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The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  42,635 ratings  ·  3,779 reviews
Angela Carter was a storytelling sorceress, the literary godmother of Neil Gaiman, David Mitchell, Audrey Niffenegger, J. K. Rowling, Kelly Link, and other contemporary masters of supernatural fiction. In her masterpiece, The Bloody Chamber—which includes the story that is the basis of Neil Jordan’s 1984 movie The Company of Wolves—she spins subversively dark and sensual v ...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published 1990 by Penguin Books (first published 1979)
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Julia No, not appropriate for interest or content until at least junior/senior year of high school. They do not have the background in feminist literature t…moreNo, not appropriate for interest or content until at least junior/senior year of high school. They do not have the background in feminist literature to grasp it much less analyze the content, some of which is too explicit for the age. (less)

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 ·  42,635 ratings  ·  3,779 reviews

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Bill Kerwin
Oct 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing

Angela Carter reveals the dark heart of the fairy story in these memorably quirky versions. She is able to intensify the mythic core of each of these tales, not by stripping them down to their essentials (the obvious way) but by using eccentric, illuminative detail expressed in individualistic prose.

Although these versions could be described as feminist and anti-patriarchal, such labels are too limiting for the fierce independence of Carter's intelligence. She is a writer who never shrinks from
Amalia Gkavea
"My father lost me to The Beast at cards."

I knew I was going to love it and my expectations were justifiably high. 10 exceptional short stories paying homage to classic fairy tales and especially to Charles Perrault. From ''Bluebeard'' and ''The Beauty and the Beast'' to ''Puss -in- Boots'' and ''The Snow Child'' written in a unique, sensual, dark language.

The Bloody Chamber :In my opinion, the jewel of the collection. This is a story based on "Bluebeard", one of my favourite fairy tale

I had high expectations for this, Carter's fairy tale retellings are meant to be well known for being feminist, gothic, and original. For the most part, I didn't feel that was true. Having a few heroines with sexual agency didn't magically make them feminist or ground breaking, it takes a lot more than that to modernise a fairy tale. There were only a couple of them that I actually found somewhat enjoyable, the rest were rubbish.

Hated the writing, it was convoluted, complicated, and nons
Sean Barrs
Halloween re-read!

Angela Carter is an absolute masterful writer. She takes the basic narrative of fairy tales and infuses them will blood, death and horror. She’s a genius at what she does.

She’s a great story-teller. She transports the stories to the confines of modern society and considers real issues such as the representation of women, the limitations of gender and the restrictions of stories themselves.

Her prose is captivating, near on enchanting. As soon as I began reading the first sto
Nov 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
Hey there Little Red Riding Hood,
You sure are looking good.
You’re everything a big bad wolf could want.
Listen to me…
I don’t think little big girls should
Go walking in these spooky old woods alone.
—Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs, 1962

In The Bloody Chamber, Angela Carter’s uses a decidedly feminist slant to re-tell familiar myths and stories. “The Company of Wolves,” for example, provides a point-by-point rebuttal of the myths embedded in the more modern versions of “Little Red Riding Hood.” Inter
An extraordinarily sensual, symbol-rich, collection of very adult tales of enchantment, focusing on female protagonists. Some are dirtier versions of the familiar, some are barely recognisable beyond title and names, and a couple were unknown to me. The Lyon and Tiger stories are variants of each other, and it ends with three relating to wolves, two of which are versions of Little Red Riding Hood.

There is blood in the title, and there are many allusions to literal and metaphorical blood (mainly
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories, Angela Carter

The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories is a collection of short fiction by English writer Angela Carter.

It was first published in the United Kingdom in 1979 by Gollancz and won the Cheltenham Festival Literary Prize.

The stories share a theme of being closely based upon fairytales or folk tales.

The anthology contains ten stories:

The Bloody Chamber: The narrator, a beautiful teenage girl, marries an older, wealthy French Marquis, whom she does n
Always Pouting
Jul 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A collection of stories based off of fairy tales, I found this the other day cleaning out by books and I realized I never read it. I think it may have been for a class I dropped and I guess I had already bought the books. It was a pretty short read about 126 pages, so I read it in between doing other work today when taking a break. I really enjoyed the writing style and I think the first story, the one the book is named after, was the best one by far. Some of the other ones were weaker, especial ...more
Paquita Maria Sanchez
What an excellent bundle of stories bringing it all back home, fairytales-and-folklore-wise, stripped of their deceptive pop-culture whitewash, all blood-splattered and primal and sensual and lady-teachy. I don't know which rose pricked me deeper; the blood countess stricken with sudden, self-sacrificial hideousness in the eternal sleep of light-of-day at finding a pure, deserving specimen of love, "dropped off to sleep over the cards of destiny that are so fingered, so soiled, so worn by consta ...more
Hannah Greendale
His touch both consoles and devastates me; I feel my heart pulse, then wither, naked as a stone on the roaring mattress while the lovely, moony night slides through the window to dapple the flanks of this innocent who makes cages to keep the sweet birds in. Eat me, drink me; thirsty, cankered, goblin-ridden, I go back and back to him to have his fingers strip the tattered skin away and clothe me in his dress of water, this garment that drenches me, its slithering odour, its capacit
After the rigorous pounding that I got while reading The Infernal Desire Machines of Dr Hoffman, I certainly wasn't expecting this almost diffident collection of short stories.

Reading the whole collection the sense of Carter's craft is very strong - emphasised by having stories like The Courtship of Mr Lyon and The Tiger's Bride which are variants of the same folktale, or the repetition of the same elements - such as the magical power of virginity in The Lady of the House of Love and The Company
mark monday
Perfection! Carter retells classic fairy tales with an emphasis on gender, dreams, sexuality, and death. But wait didn't all of these fairy tales already emphasize those things? Sure, sure. But Carter makes certain those aspects are front and center in her retelling. The collection is definitely not for kids. The subtext has become the text and that means all of the things between the lines and behind closed doors are naked, on display. All the better to deconstruct you with, my dear, as the wer ...more
There's the indulgence of the mind, and there's the pleasure of the senses. One can fill oneself up on the former to the brim, hold firmly to one's breast its lack of ignorance, its sophisticated patterns of thought, its know-how translating into a delightful net of endless know-whens and know-whats and whatever know-wherefore's your precious neurons may desire. There's a unique satisfaction to be had in those sorts of theoretical acrobatics, that complex weave of states of mind that are fully a ...more
Sep 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, fantasy
The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories are indeed heaven for psychoanalysts, as they contain a lot of mythical symbols of subconscious conflicts and are dealing with Eros and Thantos that are, according to Freud, two most powerful driving forces for humans, and in Carter's imaginative world of fairy tales characters are driven by pursue for (sometimes sadistic, more-often sexual) pleasure.

Angela Carter made clear, "My intention was not to do 'versions' or, as the American edition of the book said
Algernon (Darth Anyan)
Oct 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016

Bloody fantastic pick for a Halloween read!

It's not like we celebrate Halloween in my part of the world, but I am content to make it a custom every year to read something outside of my usual haunts. October is as good a pretext as any when it comes to horror, the younger sibling of fantasy and science-fiction in speculative fiction, at least for me. Angela Carter can be relied upon to transform scary entertainment into an art form, to twist a familiar fairytale into something more substantial, m
Jess ❈Harbinger of Blood-Soaked Rainbows❈

Read a book of short stories.

Well, I'm in a bit of a fairy-tale re-
imagining place lately....this one is getting bumped up on the pile.

Buddy read with two of my favorite ladies, Heather and Karly for July 1.

So when I totalled up all my stars for each story and divided them by the number of stories, this book fell onto 2.7 stars. I guess I will round this bitch up star-wise, but it's still only a 2.5 star read for me. What a disappointment. I'm never comp
Feb 29, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book just didn't do it for me and I can say with 100% certainty that I did not like it because of Angela Carter's writing style. I love fairytale retellings but the writing made this book hard to enjoy. The stories themselves weren't actually that bad and I can see why people would like this book but I couldn't like them or get fully into them because of the writing.

The writing was insufferable. Carter writes insanely long sentences with tonnes of punctuation and it is the stuff of nightma
L.S. Popovich
My first reading of Angela Carter. I can see why she is popular and well-regarded. This book is about as good as retellings of fairy tales could be. Through rabid exorcisms of imagery mesmerizing moments are born from her disturbing imagination. The dense sentences cluster like a nest of snakes, sniping you from the shadows. Her Baroque stylings are distinctly old-fashioned, but her standpoint and her quirkiness are bold and fresh.

I am easily taken in by the promise of exile in a magic kingdom.
Ian "Marvin" Graye
Into the Unguessable Country of Marriage

In my review of Angela Carter’s first collection of short stories, “Fireworks”, I focussed on a number of concerns that seemed to form the basis of her writing strategy. They were scattered over the length of the individual stories.

In this collection, these concerns are less overtly stated. In most cases, she let the writing do the job. The writing is much more complete and functional in the service of her chosen genre. However, in retrospect, one paragr
Jul 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: adults, women comfortable with their sexuality
"The Marquis stood transfixed, utterly dazed, at a loss. It must have been as if he had been watching his beloved Tristan for the twelfth, thirteenth time and Tristan stirred, then leapt from his bier in the last act, announce in a januty aria interposed from Verdi that bygones were bygones, crying over spilt milk did nobody any good and, as for himself, he proposed to live happily ever after. The puppet master, open mouthed, wide eyed, impotent at the last, saw his dolls break free of their str ...more
Karlyflower *The Vampire Ninja, Luminescent Monster & Wendigo Nerd Goddess of Canada (according to The Hulk)*
Category: A book of short stories.

The Bloody Chamber
3.5 Stars

I am by no means familiar with the story of Bluebeard, so I have no idea how far Carter may have deviated from the traditional story with this short story retelling HOWEVER I found myself getting lost in her lush, descriptive prose within this one. Her language choices may, overall, become a downfall but for this story it was both fitting and quotable. I do wish I had gotten a bit more of a story here, I would love to have read more ab
3.5/5 stars! Dark, sensual and definitely adult fairytale retellings. Some stories were a bit to cryptic and symbolic for my liking, but there were also some real gems in this collection. My favourite short stories were 'The Bloody Chamber', 'The Erl-King' and 'The Werewolf'. (view spoiler) ...more
M.A. Nichols
Nov 16, 2017 rated it did not like it
There are times when I read a book and wonder if I'm reading the same thing as the rest of the people who reviewed and loved it. This was definitely not was I was expecting, and definitely not worth reading.

First, the stories weren't particularly groundbreaking, unless you count adding a bunch of sex into fairy tales groundbreaking. For the most part, the stories stuck to the original source material, really only deviating to add sex or death or both. Not that either were particularly graphic, b
Oct 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Fairy tales are mostly about fucking. You already knew that, but it wasn't really explicitly pointed out until Angela Carter, the towering misty cult mid-1900s author, flipped them on their backs. Neil Gaiman said she pointed out, "'You see these fairy stories, these things that are sitting at the back of the nursery shelves?...Each one of them is a loaded gun.'"

Here she is looking like she's got a gun

The thing with fairy tales is that it's not just stories for children that are dark and lurid,
Sep 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
I liked this, i picked it up just to read the first page and then next thing you know i've finished it. ...more
Jan 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
The wolfsong is the sound of the rending you will suffer, in itself a murdering.

As a rule I don't care for folklore. I also maintain a historical aversion to short stories. What a joy it is then to proclaim my love for these macabre tales of hymens, fogged mirrors, and the gasps of lusts and bloodletting. Ms. Carter's tales are fevered variations on nursery rhymes: Bluebeard, Red Riding Hood Lycanthropes and wee wicked Alice dart from the shadows and dazzle the reader.
Aug 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book first came out in 1979, the year I graduated from high school. Not as controversial now as it was then, its relevancy is still in evidence. I enjoy retellings of traditional tales and am usually disappointed by them, so most of the stories were exciting to me.

The title story is a Bluebeard tale, but it’s also a re-working of Beauty and the Beast. Immediately following it are two obvious re-workings of the latter: the first, straightforward and rather faithful to the original; the secon
Jennifer (Insert Lit Pun)
I would never encourage anyone else to write like Angela Carter, because in almost any other hands it would be disastrous. But she somehow creates this feast of linguistic decadence that’s sensual, dark, dreamy, and sometimes laugh-out-loud funny. This short story collection was 160 pages of Carter seducing the English language, and the English language fell HARD. The 10 stories mostly feature fairytale retellings that are as haunting and atmospheric as they are analytical. Carter asks questions ...more
Angela Carter is quite a wordsmith, and she certainly LOVES her commas. Her writing is mesmerizing to be sure. Reading her stories, however, reminded me of reading "Her Body and Other Parties." Some stories went over my head, some I liked, only one I really enjoyed. "The Bloody Chamber" is a must read, IMO. It's a fairly straight forward "Blue Beard" retelling, with a mood kind of like Du Maurier's "Rebecca," but also with an erotic bent. Could have done without the HEA, but oh well. The rest of ...more
Jan 10, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, erotica
Angela Carter's collection of short stories are certainly a different way of retelling the fairytales that we know and have grown to love. I enjoyed some of these stories, but some just went completely over my head. I particularly liked the first story "The bloody chamber" It was well written, intriguing, slightly erotic, and pretty haunting. It was probably my favourite, actually. The one I really disliked, was "The snow child" and it was only around five pages long. It certainly had the shock ...more
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The Blender Book ...: March 2021 - The Bloody Chamber 15 15 Mar 19, 2021 09:49AM  
Gothic Literature: 4. Puss-in-Boots 6 11 Jan 06, 2020 07:11PM  
Gothic Literature: 10. Wolf-Alice 6 9 Jan 06, 2020 07:09PM  
Gothic Literature: 1.The Bloody Chamber 9 12 Jan 06, 2020 07:04PM  

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Born Angela Olive Stalker in Eastbourne, in 1940, Carter was evacuated as a child to live in Yorkshire with her maternal grandmother. As a teenager she battled anorexia. She began work as a journalist on the Croydon Advertiser, following in the footsteps of her father. Carter attended the University of Bristol where she studied English literature.

She married twice, first in 1960 to Paul Carter. Th

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