Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings” as Want to Read:
The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings

4.55  ·  Rating details ·  132 ratings  ·  30 reviews
Welcome back to the magic and pathos of Angela Slatter’s exquisitely imagined tales.

The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings returns to the world of Sourdough and Other Stories (Tartarus, 2010), introducing readers to the tales that came before. Stories where coffin-makers work hard to keep the dead beneath; where a plague maiden steals away the children of an ungratefu
Hardcover, 278 pages
Published September 1st 2014 by Tartarus Press (first published August 31st 2014)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.55  · 
Rating details
 ·  132 ratings  ·  30 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings
Always clear and hauntingly beautiful, Angela Slatter can be realistically called one of the masters of the short fiction form, balancing earthy and detailed characters and settings that suck you in against chillingly dreadful stories of degradation, revenge, and magic.

Each story is poetry, but what really gets to me is the fact that each story in this collection, as with Sourdough, are connected.

Not all of them are obviously connected, and in fact, between these two books, they range over great
Jan 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Astonishing fairy tale fantasy novel told through a series of loosely connected short stories. The stories could, in most cases, stand alone, but when taken as a whole, well, it's greater than the sum of its parts. The place and time are fictional, think Wales and the Dark Ages, and just about anything can happen. This is a story about women and how they saved the world's knowledge that is so bewitching that it is hard to compare it to anything else. Angela Carter comes to mind and maybe a littl ...more
Geticus Polus
Sep 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Imagine yourself as a six years old rug rat with a burning passion for everything ghastly and ghostly: haunted houses, satyrs, enchanted hills, strange gaunt gentlemen, more haunted stuff and so on. Now imagine that your uncle is Ray Russell. Once a week you will visit him at his house and there you will spend all day looking with wide-eyes at those shelves with old, musty, dusty books. Please, uncle Ray, read me a story, you will say. And Uncle Ray will open a book and he will read you a story ...more
Seregil of Rhiminee
Aug 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Originally published at Risinghadow.

Angela Slatter's The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings was a pleasant surprise for me, because it's an excellent collection of dark fantasy stories and dark fairy-tale-like stories for adults. As a long time fan of the darker and literary side of speculative fiction I can mention that this collection is a unique and rewarding reading experience to those who love literary dark fantasy stories.

Because I was deeply impressed by the author's stories and her w
S.B. Wright
Aug 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Angela Slatter has, along with her regular partner in fiction Lisa L Hannett, been one of those authors I have collected yet never really got around to reading due to the reviewing pile taking precedence over the personal reading pile. Sure, I have read single stories on occasion, enough to know that the money I have put down on her other collections is well spent. The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings from Tartarus, is then the first collection that I have read in its entirety. It’s also p ...more
Sarah (CoolCurryBooks)
TW: sexual assault, parental abuse

The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings is a remarkable short story collection with sharp prose, dark edges, and feminist themes. All that said, I, strangely enough, didn’t love it as much as Angela Slatter’s previous collection, Sourdough and Other Stories. It might be a difference in expectations. I had no expectations for Sourdough but high expectations for The Bitterwood Bible. But I also found myself tiring of repeated stories dealing with sexual assault
Unlike the first anthology of hers I read, this one was disappointing. I didn't care much for any of the short stories, and there was a repeat of one of the stories I liked in the previous collection. It's a weirder, cruder, and more unpolished collection that's also become repetitive thematically. ...more
Ian Mond
Feb 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
My thoughts on this incredible short story collection (or mosaic novel) can be found here - -

episode 42 of the Writer and the Critic podcast.
toria (vikz writes)
Sep 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
An excellent read. If you like fairy tale worlds, ghostly apparitions and horrific environments, read this book. This is Slatter at her best and believe me that really is saying about. Angela Slatter is rapidly becoming one of my favorite authors.
Sep 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-fiction
I'm breathless and set adrift. I feel myself buoyed on gently lapping waves, in this world of Angela Slatter's making. The delicacy of words as tactile creatures wraps around me. Oh, how I've missed how luscious stories can be. ...more
Apr 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A collection of beautiful and captivating stories.
Sourdough and Other Stories by Angela Slatter has been on my radar for ages, but somehow I've just never got around to reading it. For a while I didn't realise it was available as an ebook - and Tartarus Press does lovely hard copies, but they're a leedle expensive for a book you're taking a chance on. And I also wasn't sure that these stories were ones that I would really connect with. I mean, yes, I loved "Brisneyland by Night" in Sprawl, and a few others Slatter has written - especially with ...more
Sep 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
A rich, rewarding collection of stories that is both playful and immersive. Unlike most fairy tale retellings - and this is a less obvious example of that sub-genre (counter-genre?) than Slatter's earlier collection The Girl With No Hands - it is an immersive and even interlinked gathering of stories. Valuing atmospheric storytelling over subversive formal techniques that inject modern mores to 'correct' traditional folk and fairy tales (even if this is a feminist book, broadly speaking), Slatte ...more
Elena Mauri
Apr 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Usually this is not a genre I love but this book was totally astonishing, I literally couldn't put it down. It took me so long to read it just because my knowledge of english is limited. This novel is the result of several shot stories, all set in a fictional time and place. It surprised me the incredible ability of Angela Slatter of describing the story so well I felt I was there without even knowing it. It is not only for people who are particularly into the fairy tales world, it's written jus ...more
Mar 07, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: three-star
I'll be a dissenting voice: I thought her prose was lovely (most of the time) but that the stories themselves weren't particularly engaging and tended to run together. For a fuller explanation, see here. ...more
This was absolute perfection!

For my complete review in all its gushing fangirly glory, click here
Oct 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful. Lyrical in every sense of the word. Ties nicely to Sourdough.
Susie Munro
exquisite modern gothic collection intricately woven together to form a creepy and evocative whole
Alan Baxter
Sep 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Quite simply I love Slatter's writing and her stories. I can't recommend this highly enough, and also Sourdough & Other Stories. ...more
Dec 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
This was amazingly good. It's a composite novel of dark fantasy / fairy tales. Somewhat feminist, very atmospheric. ...more
Nov 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: high-fantasy
Seriously fucking amazing. If you're an Angela Carter fan pick this up. ...more
I love related short stories, and Angela Slatter takes it to the next level in The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings. She explores the history of an order of archivist nuns, their fight against a man seeking immortality, and the strange and tragic tales of the many women whose lives and family histories cross and re-cross paths with this conflict. Each story stands on its own, with perhaps the exception of the final story, “Spells for Coming Forth by Daylight,” which follows immediately on ...more
Sep 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, dark, e-book, fantasy
I discovered Angela Slatter through her novella, Of Sorrow and Such. I loved the story and her writing, so shortly after finishing the book, I tracked down the rest of her fiction. The Bitterwood Bible is the first of her works outside of that novella I've read.

The book is, at a glance, a collection of short stories, but it's also a novel, in that all the stories are related by characters and location (though not always by time). The stories run the gamut from horror to fantasy, while mo
Kali Napier
Jun 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: aww2018
I have fast become a massive fan of Angela Slatter's fairy tales. The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings expands the worlds built in Sourdough. This is a prequel, and stitches together landscapes on a more epic scale. There are port towns, nunneries, and an assassin school, villages encased in snow and ashes. Books are a recurrent motif throughout the stories, in their creation, limning, capturing of oral spells and tales, and their power and danger. My favourite story is 'The Badger Bride', ...more
Claudia Piña
Jan 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Angela Slatter es una extraña criatura, a veces violenta de maneras casi salvajes y a veces delicada y precisa, pero siempre es una belleza de leer. No siempre me convencen sus personajes o su forma de abordar ciertos temas, pero definitivamente sabe como contar un cuento.

La belleza de este libro es que los cuentos juntos son un todo extraño y caprichoso que se conecta entre si de formas inesperadas.
Maria Haskins
Jan 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An absolutely captivating collection of connected short stories, delving into a dark and uniquely imagined world of magic, shapeshifting, spells, and craft. Angela Slatter's prose is so beautiful, it makes every story a gem. ...more
Dec 27, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The tone in here it was amazing, eerie, antiquated, a little bit mysterious. I regret missing the connections until over halfway through. I think it's worth a read, fingers crossed for the audiobook. ...more
David Samuels
Feb 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved how the stories interwove with each other. It felt like The Witcher meets The Sims (since stories sometimes go from household go household). Vampires, hobgoblins, and dog-gargoyles abound in this fantasy compilation.
Creepy fairy tales
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Blizzard White free clearing up circular 1 1 Nov 25, 2016 02:54AM 1 1 Nov 23, 2016 02:34AM 1 1 Nov 16, 2016 11:46PM 1 1 Nov 14, 2016 11:11PM 1 1 Nov 12, 2016 01:01AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Nine Princes in Amber (The Chronicles of Amber #1)
  • Unsouled (Cradle, #1)
  • The Arabian Nights
  • Early Bird: A Memoir of Premature Retirement
  • Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office: 101 Unconscious Mistakes Women Make That Sabotage Their Careers
  • Can I See your Hands: A Guide To Situational Awareness, Personal Risk Management, Resilience and Security
  • A History of the Middle East
  • Chicken Soup for Satan
  • Jhereg (Vlad Taltos, #1)
  • The Last Horror Novel in the History of the World
  • Cry Your Way Home
  • Spark (Legends of the Shifters: Book 1)
  • Kahayatle (Apocalypsis, #1)
  • A Monstrous Place (Tales From Between, #1)
  • Frankenstein in Baghdad
  • The Rook (The Checquy Files, #1)
  • Population (Population, #1)
  • Ayesha at Last
See similar books…
Angela Slatter is the author of the urban fantasy novels Vigil (2016) and Corpselight (2017), as well as eight short story collections, including The Girl with No Hands and Other Tales, Sourdough and Other Stories, The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings, and A Feast of Sorrows: Stories. She has won a World Fantasy Award, a British Fantasy Award, a Ditmar, and six Aurealis Awards.

Angela’s short

News & Interviews

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “We are not makers of history. We are made by history.” So, this January, as we celebrate Martin Luther King...
38 likes · 13 comments
“if I did not look directly at it, I felt certain I would not see it and if I did not see it then surely it could not exist.” 0 likes
More quotes…