Beth Dean's Reviews > The Bloody Chamber

The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter
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's review
Jul 22, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: fantasy, paranormal, horror, fairy-tale, feminist, romance, thought-provokers

As I knew we had to study this next year for A Level I decided just to buy it, read it and see what I had let myself in for. Turns out, it isn't so bad, I mean I think I could analyse the hell outta these stories just looking at the descrptive language. All of the stories are adaptations of fairy tales, slightly twisted I have to say but interesting, she definatley puts a new spin on them and makes you think how the fairy tales could've been told.

The Bloody Chamber was the best story out of the book I thought, it was typically gothic which was helpfull for my course next year which studies the gothic. The characters I thought were interesting and there was enough of mystery to keep the gothic theme going. The chamber sounded like something that might send me into the blind piano tuner's arms, what with the dead people around, then again I kinda guessed what was going to be in the chamber. However the description was excellent and I loved the story.

The Courtship Of Mr Lyon was suprisingly sweet and adorable, I wasn't expecting it at all right up until the end. It was gothic but brilliant and was a good short story to read. It also had a moral to it kind of, the vanity and the easiness of how Beauty fell into the wealthy lifestyle. Then again, her father was easily forgotton when she met Mr Lyon....funny that...

The Tiger's Bride started off well, and I thought it was going to be brilliant so I blitzed through the first pages and then I got to the end and found..disappointment, it was just not a good ending I hated it, I was so disappointed I passed right onto the next.

Puss-In-Boots was a pretty cruddy one too, basically about a woman having an affair, killing her husband and all with the help of a cat....not much more to say really...

The Erl-King was another one which I didn't particulary enjoy and I hope I don't have to study it next year, it just wasn't interesting. Nothing was definate and there was so much description that it swallowed the story and ended up as almost a cycle of description with no action in the story at all.

The Snow Child was brilliant, my class have already started analysing it and I've found it really interesting every sentence has a subliminal meaning and the more you read into it the more meaning it has. It was the shortest story but definatley a force to be reckoned with.

The Lady Of The House Of Love had a different idea, I loved the idea of a vampire Queen locked away from the world who just replays her tarot cards again and again just to wish for a different future than the one that seems set in stone. The cyclist is just the catalyst for her eventual demise but Carter makes it seem a positive ending rather than the sadness which normally comes with death.

The Werewolf I liked because she referenced back to the origin of many fairy tales......Russia. A lot of people are actually unaware that Russia had a) some of the most goriest tales b) most of the famous tales that we tell today. But it was clever of her to do this as it worked well, however she put all the Red Riding Hood tales together which I didn't like and by the end found incredibly boring.

The Company Of Wolves was surprising in the fact that it stuck to the original story much more than any of the other stories. Carter kept a lot of the famous aspects of Red Riding Hood, such as "what big eyes you have" and know the story moving on, she kept her original spin on things of course but she kept original detailings which I thought worked well.

Wolf-Alice coming from aspects of the original to getting rid of the original completely this was just about influenced by Red Riding Hood but it really confused me at first, then after a bit it was brilliant I really liked it just bcause I liked the idea of a completely savage girl who tried to become human, thus scaring away her supposed rescuers or attackers of The Duke by making them think she was a ghost. It was clever and different and I appreciated it.

To sum it up, it was a good book and although I will probably hate it by the end of the year, as I always seem to with our set texts for now, I would recommend it.

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Quotes Beth Liked

Angela Carter
“Anticipation is the greater part of pleasure.”
Angela Carter, The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories

Reading Progress

July 22, 2011 – Started Reading
July 22, 2011 – Shelved
July 23, 2011 –
page 108
72.48% "I really liked The Bloody Chamber but I didn't like The Erl King at all, it just didnt work for me.."
July 23, 2011 –
page 118
July 24, 2011 – Shelved as: fantasy
July 24, 2011 – Shelved as: paranormal
July 24, 2011 – Shelved as: horror
July 24, 2011 – Finished Reading
June 20, 2012 – Shelved as: fairy-tale
June 20, 2012 – Shelved as: feminist
June 20, 2012 – Shelved as: romance
June 20, 2012 – Shelved as: thought-provokers

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