Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Severed Fingers and Lukewarm Endings

Expected Publication: July 10th, 2012
Lies, Knives and Girls in Red Dresses
By: Ron Koertge, Illustrated by: Andrea Dezso
Candlewick Press
ISBN-13: 9780763644062

Writing in free verse honed to a wicked edge, the incomparable Ron Koertge brings dark and contemporary humor to twenty iconic fairy tales.

Once upon a time, there was a strung-out match girl who sold CDs to stoners. Twelve impetuous sisters escaped King Daddy's clutches to jiggle and cavort and wear out their shoes. A fickle Thumbelina searched for a tiny husband, leaving bodies in her wake. And Little Red Riding Hood confessed that she kind of wanted to know what it's like to be swallowed whole. From bloodied and blinded stepsisters (they were duped) to a chopped-off finger flying into a heroine's cleavage, this is fairy tale world turned upside down. Ron Koertge knows what really happened to all those wolves and maidens, ogres and orphans, kings and piglets, and he knows about the Ever After. So come closer
- he wants to whisper in your ear.


   This book is a compilation of twisted versions and bonus point of views from well known fairy tales.  There are stories for Cinderella,  The Little Match Girl, Rapunzel, Thumbelina, Beauty and the Beast, Twelve Dancing Princesses, Hansel and Gretel, The Ugly Duckling, Diamonds and Toads, The Robber Bridegroom, East of the Sun and West of the Moon, and other very recognizable tales.  I did enjoy the dimension that these poems added to the original tales.  But my major complaint would be the stark, crudeness of the language and imagery that is used.  It felt like there was absolutely zero finesse woven into the story telling process.   I loved the illustrations and though their starkness matched the language of the poems, it lifted the quality of the book.  They had a unique, black and white silhouette, shadow puppet feel to them and it was the highlight of the time I spent with this book.  Overall, I was not that impressed and felt like it has been done so often and so much better, that I could have lived without this addition to the realm of twisted fairy tales.  Nothing new or exciting, but that said it was an interesting collection.  I would only really recommend this if you're a hardcore Koertge fan or way into fairy tale re-imaginings.  Even if you don't read the text you should definitely check out the illustrations though.  The cover for this book is as of yet unreleased, but when it is available I will change the blank picture on this review.

VERDICT:  3/5  Stars

*I received an Advanced Reading E-book Copy from the publisher, via NetGalley. No money was exchanged for this review. The expected publication of this book is July 10th, 2012.*

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