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The Bloody Chamber

Publisher’s Description

From familiar fairy tales and legends – Red Riding Hood, Bluebeard, Puss in Boots, Beauty and the Beast, vampires and werewolves – Angela Carter has created an absorbing collection of dark, sensual, fantastic stories.


Review

I read the classic The Bloody Chamber and Other Tales by UK author Angela Carter as part of a gothic literature course.

Carter retells many classic fairytales that the world knows from childhood or from wider readying. She tears away the layers of subtle coverings that have always made these tales feel slightly comforting but not quite innocent. The thrilling and horrific feminist retelling of Bluebead in “The Bloody Chamber”, the sometimes scary, mournful and honest retelling of Beauty and the Beast in “The Courtship of Mr Lyon” and the unique, sexually subversive retelling “Puss-in-boots” were just some of the unique tales transformed and transported in time and place but the true honesty of the darkness within the real fairytales is retained.

Final Thoughts

This gothic retelling of classic fairytales from Bluebeard, Beauty and the Beast, Puss in Boots and others was revolutionary for a feminist twist to some stories but also a brutal, horrific and sexually subversive culture to many of the tales. It is the classic fairytales reimagined in an adult world of their original settings with the veneer of sweetness torn away. Brilliant and terrifying. I thoroughly enjoyed and recommend it.

Conclusion

This is a classic for readers of fairytales – both retellings and reimagining. Carter tells these tales in a new and unique way which is horrific, honest and amazing. Highly recommend read.