4.2 (4,918 ratings by Goodreads)
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The fairy tale-based works of the tortured confessional poet, whose honesty and wit in the face of psychological pain have touched thousands of more

Product details

  • Paperback | 112 pages
  • 139.7 x 210.82 x 12.7mm | 136.08g
  • Cengage Learning, Inc
  • Boston, United States
  • New edition
  • 039512722X
  • 9780395127223

Review Text

This is a retelling of 17 fairy tales. In recasting them, Mrs. Sexton is her own self still, at home with images of loss and disease (mental and physical entwined), and love reminds her of crabgrass. But in this new book she has expanded her horizon and entered, squint-eyed, the world of the Brothers Grimm, which suits her very well. The Grimms' laws do not fit every universe. But if you begin by believing in magic and the power of evil, you can find material there with which to distort the happy ending. Here the prince and princess never live very happily afterwards. Not every reader will take to the idea of Rapunzel's witch as her lesbian lover, but it was a sharp sensitivity that realized that Sleeping Beauty, restored to life, might be hysterically afraid of night and dark and sleep. Hitching on to an established classic gives the transformer leeway; we know what is coming; so Ovid, the Gospel, and fairy tales, can be told with irony and with a thick sprinkling of contemporaneity. In spite of the publisher's warning - keep out of the reach of children - elderly children may like this a lot; the idiom and world view have much in common with rock lyrics. Barbara Swan's illustrations are appropriate and plentiful. Kurt Vonnegut writes a friendly introduction. So it goes. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

Rating details

4,918 ratings
4.2 out of 5 stars
5 46% (2,246)
4 35% (1,710)
3 15% (757)
2 3% (152)
1 1% (53)
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