Posted in book reviews, reviews

Book Review: The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter

Where do I even begin with how good this book was? It was my first time reading any of Carter’s work and I will admit that since then I am now currently in the middle of devouring Nights at the Circus!

The work is a collection of short stories, all re-workings of fairy tales but each with a twist. Most, appeared to have some feminist moral behind them but I wouldn’t say that this is the most central thing although admittedly it is the most raved about.

Rather, I enjoyed the tales because not only were they unique in a short and sweet kind of way but they all had an individual tone. No two were the same.

My favourites were probably The Bloody Chamber, Puss-in-Boots and the Lady of the House of Love. Like I said, the stories range from melancholy and foreboding too jolly and happy.

Carter’s writing is vivid and entrancing in how she creates her stories, the imagery is so detailed that it’s very difficult not to get dragged into the fairy tale yourself – and that’s probably why this is the best short story collection that I’ve ever read by an author. They all ranged in styles and lengths and none of them were carbon copies of the other or the original tales. She definitely brings something extra to the table when it comes to writing!

The only other thing I have to say is that I love how unapologetically crude and experimental she is in her writing and vastly ahead of the game and era. She’s not scared to show us the true gothic undertones that lie in the original Anderson and Grimm tales that companies like Disney have muted to make more child friendly. Rather than shying away from it she embraces these elements and uses them to meet her own ends as a writer.

Overall, I give this collection 5 stars and look forward to finishing Nights at the Circus and updating this blog with my opinion on that too.

See ya!

-E

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2 thoughts on “Book Review: The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter

  1. I was assigned a few stories from this collection as part of my Gender & Sexuality class last semester, and thoroughly enjoyed them. I picked up a copy at a booksale at my school, and while I haven’t read all of the stories in it yet, I really have enjoyed the ones I did read. They’re just as dark as the Grimm’s tales, but without the (majority of) the horrible things that happen to the women. The women usually end up on top, giving it a great feminist twist and finally redeeming the Damsel in Distress archetype.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I absolutely agree, Carter’s versions are very refreshing and bring a whole new dimension to the tales where beforehand woman were usually used as a vessel for some supposedly “moral message” such as the original Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Anderson (she gets turned into sea foam as punishment) not to mention countless of the Grimms tales where similar messages are put across.. She definitely changed the genre for the better! πŸ™‚

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