The Bloody Chamber – Angela Carter
Vintage Books, 2006
Originally published 1979
A naïve debutante is drawn into the darkly glamorous world of a debauched nobleman. One father seeks to restore his family’s fortunes with the aid of a most unlikely ally, while another gambles his child’s life away. Wolves prowl the winter woods, caged birds cry warnings, and blood pools in the snow.
This collection of short stories is something of a classic among fairy tale retellings. Angela Carter’s writing style is beautifully intricate and lyrical, but there’s an unexpectedly judgemental attitude towards several of the heroines and a brutal cynicism in these stories that overrides the cohesion of actual plot. While I can objectively appreciate Carter’s skill, I can’t say I truly enjoyed any story from The Bloody Chamber.