The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter

The Bloody Chamber

Angela Carter kept me up at night.

Reading until the wee hours and I think I even dreamed about a werewolf. These tales are dark, sensual retellings of stories that we are all familiar with. I loved her imagery and her twists on tales like Beauty and the Beast, Little Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty, and Puss in Boots. The Bloody Chamber is a retelling of Bluebeard which I was not familiar with. But these stories are definitely not for children, but are more reminiscent of the original Grimm Brothers.

You won’t find the female role as conventionally displayed in fairy tales here. These women are edgy and do not exhibit the passiveness of our everyday princess. Each story has a message. I like it when books make me think.

    The Marquis stood transfixed, utterly dazed, at a loss. It must have been as if he had been watching his beloved Tristan for the twelfth, thirteenth time and Tristan stirred, then leapt from his bier in the last act, announce in a januty aria interposed from Verdi that bygones were bygones, crying over spilt milk did nobody any good and, as for himself, he proposed to live happily ever after. The puppet master, open mouthed, wide eyed, impotent at the last, saw his dolls break free of their strings, abandon the rituals that he had ordained for them since he began and start to live for themselves; the king, aghast, witnesses the revolt of his pawns.

-From The Bloody Chamber

2 responses to “The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter

  • Claire

    I am delighted that you loved her imagery and subversion of the original tales. I love the title story and its use of Bluebeard and “The Company of Wolves” where Little Red Riding Hood is anything but passive.

  • Verity

    This sounds intriguing; I only read my first Angela Carter book this year, but I like the sound of original tales subverted.

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