestiltskin and The Mad Hatter hatch a plan. The Hatter will help Rumps escape, as long as Rumps finds Hatter's long lost son. His son who lives in the human world. Hatter wants a family reunion and Rumps wants to destroy the doors. It's a plan made in madness.

Robert Darkly has never had a normal life. Strange things are always occurring. As a child, his toys would vanish and he'd often wake up in strange places. These odd occurrences follow him into adulthood. So, when in the span of one day he loses his job and his girlfriend, finds a dwarf holding a knife in his bathtub, and a gorgeous lady with a fairy in tow knocking on his door, he isn't all that shocked. Robert is the type of guy who isn't a hero. In fact, he's often the one that needs saving.

Lily is the woman at the door. She works for the Agency in Thiside, and she needs to stop Rumps from destroying the doors between worlds. She takes Robert along, knowing who he is. Lily, however, isn't who she appears to be. What follows is a twisty dark tale, one in which Robert may end up going a bit mad.

Now, remember what I said about destroying the fuzzies? In this story, the truths about Belle, Snow White, the Beast, and even Little Red Riding Hood are revealed. It isn't pretty.

Ah, watch out for pixies. They bite.

There is a huge twist at the end, to which I say, well fucking played.
I look forward to what comes next.

4.5 Ninja-Bunnehs-Wearing-Top-Hats

(Arc received in exchange for an honest review. Any quotes used subject to change upon final release)
Profile Image for Montzalee Wittmann.
4,559 reviews2,312 followers
June 2, 2017
Stiltskin by Andrew Buckley is by far one of the odds books I have read. Mix some Monty Python, snarky come-backs, mash-ups of fairy tales, and imagine the author being high while writing the book (although I am sure he wasn't but don't go by the book). It is so bizarre it works. I can't even begin to describe it, but now I know where the decorative lawn gnomes come from, how fairies have sex, and where to get therapy for it after I have seen them doing it.
Profile Image for Athena Shardbearer.
355 reviews205 followers
February 26, 2014

Recommended to me by Andrea & Shandra

I was given a free copy from the author Andrew Buckley in exchange for a honest review. Well this book was awesome.

One of my favorite movies growing up was Alice in Wonderland. The whole falling through a tree to a different world, discovering a talking white rabbit, the Mad Hatter, tea parties and a crazy Red Queen. This is not really about just that story, but all the other fairy tales we read as children.

Now I'm going to be honest for a second. I went through Netgalley and seen it up and read the blurb and though, "I don't know, I probably will not like it". Then I seen my friends raving about it, and we have the same taste in books. Went back to Netgalley, saw that it wasn't available anymore and I was sad. Well this Ninja bunny, we will just call her Andrea, said she could ask the author if he would be willing to send a copy my way. I was excited. I mean, I was seeing updates about Red Riding Hood, Mad Hatter, White Rabbit, Rumpelstiltskin, and werewolves and I wanted it more and more. *The whole time my friend were posting updates, I was singing Jefferson Airplane's White Rabbit, in my head.* Then I received my copy and LOVED IT!

Robert Darkly screams like a girl, he's gangly, can't fight to save his life but I love him. He's witty and smart, he's going a little crazy, but who doesn't like a little crazy in their lives? And that ending! Uh, yeah...I need the next book like ASAP! Also, werewolves are totally awesome!

There is Thiside, where the fairy tale characters live, and the Othaside, where we live. I really enjoyed the twist of their stories.

“The Princess Belle was given as a gift by the Queen Aurora’s great-great-great-grandfather to the Beast in order to keep him at bay and away from their kingdom. The Beast was insulted and tore her to pieces.”

“Why on Earth did he do that?”

“Because she was ugly.”

“Not just ugly,” said Gnick, “I heard that her looks were comparable to a troll.”

I don't want to give anymore away, so much more not written here. I will say that I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I love it, it's going into my favorites and I will read book two when it is released.

Thank you again to Andrew Buckley for sending me a free copy!
Profile Image for Shandra.
259 reviews83 followers
February 19, 2014
5 stars. Any spoilers will be clearly marked.

You think you know our traditional fairy tale characters? Think again. Welcome to a world in which exists Thiside and Othaside. Othaside is where we are right now. Thiside is where everything else is. Robert Darkley has always felt different. Strange things have always happened to him. He learned to accept them. But when he walks into his bathroom and finds a dwarf with a knife in his hand, even he's a bit shocked. Robert is then involved on a quest to stop Rumplestiltskin from taking down the barrier between Thiside and Othaside, allowing everyone to travel freely between the two realms. What he discovers about himself is something he never saw coming.

We have giants, dwarves, gnomes, Red Riding Hood, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, the Mad Hatter, the Cheshire Cat, trolls, flying beasts that resemble dragons, the Big Bad Wolf, the White Rabbit, Snow White, Pixies, Fairies….eeeeek!!!! There's all sorts of creatures that exist in this world!!! There are ZERO dull moments, the world building is great, the characters are likable (and those that are to be despised are easily despised), and the story flows nicely!

Meet some of our players:

White rabbit photo: White Rabbit (blend) blend_rabbit-pronta-1.jpg

evil mad hatter photo: Grumpy Ol' Hatter Mad_Hatter_from_Alice_in_Wonderland.jpg

rumplestiltskin photo: tumblr_lw09l9quDi1r18bbfo1_500.gif

cheshire cat photo: Cheshire Cat aiw_cheshire_cat.jpg

 photo image_zps825e2517.jpg

 photo image_zps9769eb0a.jpg

evil red riding hood photo: Vesta Eos Cacci Sexy_and_Evil_Red_Riding_Hood_by_Mo.jpg

…those are just some of my favorites!! And that coooover!!!! I LOOOOVE that cover!!!!!!!!! One of my absolute favorites!!

 photo Stiltskin-Andrew-Buckley_zps5476d060.jpg

This was a fun, fast paced story!! Mister Buckley needs to hurry it up and give me a sequel!!! ;o)

A copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my feelings, thoughts, review, or rating.
September 1, 2015
Ever felt as if a book is too good to only be in print? Like it needs to have a bigger stage.. Saaayy.. a movie??!!
It's like that with STILTSKIN!!!!

Oh gosh, it's a whirlwind of adventure!! I'm so proud to say that I read this book!

Alright, first things first..

The characters.. There are many of them here, but only a few that you'd understand right off the bat. A lot of them are complex and some of them, I only got to understand in the end. I would say that these characters are portrayed uniquely and are introduced very much in detail. I swear the author has a knack for introducing characters in the most interesting way possible! He gives them a grand entrance, in my opinion, that you have no choice but be intrigued!

So.. Characters? BIG CHECK! Protagonists or antagonists.. He nailed them!

I have two favorite characters, The "CAT" who's all wise and very entertaining and Veszico, my hotheaded and tinier fictional self. Haha! So there! It's all cool! They're both cool! :)

No as for the story it self... Of course, you probably already know that this is all about the fairy tale world, but it's not depicted as that. It's way different! Plus, you get to see many of these fairy tale characters in a different light!

Just to give you a bit of information regarding the story... It all revolves around one guy who never fit in the normal world. He's an odd one and many, many weird things have been happening to him over the years that they all seem familiar to him now. I found him to be a sad sort of individual at first, but as it turns out, he has a colorful past.. one with a rabbits, dwarfs, wolves, magic and endless mysteries. He has a chance to venture there now and he takes it! He gets to meet a lot of um.. people.. and umm.. creatures. He also gets to travel from one umm.. place to many others. It's all so interesting!

That's what you get here. No boring moments! Even the characters' banters are well worth your time! I had a good time laughing my ass off with most of their lines! :)

As a big fan of fairy tale remakes (trust me, I've read many of them!), I can tell you that this one is damn good! One would say that the author took a risky move in depicting many characters in a very outlandish way, but I call it brave! To me, that risk also paid off because I love what happened here. It's enjoyable, entertaining and full of surprises!

All in all.. I would gladly give this a perfect 5!

I can't wait for the next one!!! ^_____^

An ARC was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Byron Edgington.
Author 18 books8 followers
February 15, 2014
Here we have a fantastical romp, a tour de force combination Mother Goose meets C.S. Lewis, meets Wind in the Willows, meets L. Frank Baum, meets the Jabberwock and a few other proto-typical made-up ghoolies and ghosties and Gnomes, oh my! Taking a page from Lewis Carroll, there’s even a rabbit hole of sorts, a series of doors that allow passage from thiside, to othaside, provided the traveler keys the passage with the correct bodily fluids, of course. This all makes perfect sense in the reverse/mirror/upside down/right side up world of Stiltskin, trust me.
Jack leaves The Tower on a mission, to find the Hatter’s sone. Away he goes, as if jumping over a candlestick, it seems.
Robert Darkly has had a terrible, no good, depressing, very bad day. “And not just miserable; he was really miserable.” Fired from his job, given the boot by his girlfriend, harassed by Gertrude, his landlady, he sets out to find—wait for it—his long lost father. Why this particular quest? Buckley’s POV character is Darkly’s inner dialogue, the voice that he carries on a conversation with throughout the book. Mr. Darkly, no relation to Mr. Darcy, one assumes, has the uniquely British habit of a maddening deference that causes him to apologize for everything, even to his own inner voice at times. “You’re fired” “Sorry?” Somehow this obsequious quality manages to be endearing, though we’re truly at a loss to see why. Sorry.
Back at The Tower, Rumplestiltskin has escaped! We’re introduced to the White Rabbit, then the gnomes (so that’s where those kitschy little garden creatures come from!) and to a ten-foot straw figure who, this reader is guessing, must be a Rapunzel tossed in there for good measure. It goes without saying that Tinkerbelle has a major part in this funny, rollicking fantasy. She may be named Veszico in this book, so perhaps Tink’s distant relative, but as they say, if it flies like a Tink, talks like a Tink, casts a spell like a Tink… (BTW, this little sprite has a hell of a way with frying pans, so don’t get too close, just saying.)
There is indeed a love interest. Mr. Darkly is quite smitten with our Little Red Riding Hood character Lily, who, it turns out, doubles as a werewolf! Egads! The two sparring lovers wind up, somehow, buried alive. Until Ms Redcloak, who is, ahem, ‘the girl with a dragon tattoo,’ saves the day by hurling rocks and dirt and heaven itself away from the grave.
If the reader isn’t yet satisfied with the rambunctious reading, stick around. Darkly does indeed find out who dear old dad is, but you’d have to boil me in hot rabbit blood to reveal it here. And then I’d never make it to the Othaside.
Buckley has a way with story, though in fairness to readers, the book may possibly, maybe, perhaps be a bit overly laden with characters. One must take notes. There’s a fair amount of tension, and though one does need to suspend disbelief in a major way, that’s exactly the point. Characters weave in and out with abandon, and those we’re convinced from childhood are the good guys, turn out to be rascals. Maybe that’s a political statement of sorts, who knows.
Fewer names, better transitions and a higher climax with more for our hero to lose would make this an excellent book. As it is, it’s merely hilarious and satisfying. I liked it. If you enjoyed any of the tomes mentioned in the mashup above, if you ever were a child or perhaps still are, regardless of age and senility—especially the latter— you’ll like it, too. Maybe Andrew Buckley is Father Goose? Stranger things have transpired. One last thing: be careful around those garden gnomes. You just never know.
Byron Edgington, author of The Sky Behind Me: A Memoir of Flying & Life
Profile Image for Monique.
108 reviews24 followers
March 22, 2014

Originally posted here: http://moniquesmobooks.blogspot.ca/20...

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

Stiltskin was humorous, dark and mysterious and introduces some classic fairytale characters in a unique new manner. I really enjoyed the world that Andrew Buckley created and the plot was quite intriguing. I have to say though that I felt awful for Robert throughout most of the book. His life was kind of like a sad country song for awhile. Even though Robert seemed to say all of the wrong things, which earned him the nickname Moron, he dealt with all of the strange happenings surprisingly well. I really grew to love him and his awkwardness towards the end. There are a lot of interesting characters in this story including appearances by the White Rabbit, the Muffin Man, Mother Goose and other classic fairytale characters. But they are not exactly the way you might remember them.

The book is told from multiple points of view, from quite a few characters. Normally I love how different p.o.v's create such a well rounded story if the scenes flow together nicely, so it isn't confusing. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case with this story. The plot was great but the constant switching back and forth between characters, sometimes after only a few paragraphs, was just way too much. As a rule I always finish a book I start and I'm glad that I worked past this problem. After the first hundred pages or so, the story picks up pace and starts getting really good.

I was surprised with the ending. I really have to say that I didn't see it coming and I would like to find out how things go for Robert Darkly in the next instalment of this series.

I give this a 3 out of 5 stars.
✯ ✯ ✯
Profile Image for Pop Bop.
2,475 reviews101 followers
August 11, 2016
Bizarro is Best

A few years ago I read a wonderful book by Robert Rankin titled The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse. It was my first experience with bizarro fiction humor and I loved it. The most succinct definition I've seen for bizarro fiction is from Wikipedia: "Bizarro fiction is a contemporary literary genre, which often uses elements of absurdism, satire, and the grotesque, along with pop-surrealism and genre fiction staples, in order to create subversive works that are as weird and entertaining as possible."

This book follows in that fine tradition. Actually, since bizarro can be deadly serious, explicitly sexual, or grotesquely violent, this book falls into the sub-genre of amiably humorous bizarro, (as did "Hollow Chocolate Bunnies..."). You'll see a lot of comparisons to Terry Pratchett or Douglas Adams, and so on, and that seems fair in terms of word play, deadpan asides, humorous undersatement, and antic plotting.

The particular appeal of this book is that it melds a bizarro sensibility with a reimagining of classic fairy tales. There are a lot of books out now that are based on those tales. Many are very earnest; some are playful reinterpretations; some just take on familiar names and characters to go to other places. This is one of the best books to treat the fairy tales with respect, but then tweak and subvert them, often to very sly, subtle and knowing ends.

So, it's funny, it is intricately plotted, it delights in its deadpan wordplay, and it entertains and satisfies. Can't ask for much more than that.

Please note that I received a free advance ecopy of this book in exchange for a candid review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.
Profile Image for A Voracious Reader (a.k.a. Carol).
1,953 reviews1 follower
March 7, 2014
*Book source ~ A review copy was provided in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to Curiosity Quills.

Rumpelstiltskin has been imprisoned in the Tower for years and years. Now, somehow he has escaped and he’s on a mission to finish the dastardly deed he started so many years ago. But first, he has to pass a message to the Mad Hatter’s son, Robert Darkly who doesn’t live in Thiside with the rest of the weird and dark fairy tale denizens. Robert lives in Othaside or as we call it, normal reality. However, Robert’s life hasn’t exactly been normal though he has no idea why. Well, his journey to discovering who he really is starts with a very rude dwarf in his bathtub.

An entertaining fairy tale retelling that is not warm and fuzzy. The entities in the so-called fairy tales are nothing like what is written in Othaside, I mean, our reality. They are very very different. I had fun trying to guess which person (we’ll say person here even though there are animals, dwarves, gnomes and other weirdos) matched which story. Robert Darkly is a bit of a dweeb. But he’s a likeable dweeb and following him around while he’s following around Lily and two gnomes was quite entertaining. Especially when he starts talking to a voice in his head. Well, apparently he’s not the Mad Hatter’s son for nothing. The ending is left a bit up in the air and I’m peeved I didn’t get to find out who Robert’s mother was. I also have an almost uncontrollable urge to go buy a garden gnome for my front yard. Maybe I’ll just watch some of the Travelocity YouTube videos until the urge passes.
Profile Image for Monica.
307 reviews58 followers
March 27, 2014
Robert Darkly is having a bad day. He lost his job, his girlfriend broke up with him, and his landlady is pissed off at him. Now there's a Dwarf in his bathtub who seems to know him. What is going on?

Vivid and multi-layered descriptions and mysteries fill the narrative creating an intense, enjoyable world(s). To a degree, the frequently interspersed humor is reminiscent of Douglas Adams.

Characters are unique, varied, humorous, with dark moments, histories, and/or genetics.

Overall, a fun read.
Profile Image for Karissa.
3,912 reviews192 followers
February 21, 2014
I got a copy of this book to review through NetGalley. I am doing a fairy tales retold reading challenge this year, and this book fits that perfectly. This was a funny novel...it’s a bit snarky and reminds of Terry Pratchett’s or Robert Asprin’s style of writing.

Robert Darkly has always had strange things happen to him throughout his life. But a Dwarf showing up in his bathtub is among the strangest. When Robert is drawn into events beyond his knowledge because of his unknown father, things get pretty crazy for him. Ends up there is a whole parallel world called Thiside that Robert didn't even know existed, and it is filled with all sorts of somewhat recognizable characters pulled from many fairy tales.

This is a funny and decently written twisted fairy tale retelling. It incorporates a number of different tales into this story: Rumpelstiltskin, Red Riding Hood, and Alice in Wonderland to name a few of them.

It's a little over the top at times and the dialogue constantly veers away into little asides (for example what two birds that are mating are thinking or what the spell that is being cast thinks about everything). In this way the style is somewhat similar to Terry Pratchett's writing style. I did think that some of the asides distracted from the story and didn’t add all that much to the story.

Robert is your fairly standard run of the mill forgettable guy, except wierd things happen to him. Through the course of his adventures he discovers he can do outstanding things, and one of his greatest powers is his ability to accept the strangeness around him.

Lily is the other main character and she is from the Agency. The Agency is a group that works on keeping Thiside safe from Othaside. Lily gets involved in tracking down Rumpelstiltskin when he escapes and Robert gets pulled along because he is involved in some unknown way. Lily is capable, pretty, and has a pretty big secret...let’s just say The Red Riding Hood fairy tale actually played out a bit differently in this world…

There are many quirky characters throughout and they are entertaining (if a bit over the top at times).

The story is well put together and I enjoyed it overall. Things are wrapped up a bit quickly and the ending felt a bit forced. The book does not really end at a great spot and the way it's left leaves the reader uncertain as to whether or not there will be more books about Robert Darkly and his adventures in Thiside.

Overall an entertaining read if you enjoy fairy tale retellings done in a humorous, over-the-top, madcap type of writing style. As I said both the characters and the plot are a bit slap-stick and over the top...not my favorite...but if you enjoy that kind of thing I think you will like this novel. It is a funny and amusing read.
Profile Image for Free_dreamer.
354 reviews25 followers
July 14, 2014
Robert's day couldn't be worse. The night before, his on-off girlfriend suddenly dumped him for good and couldn't even give him a reason why. The next morning, he gets fired, out of nowhere and for no apparent reason. To make matters worse, he leaves his umbrella at work on a rainy day. At home, his landlady complains about his wet shoes because they ruin the floor. The only thing that could possibly help now is a long, hot bath. But then a dwarf suddenly drops in Robert's beloved bathtub. From then on, everything goes rather neatly to hell for Robert.

"Stiltskin" doesn't take itself too seriously. That much becomes obvious as soon as you read the typical "praise for this book" by various stars and starlets. Miley Cyrus swears she'll never sit naked on a wrecking ball again because of this book and Angelina Jolie stopped saving the world one adopted child at a time just to enjoy this book. That's the first time I nearly fell off my chair thanks to Andrew Buckley's mean sense of humour.

I usually don't particularly enjoy funny books, so I was admittedly a little dubious whehter I would like this book, but I absolutely loved "Stiltskin". I downloaded the excerpt and just couldn't stop reading. It's definitely addicting. The plot takes countless unexpected twists and turns and I was hooked within minutes. It was full of suspense and utterly hilarious at the same time. "Stiltskin" is an insane book, full of crazy ideas, but I never felt like it was ridiculous.

I really enjoyed the world building. You get to meet well-known fairy tale characters such as Stiltskin and the Mad Hatter, but they don't quite behave the way fairy tales want to make us believe. Because what humanity doesn't know is that there are actually two worlds. "Othaside", the world we live in, and "Thiside", the world where so-called fairy tale characters live. Fairy tales are just made-up stories that are based on remarkable people from Thiside. That concept allowed the author to give his protagonists real depth and a unique background story.

To sum it up, "Stiltskin" is not your typical fairy tale. It's hilarious, insane and absolutely addicting. I enjoyed every single second of it and I can't wait to read the second part, especially with that completely unexpected twist at the end. Read it!
Profile Image for Matthew Cox.
Author 180 books259 followers
February 13, 2014
From the moment I read Death, the Devil, and the Goldfish, I knew I wanted to read more from Andrew Buckley. Stiltskin did not disappoint. The story follows the moderately hapless and ever-gangly Robert Darkly as he is going about a very odd day. Robert is no stranger to strange days, as strange things have strangely been happening to him for as long as he can remember.

After being cruelly deprived of a much-needed warm respite by the presence of an irritable dwarf in his bathwater, Robert gets dragged screaming and confused into another world. Once there, he sees the creatures that inspired classic fairy tales from the other side of the looking glass.

We have been a touch misinformed.

As Robert chases the mad dwarf, he runs into a bevy of characters he thought familiar but prove to be anything but. Mr. Buckley has created a fanciful story that appeals to the little boy or girl inside every one of us―the one that likes to light things on fire when no one is watching.

Filled with quirky humor and classic British understatement, Stiltskin had me laughing out loud quite a few times, much to the dismay of others in the room. The jokes and situations are spot-on, the dialogue is perfect, and the characters practically leap off the page―and grab you by the jubblies. The story, alas, is ill-suited to faint-hearted goats who may not take well to certain scenes of hircusine violence.
Profile Image for Bukola.
115 reviews12 followers
January 31, 2014
This book is so funny. From the fictional reviews to the very last page where your jaw literally drops, I laughed all through. Buckley wrote with English humour, which I quite enjoy. The characters were also very rich. My favorite, of course was Robert Darkly himself. I could relate with his slightly out of place feeling, and although not much else is quick about him, he has a quick wit and biting sarcasm.

The relationships between the characters developed at a reasonable rate, and I loved that. From pure hatred in some cases, to admiration, then respect and even fondness.

Andrew Buckley does warn that if you like classic fairy tales, this story probably isn’t for you and he is right. Everything you’ve ever heard, everything you’ve always believed will be turned inside out. So, this is not something you read to your children, except of course the plan is to scar them permanently. I like how the suspense slowly builds and leads up to the cliff-hanger ending.

And that ending, oh dear Lord, that ending! The twist! You almost don’t see it coming, but you do, and it still takes you by surprise. I loved reading this book. I thoroughly enjoyed it.Andrew Buckley
Profile Image for Kathy .
288 reviews
April 26, 2015
STILTSKIN - by Andrew Buckley

This novel is a retelling of all the fairytale classics that I have known to come to love as a child. Stiltskin is a dwarf, who breaks out from the tower prison with help of a mysterious person. He was sent to the Otherside to give the mysterious person's son a message. The Otherside is Reality where people like you and me live. Who grew up reading about the Fairytales in books. The Thiside is the land of Fantasy where all our beloved characters of our Fairytales live.

Robert Darkly was just having a bummed out day, he just lost his job, his girlfriend left him and was feeling sorry for himself. He was about to take a bath when a Dwarf shows up in his bathtub and also these Agents from the Thiside show up. Robert embarks on a journey through the Thiside along with two Agents Jack and Lillian, and two Gnomes seeking for the notorious Rumplestiltskin. Will they find him in time and what is Stiltskin after? Follow along with the characters to find out who they are and what the secret that Stiltskin is hiding.
Profile Image for Carl Hackman.
Author 5 books11 followers
April 14, 2017
Richard Darkly has had a crappy day and has no idea of how much worse it is about to get. The fact that a homicidal dwarf landed in his bathtub and a lunatic fairy renders him unconscious is just the beginning of the adventure - no scratch that, I mean nightmare - which is about to follow.

Strange things have happened to him throughout his life and he has come to expect them. But when he is thrust into another world where the characters from fairy tales of childhood seem to live, but not exactly as sweet and jolly as he was led to expect, then his sanity and whole belief system is tested to the full.

This story is a helter-skelter ride of hilarity and fun.

Definitely a must read for anyone who enjoys humorous fantasy.
Profile Image for Shawna Briseno.
380 reviews6 followers
February 6, 2014
ARC provided by NetGalley:
Stiltskin by Andrew Buckley

Twisted. Hysterically demented. Creepy. And that was just the prologue of this little take on tales from the Brothers Grimm. The Mad Hatter, Jack from the Beanstalk, the Muffin Man, and the City of Oz make an appearance among many others. In this version, Rumplestiltskin has escaped from prison and is on a mission for revenge. A warning: This is not the fairy tale you may remember from your childhood. There's plenty of violence with a liberal amount of cursing thrown in for good measure. It's a good story if you like fantasy, but this one's definitely for the adults.
Profile Image for Michelle Hauck.
Author 7 books247 followers
February 5, 2014
Judging by the cover art and book blurb I expected Stiltskin to be quirky, but I didn't expect to enjoy the humor and tight plot of this fairy tale retelling quite so much.

The characters were entertaining. The humor was nonstop. The plot pace was fast. And if you like quirky plot twists and turns, you've found your story.

The ending seemed to be wrapping up in a neat package then--blam--another crazy twist!

Feisty gnomes and dead witches, insane prisoners and magic, doors to other worlds, this one has it all.

I received a copy through Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Lainey.
3 reviews1 follower
March 22, 2017
I really enjoyed Stiltskin! It was a great mix of humor, fantasy, and darkness. The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars was because I prefer a neatly wrapped up ending. It was well written though and very enjoyable.
Profile Image for Yzabel Ginsberg.
Author 3 books102 followers
February 6, 2014
(I received an ebook copy from NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.)

2.5 stars.

While the idea of retelling fairy tales and/or making them bastardised versions of darker truths is nothing new in itself, I think Andrew Buckley did a good job in building his world. In this world, nothing is as bright and pure as we were led to believe as children, and Robert Darkly is going to discover it fast. Some were thiefs; some were murderers; some were imprisoned in the Tower, or died, while others managed to remain at large; but all characters from those "tales" lived much different lives in Thiside than human people remember them in Othaside.

I had no problems when it came to imagining Thiside and its twisted landscapes, nor to appreciating the various twists made on stories: the author made the latter seem almost logical, in a convoluted way. And darker. Much darker. If it's happy-ever-afters you're looking for, it's not in those versions of the tales you'll find them. I tend to like this; other readers may not. In any case, this novel is fraught both with darkness and with humour, making the spins strangely amusing; I found myself chuckling more than once, even though some of the events weren't perceived as such by the characters.

However, at times, said characters seemed a little too bland to my taste. I'm not sure why exactly, I just had the feeling that, while in some parts they came truly alive, in others they were "made for the story", so to speak. As a result, a few happenings and evolutions had an aftertaste of artificial. (Well, of course a story is artificial, and the ones who people it are just as artificial; I just don't like feeling it.) In some places, too, the writing wasn't as polished as in others; for instance, I'd spot a fine sentence next to one full of unneeded (in my opinion, that is) adverbs.

It was an amusing book—and I must say, I loved the ending. I sensed it coming, but only in retrospect: only when it happened did I realise it just couldn't end in any other way. I'll remember the story and the atmosphere more than the characters, though.
Profile Image for Bruce Gargoyle.
874 reviews144 followers
May 8, 2014
Full review at http://thebookshelfgargoyle.wordpress...

I received a digital copy of this title from Curiosity Quills.

Ten Second Synopsis:
Bunny-stabbing dwarf escapes from imprisonment and goes on the rampage through a door in reality. Robert assumes his day was as bad as it was going to get. Then he discovers said dwarf in his bathtub. Silly Robert. Things can ALWAYS get worse.

3.5 stars

We love a bit of silliness around the shelf and this book has silliness in bucketloads. Not just silliness though, oh no. There’s a fair bit of violence towards sweet defenceless fairy tale creatures. There’s warrior gnomes and random facts about the mechanics of sex between fairies. There’s a smidgeon of old-ladies being subjected to hallucinatory shifts in reality. Really, there’s something for everyone over the age of eighteen to be found here, and a lot of it is pretty funny. Buckley maintains a light, humorous tone throughout and there are many little asides that are designed to throw out your train of thought and give you an unsought-after giggle. Rumpelstiltskin is suitably evil and the Mad Hatter is appropriately devious and conniving. Robert is adorably clueless and the White Rabbit imposing in his managerial capacity. Overall, it’s just a good, fun romp and you should probably give it a go if you’re into retellings. Or even if you’re not.

This book feels like the familiar fairy tale character that we know and love (to hate), but there’s a strange and beguiling Urban Fantasy twist going on that reminded me of books like Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman and Un Lun Dun by China Mieville but with a lighter tone. It’s got an atmosphere all its own though and I’d like to see what other delights Buckley has/will come up with.
Profile Image for Ciska.
848 reviews46 followers
August 12, 2016
Andrew Buckley was born in Manchester. As a child he wrote a story about a big blue dinosaur which got awarded by his elementary teacher with a gold star.
In 1997 he moved to Canada where he attended the Vancouver Film School’s Writing for Film and Television program where he graduated with excellence.
After pitching and developing several screenplay projects for film and television he worked in marketing and public relations for several years before venturing into a number of content writing contracts. During this time he abandoned screenwriting altogether and began writing his first novel.
Andrew lives in the Okanagan Valley, BC with his wife, children and pets.

I am not sure how I can review this book without giving to much away. I will start with a warning... If you love cute and pink fairy tales with pretty princesses and prince charming do not read this book. You will be having nightmares after reading 10 pages.
Robert Darkly is a bit clumsy and gets confused easily. Anything that can go wrong will go wrong but Robert never understands what exactly happened. Lily is the total opposite though she might had some help with getting that handy, smart and strong. All characters in this book are one big cliché but the story is going so fast and it is all so obvious it does not get the time to get annoying.
Told from different points of view giving you all kind of opinion about the different creatures in this book. While the whole mystery unravels there are a lot of surprises and funny developments.
A great laugh and remember not to take is serious!

*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review*
Profile Image for Chicco Padovan.
Author 5 books24 followers
February 16, 2014
Gli autori che hanno scritto romanzi in cui i personaggi delle fiabe classiche interagiscono fra loro sono più d’uno. Tra i primi che ricordo cito Kathryn Wesley con The 10th Kingdom e Janna Jennings con A Grimm Legacy .
Ci prova anche Andrew Buckley nel suo Stiltskin, Curiosity Quills Press. In questo caso il libro è destinato a un pubblico di giovani adulti e il raggio d’azione si estende alla letteratura fantasy in senso ampio. Sono presenti personaggi dei Grimm, ma anche di Alice nel paese delle meraviglie, Il mago di Oz e dell’immaginario fantastico collettivo (gnomi, lupi mannari, piccole fate e così via).
L’autore brilla nella costruzione dei dialoghi e di momenti comici sparsi nel dipanarsi della storia. Ha una notevole propensione per la commedia e in questo è davvero bravo. Il romanzo, tuttavia, non decolla. La trama è macchinosa e non mi ha coinvolto. Il protagonista è simpatico, ma tutta questa storia di porte per passare da un mondo all’altro mi ha lasciato pressoché indifferente.
Non voglio essere negativo: Buckley ha un suo talento e penso possa crescere come scrittore. Nondimeno, per ora la lettura non mi ha convinto fino in fondo.

In other words: messy story, brilliant dialogues. I think Buckley has a great talent for comedy and can grow a lot as a writer.
Profile Image for Emma.
534 reviews14 followers
March 11, 2014
I received a free copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I hate saying that I did not finish a book, I would rather pretend that it did not happen and not tell anyone about it. But since this was a review book I could not do that. I had to fess up that this book was just not for me. That is the one reason I hate admitting defeat is that people assume that it was a bad book. In this case it was a really well written, coherent book. I just found it too much, (reminded me of Terry Pratchett, who I really do not like to read).

There was some great concepts in this book. Like the idea of the rabbits building the building and the lightning happening whenever. It was too full on for me. I like to be able to grasp one concept before another is thrown at me. I know a lot of people do like this style of writing, it’s just personal opinion. I was confused at times, I had to reread paragraphs to see if I was missing things.

I got to page 75 and decided that if I kept going I would end up hating the book, instead we parted ways on good terms, both determined to find the perfect partner, which sadly we did not find in each other, even after a very promising start. I am not going to rate it since I did not finish it and the fact that I know it is not bad, just not suited to me.

So if you like witty, clever and action packed books this is for you. Especially if you are a Terry Pratchett fan, you should delve right in.
Profile Image for Jaid.
10 reviews2 followers
December 4, 2013
No Spoilers or story summery in this review:
Andrew Buckley has a wonderful sense of humor that is just off center enough to score consistent bulls eyes. In his latest novel 'Stiltskin' he manages to keep you smirking, chuckling, and laughing throughout the tale. The novel has the odd and sometimes twisted look at the inanely normal that his fans have come to love. If you are fan of 'Death the Devil and A Goldfish' you will certainly want to picking up this book.

At its heart Siltskin is a very different kind of story. This trip through the rabbit's door Mr. Buckley takes readers on a darker and slightly more serious adventure. The writing style has matured and with that has come a depth of mystery and anticipation throughout the tale he weaves making this story more than just funny and quirky. It's a real urban fantasy with a healthy dash of mystery and a smidge of "why is this sardine in my pocket?".

I genuinely enjoyed reading Stiltskin. I fully support a 4 of 5 star rating and recommend this read to anyone who likes a wacky mystery wrapped in hilarious. The only thing that keeps it from being a 5 of 5 is that some of the funny tangent thoughts do start to become a bit predicable or fall a little flat. However, that that is a small thing in the face of so much awesome. Read it, you won't be sorry.
Profile Image for Eileen.
468 reviews5 followers
December 23, 2013
Robert Darkly has had a pretty unlucky life- suspensions, breakups, job losses. After a particularly rough day, Robert comes home to find a knife holding, homicidal dwarf (Rumplestiltskin) in his bathroom and a frying pan wielding fairy. He, of course, does what any man would do- he starts screaming like a girl.
Robert soon discovers there is another realm. A realm where most of our favorite fairytale characters exist- Snow White, Rapunzel, Beast, Belle, the White Rabbit etc. Robert must help Lily-an Agent charged with protecting the doors between the two worlds, solve the mystery of how Stiltskin escaped the jail cell he was locked in and why he wants to kill Robert.
A great read for fans of Once Upon a Time, the Fairy Tales graphic novels and the "darker" side that is Grimm.
Stiltskin is dark but funny but be warned- it IS the first in its series.
Profile Image for Tracy.
173 reviews
March 31, 2014
A messed-up fairy tale with Rumpelstiltskin as the title character, with a Men in Black type of agency policing the fairy tale world and an eye-catching cover sounded like an interesting premise, but I found it somewhat lacking.

I read this title as an ARC from Netgalley.

It took me a while to read because I just could not get engaged in the story. I would read a little and then find something else I would rather read more, and get back to this when I finished. The story is told in a humorous and ironic, irrelevant even, tone, with the names, descriptions, and the ongoing theme that these aren't like the fairy tales the "real" world knows, but it just fell flat. There were constant twists and revelations, complete with a surprise ending that leaves room for a sequel (unless it's just to make a point about happily ever after).
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