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Fearie Tales: Stories of the Grimm and Gruesome
edited by Stephen Jones
Jo Fletcher Books, 415 pages

Stephen Jones
Stephen Jones is the winner of multiple World Fantasy Awards, the Horror Writers Association Bram Stoker Award and International Horror Guild Awards, British Fantasy Awards and a Hugo Award nominee. A full-time columnist, television producer/director and genre movie publicist and consultant, Stephen Jones is also one of Britain's most acclaimed anthologists of horror and dark fantasy. He has edited and written more than 100 books, including: Shadows Over Innsmouth; Exorcisms and Ecstasies, a Karl Edward Wagner collection; and Clive Barker's A-Z of Horror. He is co-editor of a number of series including Best New Horror, Dark Terrors and Dark Voices. He lives in London, England.

Stephen Jones Website
ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror Volume 24
SF Site Review: The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror Volume 23
SF Site Review: The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror Volume 22
SF Site Review: The Mammoth Book of Dracula
SF Site Review: Visitants
SF Site Review: Zombie Apocalypse!
SF Site Review: The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror Volume 21
SF Site Review: The Mammoth Book of the Best of Best New Horror
SF Site Review: The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror Volume 20
SF Site Review: The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror Volume 19
SF Site Review: H.P. Lovecraft In Britain
SF Site Review: The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror #18
SF Site Review: The Mammoth Book of Monsters
SF Site Review: The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror #17
SF Site Review: Shadows Over Innsmouth
SF Site Review: Dark Terrors 5
SF Site Review: White of the Moon
SF Site Review: Dark of the Night

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Mario Guslandi

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Fearie Tales: Stories of the Grimm and Gruesome Here's an anthology of new stories inspired to the classical fairy tales by the Grimm brothers.

Not a bad idea (although not particularly original), and certainly an interesting opportunity, considering the impressive line-up of the authors involved in the project. Names such as Tanith Lee, Brian Lumley, Peter Crowther and Angela Slatter -- just to mention a few -- should be a guarantee of excellent material, but life is unpredictable, even when the editor is the famous Stephen Jones, no less.

So, in the end, we have a massive volume of more than 400 pages including many ordinary, forgettable stories and only a small portion of remarkable fiction.

If you like this type of books and you simply want to spend a few evenings entertained by stories loosely inspired (prequels, sequels, whatever) to some of the fairy tales your parents read to you in your childhood, just go ahead and don't be discouraged by my comments. But if you're looking for something to really move you, intrigue you or delight you, then you'll find very little of that sort in this volume. Here it is.

Ramsey Campbell contributes "Find My Name," an extremely creepy piece riveting in an unsettling way the story of Rumperstilskin, while Christopher Fowler provides "The Ash-Boy," a very horrific,darker version of Cinderella.

Neil Gaiman's "Down to a Sunless Sea" is a short but terrific yarn showing how the cruelty of the sea doesn't equal that of men.

Robert Shearman pens "Peckish," a particularly sinister version of the already dark tale about Hansel and Gretel.

"Look Inside" by Michael Marshall Smith is an excellent fairy tale disguised as a mystery, not quite tuned with any specific Grimm story, but enjoyable in the extreme.

Finally, Reggie Oliver's "The Silken Drum" is a superbly written, very disturbing piece revolving around an ambiguous and lethal Japanese female creature.

That's all, folks!

Copyright © 2014 by Mario Guslandi

Mario Guslandi lives in Milan, Italy, and is a long-time fan of dark fiction. His book reviews have appeared on a number of genre websites such as The Alien Online, Infinity Plus, Necropsy, The Agony Column and Horrorwold.


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