I love fairy tales and fairy tale re-tellings. I love seeing the many different ways an author takes a known tale and spins it in a way that is different and unique to their own style. I love seeing a story that I am familiar with take shape into something new. So when I heard Michael Cunningham had a collection of re-tellings, I had to check it out. And I enjoyed it for the most part.
Cunningham has a very complex writing style. That is, he doesn't stick to just one style. Some of the stories were written in third person, another in first, and another still in second. Sometimes he has stories mixing two or three! His descriptions are very detailed and vivid. He doesn't shy away from the nitty-gritty. There are times when his writing shows the complexities of what his story is trying to convey. I enjoyed that tremendously!
However, not all of the stories in this collection were a hit for me. I definitely felt the first half of this collection were a lot stronger than the latter half. The latter half tend to drag a bit and didn't hold the same intrigue that the first half did. (Although I did like the last story to the collection quite a bit!) Also, all except for one of the stories were very dark and twisted and depressing so, even though that didn't bother me as a reader, it's something to keep in mind of. This is NOT a happy book.
All-in-all, I liked this book. I had some problems with it, but it was still a pretty solid read. Keep in mind that there's mention of sex, drugs, and a hint of abuse in the book. It doesn't go into great details, but it's there. If you like fairy tales and want to try out some re-tellings give this one a read. It's a pretty good book.