Monday, September 08, 2008

The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter

From familiar fairy tales and legends – Red Riding Hood, Bluebeard, Puss-in-Boots, Beauty and the Beast, vampires, werewolves – Angela Carter has created an absorbing collection of dark, sensual, fantastic stories.

Margaret Atwood has this to say about her:
"She was, among other things, a quirky, original and baroque stylist, a traitespecially marked in 'The Bloody Chamber' - her vocabulary a mix of finely tunedphrased, luscious adjectives, witty athorism, and hearty, up-verse vulgarity."
-- Observer (London)
Joyce Carol Oates said:
"Distinguished by bold, inflected language and ornate, indeed often bloody
imagery; it's aesthetic agenda is a wilful appropriation of the old tales and
legends of the patriarchal world." -- New York Times Book Review
Ian McEwan said:
"She writes a prose that blends itself to magnificent set pieces of factidious
sensuality...dreams, myths, fairy tales, metamorphoses the unruly unconscious,
epic journeys and a highly sensual celebration of sexuality in both its most
joyous and darkest manifestations."

I say, thanks Carl! I have had his book forever and never got around to reading it, so I am glad that Carl posted about it and reminded me it was about time I got around to it! Some of the stories were not great, but overall it was a fun collection of stories. In the collection, Carter both retells old fairy tales for grown-ups, and writes stories with vampires and werewolves to capture your imagination! I am a big fan of fairy tales, so it is always nice to read new ones. "The Bloody Chamber", actually, was a retelling of "Bluebeard", one of my favourite stories. "The Courtship of Mr. Lyon was one of my favourite stories because it retells "Beauty and the Beast". That has always been a story I enjoyed.

Overall, another good read! This is also the fourth book I read for the R.I.P. Challenge, so that means that anything I read after this is just an added bonus! I am very happy with that.

*The quotes are off Barnes and Noble*


  1. I love those quotes about her. I'm glad you enjoyed this one, and congrats on having completed the challenge already!

  2. I'm so glad to see that you loved this collection! Its one of my favorite books. I agree with you that The Courtship of Mr Lyon was one of best stories. But I think my all time favorite in the book was "In the Company of Wolves".

    And congrats on finishing the challenge already!

  3. Thanks so much for including the great quotes about her, those were fun to read. I'm glad you got inspired to read this and enjoyed it.

    You are certainly correct, not all the stories are great...which is true of most collections. But the ones that are good are very good, in my opinion.

    As I said in my review, I liked the title story. I've always been a fan of bluebeard retellings and reworkings and this one didn't disappoint. The Beauty and the Beast retelling was great. My favorite is still The Lady of the House of Love but that can be attributed to the fact that I love a good gothic tale and this one really had a nice gothic feel to it.

    I checked this out from the library but it will certainly be a book I keep an eye out for on the used book racks because I'd love to have my own copy of it.

  4. Wow you finished this challenge pretty quickly! I hope to start Burning your Boats by her this month which is a collection of her short stories including Bloody Chamber. I have been meaning to read this for so long now and you and Carl are thanked for reminding me.

  5. nymeth: I thought the quotes would make it a bit different than the other reviews circulating about the book. And, thanks! I wanted to finish it in a timely manner because if I waited too long I might stop reading again!

    Samantha: 'In the Company of Wolves' was good too. I am just partial to my fairy tale retellings, I think. :)

    Carl: I am glad I got around to reading it! I enjoyed The Lady of the House of Love as well. It was a story that I liked. If I ever reread this collection, I think I would just read it in bits and pieces.

    rhinoa: Yeah, because who knows when I will stop reading again! Didn't want to take the chance. I look forward to seeing what that collection you are planning to read is like. I do plan to read her again one of these days!

  6. Carl has got to stop starting his challenge too early lol... still have about 8 weeks until halloween and you are done already! LOL.. love it!

  7. deslily: That's okay! I intend to read more, so I will just finish the challenge more than once. See, I read three books in three days at work... I can't help it that it was slow!

  8. Yeah...after both you and Carl, looks like I'm going to have to read this collection!!


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