Monday, 11 March 2013

New World Fairy Tales by Cassandra Parkin

Set in modern day America, New World Fairy Tales are re-imaginings of some of The Brothers Grimm’s famous tales. They are told in the form of interviews, collected by an anonymous student recording the diverse life stories of strangers. 

The book covers a whole range of American settings including the Louisiana bayou, the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina, and cities such Los Angeles and New York. As yet I've never personally been to America so I enjoyed being transported to these locations through the imaginative storytelling and each was well suited to the tale it played host to. 

The stories explore a number of moral issues and aspects of human experience within the plot lines, such as romance, addiction and justice to name but a few; all of which are fascinating when partnered with the fairytale theme. If I had to pick a favourite it would probably be the last tale. The interviewee is a straight talking, stripping dwarf with a heart of gold and for me, was my favourite character of the whole book. A close second however was the cosmopolitan retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk, set in the finance district of New York. 

If you've read this I would love to know if you had a favourite too! Some of the fairytales each interview is based on are easy to guess, other are quite hard – there are a couple I'm still not sure about! If you are a traditionalist when it comes to The Brothers Grimm then this may not be the book for you.  However if you are open minded to artistic retellings of old favourites, or just enjoy unique short stories, then you should definitely give this a try!

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