The Bloody Chamber and Other Adult Tales

This book popped up on a List Challege List and caught my attention so I picked it up from the library.  First published in 1979, this is an adult remake of classic stories from Beauty and the Beast, Werewolf stories, Dracula, and Puss in Boots among others.  I found this very well written with lush prose and a rich style of writing.  The book is more sensual than erotic, although there are some points that it leans more towards the erotic.  The author manages to take classic tales and strip them down to their basic elements and then rebuild them while maintaining a juxtaposition of the modern setting and the classic feel of a fairy tale.  My absolute favorite story in the book was The Company of Wolves and I would say that the Twilight Series has nothing on this werewolf tale.

There is a definite feminist take in some of the stories, however I think that is more in reaction to the classic fairy tale stereotypes of the damsel in distress or the “evil manipulative” woman, than it is is to make any type of statement.  I enjoyed reading this, but unfortunately today we are inundated with adult takes on fairy tales and so this seems to be an  overdone trope, although Angela Carter may have done it first.    Fans of Ann Rice’s Sleeping Beauty series may enjoy this, although I would say that it is much less focused on the erotic.

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