Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Some very dark tales

Two and Twenty Dark Tales: Dark Retellings of Mother Goose Rhymes by Multiple Authors

Rating: 2 out of 5 hearts
340 pages
Released: October 2012
Buy it @ book depository

In this anthology, 20 authors explore the dark and hidden meanings behind some of the most beloved Mother Goose nursery rhymes through short story retellings. The dark twists on classic tales range from exploring whether Jack truly fell or if Jill pushed him instead to why Humpty Dumpty, fragile and alone, sat atop so high of a wall. The authors include Nina Berry, Sarwat Chadda, Leigh Fallon, Gretchen McNeil, and Suzanne Young.


You've probably read, like me, many fairytale re-tellings of Hans Christian Anderson and The Brothers Grimm - well these are all Mother Goose nursery rhymes. At times with only a few lines to work with, these authors have weaved some haunting and truly imaginative re-tellings of these well known nursery rhymes.

With so many different writing styles it was hard to get absorbed in the story but at times the author was able to take me away and get totally wrapped up in their spine tingling tale of horror. It must be terribly hard to suck the reader in with such a short amount of time, but when the author got it right it was amazing.

While some of these stories were pretty amazing, some of them were a bit so so. I didn't end up finishing all the short stories, I only got through 12 of the 20. So below is a short write up of each of the stories that I read.

'As Blue as the sky and just as old' by Nina Berry: This one tells the nursery rhyme of Taffy was a welshman. It was ok but I'd never really heard of the rhyme before because it's a welsh tale.

'Sing a song of sixpence' by Sarwat Chadda: It must be hard to write a short story with interesting characters but I felt like this author achieved that with this story. It was interesting and had plenty of depth to it for something written in a short amount of pages.

'Clockwork' by Leah Cypess: This was an interesting spin on the Hickory Dickory Dock nursery rhyme.It was a great short story that didn't need a lot of back story, although it did seem a little cliche.

'Blue' by Sayantani DasGupta: Tale based on Little boy blue rhyme which was written in verse and very imaginative.

'Pieces of eight' by Shannon Delaney: I didn't know this rhyme either, some sleep baby sleep rhyme. I found it a bit boring but I did like the slight humor between two characters.

'Wee Willie Winkie' by Leigh Fallon: Such a haunting tale. In such a short period of time I was grabbed and taken along for the spooky tale of Wee Willie Winkie. A favourite so far and I want to read more by this author.

'Boys and girls come out to play' by Angie Frazer: Another really great story that was very imaginative about witches and witchcraft.

'I Come bearing souls' By Jessie Harrell: A creepy egyptian twist on the well known Hey Diddle Diddle rhyme.

'The Lion and the unicorn: part the first' by Nancy Holder: This one was really confusing and I didn't really get the meaning behind the story.

'Life in a shoe' by Heidi R. King: Very interesting and a little bit dystopian. Based on the rhyme there was an old lady who lived in a shoe. The idea behind this story would be the only reason why an old lady would have a reason to have so many children. This one whisked me away into it's world right away.

'Candlelight' by Suzanne Lazear: This was amazing! I would've loved reading a whole book about it. So much more of the background story could get fleshed out and I could read more about these characters in a full length book.

'One for sorrow' by Karen Mahoney: A little boring and felt very long for a short story. I've never heard this rhyme before either and I didn't really understand what the story had to do with the rhyme. The story was fairly predictable too.

Overall there were some fantastic stories and it made me want to read other books by those authors, but I gave this 2 stars mainly because I didn't finish it and because I was disappointed. Thank you to Month9Books and Netgalley for my copy.

On the cover

This cover is a bit creepy which I guess sums up a lot of the short stories in this anthology. I never really got to see this cover as this was a kindle edition.

What I'm reading next: The Dead and buried by Kim Harrington

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