I read a digital review copy of How To Fracture A Fairy Tale but I enjoyed it so much that I will be purchasing a hard copy THE DAY it hits shelves.
Jane Yolen's How To Fracture A Fairy Tale is the best collection of fairy tales and folk stories I have read in an amazingly long time. Yolen did an astounding job of re-working, re-writing, and in some cases utterly destroying the fairy tales we've loved since our youth.
Jane Yolen just celebrated her 365th book publication and I've decided that I want to be like her when I grow up.
How To Fracture A Fairy Tale gives us a new spin on classics such as Cinderella, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty as well as some Jewish, Native American, and Oriental folk stories that may not be as familiar. Yolen's Jewish version of Rumpelstiltskin is the very stuff myths are made of. You leave Granny Rumpel believing that those events are what actually inspired the original legend of Rumpelstiltskin.
I have a dark and twisty mind. So I tend to enjoy darker stories. In that regard, How To Fracture A Fairy Tale did not disappoint. Vampire tales. Death. Incest. You should probably put this fairy tale collection on the top shelf. As a reader, I was thoroughly entertained. As a writer, I was completely inspired by Yolen's work. I can not imagine anyone failing to enjoy this collection of fairy tales.
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I started off taking notes on each story so I could keep track of the ones I liked. Pointless. Halfway through I realized I had taken notes on everything I'd read so far. I can not over exaggerate how much I loved this collection.
If I had to give a top 5 I would go with these:
- Mama Gone - A heartwrenching vampire tale.
- Sister Death - An interesting re-telling of the myth of Lilith.
- Godmother Death - The title says it all.
- Allerleirauh - The most disturbing version of Cinderella you will ever read.
- Sun/Flight - A re-telling of the story of Icarus.
How To Fracture A Fairy Tale is not filled with your average princesses. Some were beautiful and stereotypical but that didn't guarantee them a happily ever after. Just ask the beautiful princess in Sleeping Ugly. I'm also pretty sure the princess in The Golden Balls isn't too keen about how her story played out either.
Cinder Elephant deserves an honorable mention for showcasing a chubby princess. (ah so what I'm biased). Yolen's Snow White certainly won't be eating any poisoned apples.
Variety Is The Spice Of Life
Jane Yolen fractured more than just our favorite Disney stories. One Ox, Two Ox, Three Ox, and the Dragon King and The Foxwife are tales of oriental descent. The Woman Who Loved a Bear is a Native American folk story. Throw in the dragon tales, the twisted Bible (or should I say Torah) inspired stories, and the Holocaust re-tellings and you have enough variety to spice up your reading life.
Just Read It
This is a read I would recommend to anyone. Everyone. Don't have a lot of time to read? Fine, read one fairy tale a day. Jane Yolen's How To Fracture A Fairy Tale won't be released until November 5, 2018. I suggest you go pre-order a copy from Amazon now.
Grab a copy of How To Fracture A Fairy Tale and let me know what you think.