Leah Greenblatt
October 31, 2014 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Witch: And Other Tales Re-Told

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Jean Thompson
publisher
Blue Rider Press
genre
Short Stories

We gave it a B+

Despite a reputation for happy endings, fairy tales can be famously dark; what sadist decided children should be sent to bed with stories of one-eyed ogres and cannibalistic witches? In her clever collection, Thompson transposes the likes of ”Rapunzel” and ”The Pied Piper” to appropriately adult 21st-century settings: Hansel and Gretel fall into the clutches of a vicious old woman through foster care, not a backwoods wander; Bluebeard is a public intellectual whose past is ferreted out by his young new wife via email. These characters may have free will (and iPods), but they can’t change their Grimm fates. B+

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