Fearie Tales: Stories of the Grimm

August 19, 2015 - 4:43 am No Comments

Edited by Stephen Jones
Illustrated by Alan Lee
Jo Fletcher Books
Page size: 409pp
Release Date: Summer 2014

With the inception of TV series Grimm, and the fascination with all things Grimm or Fairy Tale, it’s no surprise that there have been a plethora of fairy tales retold hitting the literary market. However, it takes a lot to stand out from the crowd, and this visually stunning hardback, which is surely intended to be a collector’s piece, manages just that.
Edited by genre stalwart Stephen Jones, featuring art work (each story/fairy tale is illustrated) by Alan Lee, this is a beautiful work of art. And to top it off, the writers list is simply a prize for any editor, and lover of dark fiction.
The tome starts with an introduction by Jones, which discusses the Grimm brothers, the oral tradition of folk tales and the dark nature of these stories, some of which are included in this horror anthology.
The book starts with ‘The Wilful Child’ which leads neatly into ‘Find My Name’ by Ramsey Campbell, an alternative Rumplestiltskin in which granny Doreen looks after young Benjamin, who talks about the dark man who visits him at night. The man who speaks to her through the baby monitor, demanding what he wants her to give him. Surreal and dark, this tale really is a twisted story, and the Rumplestiltskin of the story is thoroughly evil. When you read a Ramsey Campbell you know it deep within your bones; like a Barker, a King or a Jackson, there is a distinctive inimitable style to his work that leaves you uncomfortable yet strangely fulfilled. This is the stand out story of the anthology, along with ‘By the Weeping Gate’ by Angela Slatter.
Next up though in the running order worth mentioning is ‘Down to a Sunless Sea’ by Neil Gaiman of Neverwhere fame. Less than a few pages long, this simple, lyrical tale is fascinating and strangely compelling. I’ve obviously heard of Gaiman, as have many within the genre, and on this tale alone, his talent is obvious.
If time were on my side I could relate every story, spoil the plots for the reader and write the longest review in history. Not really a good idea, so this is just a taster.
Suffice to say, with the stunning illustrations, the original fairy tales and new versions of each by a brilliant selection of authors, this is one absolutely beautiful collection. A must have for any horror fan. This is Grim/m with a Capital G

Leave a Reply