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Fairy tales: Traditional Stories Retold for Gay Men

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3.73  ·  Rating details ·  200 ratings  ·  24 reviews
Using the magical and mythic language of classic stories from around the world, Fairy Tales takes familiar myths and folktales and turns them into stories about men coming out, learning to trust themselves, looking for and finding love, facing AIDS, and helping those they love.
Paperback, 192 pages
Published January 3rd 1997 by HarperOne
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Average rating 3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  200 ratings  ·  24 reviews


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Trin
Feb 03, 2008 rated it it was ok
Queer retellings of common, and not-so-common, fairytales. These didn’t really work for me. They make use of a lot of gay clichés—hairdressers, leathermen, etc.—and most seemed to be trying too hard: “SEE WHAT I’M DOING HERE? NUDGE NUDGE.” The whole collection seems dated, which, admittedly, it is: it was published in 1995. Or maybe I’m just really not the target audience; it does say “retold for gay men,” not, um. Female slashers. But all that aside…I guess the most major problem for me was tha ...more
John Burt
I'm extremely fond of "twice-told tales", and have told a few myself.* I think Peter Cashorali does a better job with the format than any author I have encountered besides Tanith Lee.

It's a delightful idea, to use the format of familiar fairy tales to talk about issues which are important to gay men here and now. Cashorali does the job very well. Some of the stories translate very smoothly and clearly, while others require more convoluted interpretations, but I can't find one where Cashorali fai
...more
Josh
Mar 04, 2012 rated it it was ok
As a 20-year old recently moved to San Francisco in the 1990's, discovering myself, I thought this was great, but as an adult, legally married gay man in the 2010's, I think it's kind of lame and campy. I guess I got old, and times changed. We need our own fairy tales.
Carlos
May 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
This collection of reimagined folktales was just incredibly charming. Everyone who grew up enjoying fairy tales will recognize the tropes Cashorali uses in his retelling while every gay man will nod knowingly at the reimagined “Ugly Duckling” and “The Fisherman’s Lover”. Cashorali also uses humor and just a touch of raciness to make the reader enjoy the modernized world wherein these stories take place. Lastly, Cashorali’s decision to include references to the original folktales he reimagines is ...more
R C
Jun 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book has it's place and time. It represents characters consistent with cisgender, white gay men of the 90s. It would have been so much more enjoyable had it provided a more queer interpretation of these tales, but, as I noted, it served a purpose for a specific place and time. With that in mind, the tales did have cute twists and funny anachronisms. It was interesting to see how the author interpreted the old stories to fit the target audience.
Andrew
Sadly, it was about what I expected....All of the tropes of fairytales combined with stereotypes of Gay culture (not that they weren't fun), just wasn't really inspiring for me...
Beauty and the Beast is pretty much 50 shades, Hansel and Gretel's witch is a drag queen, etc... But if those things interest you, go for it.
The stories are slightly expanded upon to accomodate the subtext and themes desired, but otherwise, they're just like the title says, "traditional stories retold for gay men"
Lou
Apr 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
Great concept, disappointing read. Most of the tales seemed kludged, trite and didn’t touch my heart at all.
David Allen White
Apr 20, 2020 rated it liked it
It was OK. Not crazy about it.
Emily
Sep 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
And maybe, sometimes, there's a happy ending and everything works out like in a fairy tale and everything is happy. Even if it's fraught in the middle, there's a silver lining and every boy gets his handsome prince, because Fairy Tales: Traditional Stories Retold for Gay Men by Peter Cashorali. I never would have read this on my own, but Laura read it and she told me Rumpelstiltskin, which, to summarize:

A miller brags excessively: "My nephew can turn shit into gold." The king happens to be walk
...more
Charly
Nov 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
A nice start, but it left me unsatisfied

*NOTE: I received a free review copy of this story.*
Warning: This review might contain what some people consider SPOILERS.

Rating: 6/10

PROS:
- There’s practically no angst in the story. Even Shawn’s wishes that Graham were attracted to him (which he secretly is, of course) are just wistful musings rather than truly painful regrets.
- On several occasions, I was amused by Shawn’s antics to attract Graham’s attention. Shawn does something quite funny (and rid
...more
Jay
Jun 24, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011
Fairy Tales is a collection of Traditional Stories Retold for Gay Men. This book ended up being rather charming. It was nice to re-read these tales, but from a sometimes more modern, but always less gender stereotypical fashion. Out of the 17 different stories, only one or two were clunkers. The rest were cute little reads that made many of the lessons found in each tale more liberal and gay-friendly and suited more to the modern world. I wasn't expecting much from this book, but was pleasantly ...more
Scott Magill
Sep 09, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like the concept of this book. It reminds me of the time before we wrote all our stories down when everything was passed by word of mouth. In that time stories could be changed and no one could say "that's not how it goes, look hear". I found the idea of retelling a classic story for a new or specific audience interesting. Of course this book didn't get as much attention as Wicked which was a similar concept, retelling from a different character's point of view, but I still appreciated the eff ...more
J.M.
Jun 26, 2009 rated it liked it
Humorous and more than a little tongue-in-cheek, this is a collection of familiar fairy tales retold with gay characters. The one that stands out most in my memory is "Beauty and the Beast," which had a definite BDSM slant. A good introduction for straight readers who want to experiment with gay fiction because of the familiarity of the stories and lack of onscreen sex or eroticism.
Jason
Jun 18, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: homotextual
Some of these worked better than others. I appreciated the modernization of the tales more than I did the homo-genization, which was sometimes offensive in its unimaginative stereotypes. If you don't expect any more from this book than what its title promises, you might enjoy it. If a bit of camp is not your thing, opt for Grimm, Andersen, or even the Apocrypha.
'Nathan Burgoine
Jan 19, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: glbt
Quite a funny book at times - and then suddenly serious and deep, this is the kind of book I wish I had as a kid - one that showed gay people in fairy tales (pun intended) as okay, normal, alive, loving, breathing, etc.
Wesley Rivers
Jun 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Amazing! Amazing! Amazing! Cashorali writes the way a painter might paint, with a poetry background it's no wonder the words slide off every page like whispers to a lover! This book is one of my all time favorites!
Tori
Aug 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Utterly charming
Sarah
Nov 07, 2007 rated it really liked it
Nice bedtime stories for adults and fun to read out loud.
Franchesca
Oct 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: queer theorists
Recommended to Franchesca by: my book dealer
Shelves: homoerotica
Funny and poignant at times. Amusing.
Cen
Jul 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, glbt, 2009
Very witty and thought-provoking.
Brett
May 21, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I appreciate the effort but I wish I could say the same about the result. Obvious and boring, I was not able to finish the fairly short book.
Dustin Demoin
Apr 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Really cute! It took a while to read all of them, but it was both inspiring and whimsical.
Juan Carrillo
Jul 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gay-themed-books
The fairy tales we all grew up on with a gay twist
Dennis
Oct 30, 2013 rated it liked it
Cute quick reads.
Tom
rated it it was ok
Oct 15, 2012
David Burkam
rated it liked it
Jan 05, 2011
D. A.
rated it it was ok
Nov 19, 2012
Lloyd
rated it it was amazing
Jul 15, 2012
Jacob
rated it liked it
Jun 30, 2012
Coma
rated it liked it
Apr 29, 2015
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