Saturday, November 3, 2012

A Tale Dark & Grimm by Adam Gidwitz

A Tale Dark & Grimm (A Tale Dark & Grimm, #1)Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Released: October 28th, 2010
Pages: 252 (Hardcover)
Cover: 4.5/5 Stars
Plot: 2.5/5 Stars

In this mischievous and utterly original debut, Hansel and Gretel walk out of their own story and into eight other classic Grimm-inspired tales. As readers follow the siblings through a forest brimming with menacing foes, they learn the true story behind (and beyond) the bread crumbs, edible houses, and outwitted witches.

Fairy tales have never been more irreverent or subversive as Hansel and Gretel learn to take charge of their destinies and become the clever architects of their own happily ever after. summary

You've all heard the story of Hansel and Gretel, right? Two little children who stumble on a house of gingerbread inhabited by a nefarious child-devouring witch? Ring a bell? Well, here's the deal of A Tale Dark and Grimm: Adam Gidwitz tales this Grimm fairy tale to a whole new level. While extending Hansel and Gretel's adventure, he tells the story and gives commentary in a truly Grimm fashion- but one for a kids! If I were to revert into my eight year old self, A Tale Dark and Grimm would be a crawl-under-the-covers book with just the right amount of gore. I would have such fun mustering up the courage to read this dark, adventurous tale. 

In terms of characters this book was a huge disappointment. Don't get me wrong- it's not like Hansel and Gretel were vapid (I mean, they slay a dragon and in my experience dragon slayers in fairy tales are usually awesome). Possibly it's my tendency to expect complex characters that I would be able to connect with. It's been a while since I read a book where children where the protagonists, ergo, it was a bit strange. 

It's no secret that I adore fairy tale retellings. Adam Gidwitz really impressed me with his. He not only followed in the fashion of the good 'ol Grimm brothers, but also added his own quirky elements as well. I would laugh every time I read a "warning" about the "awesome gore" that would be presented in the next few pages. The flesh eating moon has a particular taste for children, fingers that can be used to open doors, and other improbable things gave me a chuckle or two.

If you don't have the patience to read a child's novel, I don't recommend this. But if you occasionally enjoy indulging yourself in saying "I'm reading fairy tales!" once in a while, A Tale Dark and Grimm is one to check out!

P.S. As a side note, check out Adam Gidwitz's awesome article titled "In Defense of Fairy Tales." It's eloquent and just wonderful.

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