The Grand Shuckett's Reviews > Some Kind of Fairy Tale

Some Kind of Fairy Tale by Graham Joyce
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's review
Jan 21, 2014

liked it

I stumbled across this book while browsing the Barnes & Noble website, and I read the first two chapters via their “read instantly” feature. I was intrigued. I thought that the book was really going to follow Tara through her absence, but I was wrong. It turned out to deal largely with the aftermath of her “fairy” tale, and had very little about her time with the “fairies” at all. That is not to say that it was not an interesting book, though.

What I Liked:

The author’s style was very casual. It didn’t seem to be trying too hard. There weren’t large chunks of description interspersed with large chunks of dialogue; rather, the fluidity with which Joyce combined the two made the novel very easy to read. I liked the word choice, the sentence variety, and the tone. It was definitely NOT written with a young audience in mind, but it was all quite technically sound.

It was unconventional. The title says it all, really. It was some kind of fairy tale, but not the one you’re probably expecting. It took a very rational, even cynical, approach to it. The entire story took place after Tara’s return from her magical vacation. Of course, no one believed her story, and she, realistically, did not expect anyone to believe her. This was probably what would actually happen if someone disappeared for twenty years only to return with the excuse that he or she was carried off by a “fairy.”

The characters were likable, though not Tara necessarily. She was not really the main character of the novel, however. Her brother, Peter, and her former boyfriend, Richie, were really about whom the book was written, and I liked them, particularly Richie. I connected with him and felt sorry for the disturbances to his life that Tara’s disappearance caused.

The description of the lives the “fairies” led was what I imagine fairies would be like if they were real. They were not necessarily hostile; though, they were certainly more than a bit disdainful of the obliviousness of humans. They were very casual about sex and violence and did not bother to conceal the fact. Indifference would probably be the best way to describe them.

What I Didn’t Like:

The book jumped around. It was neither told in a strictly linear fashion, nor did it follow one particular story line. The story was told from the perspective of several characters, including the psychiatrist Peter hires to figure out what actually happened to Tara. I was not fond of those sections. Not all of the sections were told in chronological order either. It was a bit choppy, and would have been better if the point-of-view characters had been limited more.

It neither unfolded the way I wanted nor expected. I wanted and expected Tara’s story to be told in full. It wasn’t. I wanted and expected the story to have a happy ending for all of the characters. It didn’t. I won’t reveal what happened at the end, but I will say that I was satisfied but not happy with it.


I enjoyed reading Some Kind of Fairy Tale. It was interesting and unique, and I had no trouble finishing it. It was a bit quirky, but not necessarily in a bad way. I would recommend it, just not strongly.

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Reading Progress

Started Reading
June 26, 2013 – Finished Reading
January 21, 2014 – Shelved

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