Monday, June 24, 2013
REVIEW: In a Glass Grimmly
Appetizer: In the companion to A Tale Dark & Grimm, Gidwitz weaves more fairytales together as cousins Jack and Jill (and a talking frog!) weave their way through and among elements from classic folktales like the Emperor's (or in this case, the princess's--new clothes, Jack and the Beanstalk, Jack the Giant Killer, and other tales.
As I read, I found myself thinking back more fondly upon A Tale Dark & Grimm, which seemed a little more intricate with slightly higher quality writing.
Don't get me wrong, the writing quality of In a glass Grimmly is still very good...it just felt, I don't know, rushed or a little less revised. The voice of the narrator also felt as though it wasn't adding as much to the text as it did in A Tale Dark & Grimm. On the plus side, this novel included more references to familiar folktales and rhymes, making it easier for the reader to make connections to the classic tales. There was also a lot of humor and clever trickery.
As the narrator threatens, there are some uncomfortable moments in the book. In the adaptation of the princess who wears such fine silk that it can't be seen (AKA she's naked!), I found the fact that the man designing her invisible dress, who looked at her with "heat and danger," to be more than a little unnerving.
Overall, a fun and enjoyable read.
"Once upon a time, there was a kingdom called Marchen, which sat just next to the modern countries of England, Denmark, and Germany." (p. 5)
"At this point, I ought to make something clear. There are three versions of this story:
There is the kiddie version, where they kiss. Obviously false.
There is the Grimm version, where she throws him against the wall, and then they get married. Which is, if you ask me, even more ridiculous than the kiddie version.
And then there is the true version. What actually happened." (p. 20)
"But you're right. As far as fairy tales go, it wasn't very horrible.
Things get worse." (p. 23
"Once upon a time there was a little girl who had the most wonderful mother you could possibly imagine.
Go ahead. Try to imagine the most wonderful mother you can.
All right. Not good enough. Not even close." (p. 27)
"Now, at this point, perhaps you think you know this story. And I'm sure you've heard some version of it, mangled and strangled and made almost sweet by years and years of telling it to little children.
But the way you know it is not the way it happened.
The real way is...different." (p. 37)
"Yet another time, the boy invented a song. It went, "Jack be nimble, Jack be quick, Jack jump over the candlestick." Because the boy's name was Jack. Then he actually tried to jump over a candlestick. He knocked it over. The house burned down. Completely.
As the years went by, Jack remained a dreamer. But he became something else, too. He became a follower." (p. 57)
"Once upon a time, there was a beanstalk.
It started as a tiny shoot, peering up from the black soil where the bean had been planted, tender and green in the bright moonlight. Next it was a plant, small but sturdy. Then it was the size of a young tree.
All in a matter of seconds.
Soon, the beanstalk was as thick and as tall as an oak. And still it grew and grew and grew. Thick branches began to shoot out from its trunk, over every few feet, twisting upward around the great green stalk.
A little boy named Jack looked at a little girl named Jill.
"Don't do it,: warned a three-legged from named Frog. 'Don't even think about it.'" (p. 79)
Tasty Rating: !!!
On a personal note, I'll be leaving the country for several weeks. I don't know to what extent I'll be able to read for fun or update. So, chances are good, if I'm in a position to update, it'll be a personal post.
Have a wonderful summer!