Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Girl with No Hands and Other Tales” as Want to Read:
The Girl with No Hands and Other Tales
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Girl with No Hands and Other Tales

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  253 ratings  ·  47 reviews
A stunning, emotional and eclectic collection of fantasy and dark tales. These are the stories told to warn children, entertain adults and beguile all.


The Living Book
The Jacaranda Wife
Red Skein
The Chrysanthemum Bride
The Hummingbird Heart
The Little Match Girl
The Juniper Tree
The Bone Mother
The Dead Ones Don’t Hurt You
Light As Mist, Heavy As
Paperback, 1, 205 pages
Published September 1st 2010 by Ticonderoga Publications (first published August 2010)
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 Girl with No Hands and Other Tales, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Girl with No Hands and Other Tales

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  253 ratings  ·  47 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Girl with No Hands and Other Tales
Hannah Greendale
Click here to watch a video review of this book on my channel, From Beginning to Bookend.

Just when it seemed classic fairy tales couldn't be any more disturbing, along comes Angela Slatter with a short story collection of fairy tales from around the world, re-imagined to be more gruesome, more carnal, and more seductively written than one ever fathomed.
Her hair is spun like golden sugar, her eyebrows so light they may as well not be there, her lashes so contrastingly black that they must b
Caro the Helmet Lady
The Girl with No Hands or Fairy Tales for Very Grown Up Girls, as I would call it - and I absolutely loved it. Retellings of well known fairy tales and also some original stuff by Angela Slatter was indeed dark and not much optimistic in a traditional "and they lived happily ever after" way, but I liked it this way. She's really inventive and you never know what to expect from her heroines, even if they are classical fairy tale characters, be it Russian or European ones. I enjoyed much how she p ...more
Apr 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Angela Slatter gives us a book of faerie tales. Some are short, some are a bit longer. All are great. Some you may know Some are brand new. All are wonderful. Some are a re-telling. Some are original. All are awe inspiring.


13 - Caressing With Razors By Jack Dann
23 - Bluebeard
35 - The Living Book
43 - The Jacaranda Wife
55 - Red Skein
65 - The Chrysanthemum Bride
77 - Frozen
85 - The Hummingbird Heart
93 - Words
101 - The Little Match Girl
107 - The Juniper Tree
119 - Skin
125 - The Bone Mother
Karen Brooks
Sep 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I have been dipping in an out of this collection of short stories based on some well-known and not so well known folk and fairy-tales for a few weeks now. The reason for this is that I wanted to prolong my reading pleasure because, believe me, it would be too easy to sit down and read all of these in one sitting. Slatter is one of the most gifted writers I have read. Her ability to craft a tale using haunting, languid prose is, in my humble opinion, among the best. She lures you into tale and af ...more
Rosemarie Short
Nov 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, favorites
Angela Slatter wowed me recently with Of Sorrow and Such - making me hungry for more of her brand of dark, fairytale like writing. Female characters are Slatter's specialty and she certainly shines in this, a collection of short stories; some fairytale retellings, others original fantasy - all presenting the reader with a great array of female (and a few male) protagonists, antagonists, as well those who sit in between.

My particular favourites were the anthologies titular tale, The Girl With No
Having now read three anthologies by this author, I can see now where comparisons with the other Angela are coming from and can form my own opinion.

And I tend to mostly disagree, whilst still maintaining that the comparison isn't entirely undeserved. Because, whilst Miss Slatter lacks the exquisite sensuality and lulling prose of Angela Carter, what with her style being more workman-like, cruder, more crass and overtly sexual with little sophistication at times, the very opposite of Carter's po
This was a birthday gift from my sister. I started it Wednesday and finished it Thursday. It's a really quick read. If I didn't have work Thursday and needed sleep I would have probably finished it Wednesday.

Angela Slatter rewrote a lot of fairy tales or folk tales in this book and made them very visceral. The words she uses are unapologetic and sometimes crude, but in the context, the bluntness works. The characters' motives aren't prettied up and we can see how some of them try to justify the
Martin Livings
Mar 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
There are those writers who you read and find yourself inspired by. And then there are the ones who make you wonder why you bother, as you'll never be as good as them.

The Girl With No Hands And Other Tales by Angela Slatter is a beautiful collection from Ticonderoga Books, both in presentation and content. Slatter's stories, many of which are retellings of traditional fairy tales, are deceptively simple, a bit like origami, fragile and exquisite, sometimes very dark, othertimes a ray of sunshine
David H.
May 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been a fan of Angela Slatter ever since I read her novella, Of Sorrow and Such, several years ago, and I think I may have read one or two other free short stories online somewhere.

This is a short collection of mostly retold fairy tales (she has an Afterword with story notes if you don't catch the retelling, thankfully--I'm very unfamiliar with anything beyond the most popular fairy tales), and I enjoyed nearly every one of them--but they are relatively dark and creepy.
Rjurik Davidson
Jan 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
The Girl with No Hands & Other Tales
Angela Slatter
Ticonderoga Publications

Few writers have burst across the Speculative Fiction scene in Australia with as much fanfare as Angela Slatter. Six or so years ago, Slatter began publishing a series of stories that garnered her immediate attention. She seemed to emerge fully formed, a writer instantly at the peak of her powers, offering lyrical, ingenious stories that seemed like a collection of so many rich chocolates. This ‘sudden emergence’ was of c
Nov 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
[4 1/2 stars]
A very fine short story collection, primarily retelling fairy tales or using fairy tale fragments in interesting new contexts. They're delicate, quicksilver, and delightfully swift reads that nevertheless linger in the mind afterwards. The prose is clear and lucid; the tales themselves are often dark, erotic and violent (as is much of the source material, of course). There's a strong focus on the female side of things, these are re-imaginings that restore female agency, or at least
Oct 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2010
I have few words for how beautiful this collection is. Just go and read it. Slatter weaves magic with her words.
Christine Bongers
Jun 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: aussie-adult
Four-and-a-half stars for this dark and haunting collection of feminist fairy stories. The very talented Ms Slatter makes her mark on this genre.
Miss Susan
Apr 12, 2011 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Eleanor Toland
A short story collection that includes retold fairy tale, original fantasies and, for some reason, a zombie romance. Angela Slatter is clearly influenced by her namesake, Angela Carter, whose lush prose and feminist-deconstructionist approach to fairy tales and archetypes echoes through these stories. But Slatter's straightforward fairy-tale re-tellings often feel a little stale, and bring little that's new to the well-trodden path of the fractured fairy tale. Little Red Riding-hood as a sexy we ...more
Jun 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
I've only discovered Angela Slatter's work recently; her short story "The Coffin-Maker's Daughter" was one of my favorites in A BOOK OF HORRORS (edited by Stephen Jones) and I knew immediately I had to seek out more of her work. And much like Brian Hodge - another standout contemporary dark fiction writer (whose story "Roots and All" also appears in the aforementioned anthology) - Slatter has yet to disappoint me.

THE GIRL WITH NO HANDS is made up of sixteen short stories, all told in the style o
Maree Kimberley
May 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: aww2013
I am a huge fan of Angela Slatter's writing. She is a beautiful, lyrical writer, and if I had to choose one word to describe her writing, it'd be "sumptuous". Although many of her stories are quite sad, even horrific, her writing has a richness that brings out the beauty in every story she writes.

This story collection features some work I was already familiar with alongside some new pieces. A personal favourite that I was glad to find in this collection is The Jacaranda Wife, a uniquely Australi
Katharine (Ventureadlaxre)
In Angela Slater’s ‘The Girl With No Hands’ we are given sixteen short stories (some less than two pages long) that re-image familiar myths and legends, and in turn, give us something new to think about. Most of these short stories are about women in different stages of their life, under different difficulties or blessings, and Slatter makes the reader care for each and every one of them, despite what she makes them do (and some of them really do some terrible things.) We see jealous stepmothers ...more
Apr 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I picked up this book after Slatter was nominated (again) for an Aurealis award for one of her speculative short stories. I'm a big fan of fairy tales and being a writer, I enjoy reading short stories if only to better hone my craft. Of course, I loved this book!
The stories are a mixed bag of retelling and original works. My favourite is The Jacaranda Wife - a perfect blend of European sensibility in the Australian bush. The Chrysanthemum Bride is a bit of a stand out as well - if only for the
Vanessa Jaye
Dec 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing
What an incredibly imaginative and creative collection of stories. And I love the author's way with words and the way she approaches the tales from crazy/oblique angles/pov that it takes you awhile to make the connection to the standard more familiar tale that forms the base. Fractured/re-loaded fairy tales have always been amongst my fav type of stories, and this collection was more than satisfactory. I'm hard pressed to pick a favourite, but I'd say the very clever retelling of Little Red Ridi ...more
Paul Haines
Oct 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
Short short stories, excellently written with enough beauty and darkness to balance every page.

Although I enjoyed all of the stories, I felt that "The Dead Ones Don't Hurt You" didn't fit thematically with the wonderful fairy tale atmosphere of the rest of the collection, and that the retelling of Rumplestiltskin didn't deviate enough from the original.

But then I'm a hard bastard, and this is a great collection of fairy tales and most enjoyable.
Well, it took me a while but I finally finished this. The format of short stories collections makes it easy to interrupt your reading as you find other things pop up on your reading calendar. I was entranced with some of these tales. They were dark, erotic, weird, disturbing. Everything you need in a fairy tale. I recommend this collection wholeheartedly and look forward to reading more from this author who has been winning awards all over the place.
Sep 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
A strong collection. My only criticism is that the stories feel somewhat homogenous. Perhaps this is because her chosen source material - fairy tales - is well known. There is no doubting Slatter's talent though. It's abundantly on display in this book. The challenge for her, I think, is to explore a wider range of genres and voices. Overall, a recommended collection. ...more
Mar 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
An excellent collection of dark and haunting stories using folk and fairy tales as their basis. The focus is on the female characters in these stories as both victims and as active participants in their fate, whatever it ends to be. It's hard to stop reading in order to treasure each of the stories, but all of the tales in this slim volume are evocative and linger in the reader's mind. ...more
Larka Fenrir
Apr 08, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction
History I keep pristine; but with the fabula I play.

I can't remember how I stumbled upon this book, but the premises seemed interesting so I eventually decided to start reading it. Aaaaand... I was wrong.
Please, warning: I have nothing against this author... to be fair, I've only read this book, but I couldn't help myself... this review will be incredibly negative. When I don't like a book, I can be too harsh.

Some stories are pretty good, I have to admit it. That said, the tone of the whole
16 dark fairy tales. Many of these are very short, studies in concept explored though Slatter's rich fairytale imagery and straightforward sentence structure. With just one exception (the satirical "The Dead Ones Don't Hurt You" is pretty awful), these are solidly successful but not exceptional. But a few stand out, including those written for Slatter's Masters; these are longer and denser, allowing the voice to shine, and are more complicated in concept and theme. It's no surprise that "Red Ske ...more
Jul 29, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
DNF about halfway through. The stories I've read are not terrible, but they don't add anything new to the genre of fairy tale adaptations. Because there are so many that have done subversive twists on the tales in the past - Angela Carter, Nalo Hopkinson, and about a billion more -- it's hard to write a fairy tale adaptation that feels like it hasn't been done before. These feel rather tame in comparison to the way that previous writers have treated the tales, and you wonder what they are adding ...more
Roberto Martinez
Mar 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Very irregular collection. I appreciate the intent of the fairy tales' retellings, but reading them all in a row makes them feel stale and not every story packs the same punch. Having said that, I like Slatter's narrative and would like to read some original stories by her (yes, I know this compilation has a couple of originals). ...more
Jan 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Angela Slatter is a marvel. I love everything I've read. Her short stories are all interesting and gripping from the first page through the last. One of my favorites here was The Dead Ones Don't Hurt You, partly because it's a departure from the other stories which are fairy tale retellings. ...more
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Secret of Ventriloquism
  • Die, Vol. 1: Fantasy Heartbreaker
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Vol. 2: Once Bitten
  • Gideon Falls, Vol. 2: Original Sins
  • Tales from Harrow County, Vol. 1: Death's Choir
  • The Dreaming, Vol. 2: Empty Shells
  • Harrow County, Vol. 2: Twice Told
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Vol. 1: High School Is Hell
  • The Hollow Places
  • The Dreaming, Vol. 1: Pathways and Emanations
  • Chicken Soup for Satan
  • Vei - bok 1
  • The Anubis Gates
  • The Avengers: Scarlet Witch
  • Greetings From Janeland: Women Write More About Leaving Men for Women
  • Gideon Falls, Vol. 1: The Black Barn
  • Zazie in the Metro
  • Teen Titans: Beast Boy
See similar books…
See top shelves…
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

Related Articles

Chloe Gong has a lot going on. In addition to releasing her debut YA novel, These Violent Delights, in the midst of a pandemic, she's also...
77 likes · 9 comments