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Fairy Tales: Traditional Stories Retold for Gay Men Paperback – January 3, 1997


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne (January 3, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062513095
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062513090
  • Product Dimensions: 0.4 x 5.2 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,285,321 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Those amused by the notion of Hansel as a Bavarian drag queen or of an Ugly Duckling whose transformation is wrought by aerobics and yoga will find writer/performer Cashorali's reworkings of traditional fairy tales diverting reading. Those expecting more imaginative or substantive alternatives to tradition will be disappointed. The facile humor (exemplified by the inevitable pun of the title), moreover, will strain readers' patience. Cashorali works with obscure as well as familiar tales (including stories retold by Hans Christian Andersen, the Brothers Grimm and Italo Calvino, among others); his usual strategy is to change heroines into gay heroes and to move them into a distinctly upscale, urban milieu. His protagonists make wisecracks about poppers and ACT-UP, and dream of making it big in Hollywood. Such capitulations to yuppie readers narrow the appeal of the book; ironically, the most engaging tale of all, a reworking of "Puss in Boots" featuring a dog in penny loafers, is effective to the degree that it only incidentally dramatizes any element of gay life. Author tour.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

Here's the book that every gay man will want to read to his lover at bedtime--smart, funny, and inspirational reworkings of classic folk and fairy tales that speak to the hearts and minds of gay men. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

I'm a psychotherapist in private practice in Pasadena, CA. Years ago I noticed that the community around me was as inhabited with fairy tales as any medieval country. And so I wrote them out, noticing how the lives and experiences of contemporary folks filled and sometimes reformed traditional folk tales. The material of fairy tales--claiming the scattered components of identity, overcoming the obstacles to relationships, making our way first into and then out of the world--is the same as that which is brought into the therapy session. The difference is that while as author I'm the storyteller, in session it's the other who tells their story. Sometimes for the hundredth time and sometimes for the first. I'm one of those people who believe that the creation of the world isn't finished, and that even very old stories can change.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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See all 15 customer reviews
I hope more will be forthcoming.
Ferdinand Foch
I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to people interested in gay fairy tales, very good.
Mark Gentner
I chose to read one a night, right before bed.
Bruce Aguilar

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Aguilar on October 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
The quiet power of these tales is as mystifying and timless as the originals from which they are spun. By recasting and reshaping both favorite and obscure fairy tales from our youth with gay themes, Peter Cashorali has given gay men the myths and legends on which empires are made. Queit, pensive, reflective, moral, funny, entertaining, sexy, thoughtful and just plain fun are the words I'd use to describe this collection. The 17 stories are easily read in one sitting (some only a page or two long), but are hard to forget. I chose to read one a night, right before bed. If you have a lover, reading them to one another makes for great bedtime stories. Each is begun with a simple line drawing that forshadows events to come. A nice design element is each of these drawings are picked up on the jacket cover. If you happen to not know the tale on which a particular story is based, it is refrenced on the bottom of each stories first page. This makes it really easy to find and read the original to see just how much Cashorali has reworked it. I espicially loved the range of gay life portrayed; from girly boys to butch boys, S&M, AIDS, aging, looking for lasting love and dealing with a loss, this book covers it all. And don't forget the manditory enchanted objects, talking animals, handsome princes, frogs, ogres and withces needed for any good fairy tale! All are included and no one feels left out.
Fairy tales give us a shared history, something to aspire to, and to learn from. Finally - finally gay men have their own! I can't recomend this book enough. We all owe a huge debt of gratitude to Cashorali. I'm sure the Brothers Grimm would be proud as well. Buy it and I'm sure you'll savor it's rich tales for years and years to come!
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Brian Throckmorton on April 15, 1998
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In this book, Peter Cashorali takes familiar folk tales and recasts them with gay men and boys in the starring roles: finally, a world where it's the gay man who finds love or fulfills his dream or solves the problem.
As I read these stories, I felt emotional blocks inside me falling into place, having been suspended for decades; as a child, I had read the original versions of these stories, but I could not identify with the heterosexual protagonists and so felt a certain distance from the stories. Those stories weren't about me.
But now, I have this wonderful set of tales, filled with humor, wisdom and compassion. The archetypes are there for me too, now--I can my heart resonating when the prince loves a boy, when the outcast gay man ends up succeeding. I believe that every gay man will benefit from reading these stories, to repair his childhood tapestry that included no gay figures.
The stories work well when read aloud, too. The sources of the tales are given, so that you can trace them. The illustrations are charming and delicate.
I would say that sometimes the humor of the texts is a little cheesy--for instance, getting a laugh by introducing some anachronistic detail like a car--but not enough to really detract from the effect. It's also worth noting that a quite wide spectrum of gay life is represented here, and Mr. Cashorali is brave about playing with stereotypes, subverting them and showing the nuggets of truth inside them.
(I have to confess--I have not read a couple of the stories yet, though I've had the book for a year. I couldn't stand to reach the end, so I have saved two of the stories... I also bought the sequel to this book, which is equally good.)
This book, and its sequel, are the only books I would unhesitatingly recommend to every gay man.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Lapin on April 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
it is funny and it is moving and it is profound.
the retelling of these traditional stories from a gay vantage point is nothing short of brilliant. some of them, like "beauty and the beast" will stay with me forever.
i have sat and read passages aloud over the phone to friends, and everyone seems to agree this is a classic book.
and the sequel (still not in paperback, god knows why!) is just as good.
if you are a gay man with a sense of humor, and a need to understand where and how you fit in, cashorali's book is for you. and it makes a great gift!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Allan Eňghan on January 13, 2005
Format: Paperback
I'm glad to see that there's finally *fairy* tales out there for gay men. And, although I prefer the romance, being the starry-eyed dreamer that I am, it pleases me seeing tall aspects of life in these stories: love and loss, youth and aging, rags to riches, on and on...

The anachronisms like cars, gyms, office buildings, etc, made the stories sag a bit. It really took something away from that whimsical, fairy tale quality... but not too much to dampen the stories!

Turning "s*** into gold" in Rumpelstiltskin? I couldn't help smirking at that! I was expecting something other than hair in "Romaine"("Rapunzel"). And It's wonderful to see the gay male rise above adversity and find true love! I would so enjoy reading this to my prince charming!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Maldoror on November 26, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book because I liked the concept of retelling folktales in a gay context. The intro offers some interesting insights about tale telling. However, what the intro promises and what the pages deliver are entirely different things: 20 or so traditional stories dressed up in the most shallow of gay cliches -- all the boys make beautiful flower arrangements, Hansel spends his days at the witches house putting on make up and reenacting Sunset Boulevard, no reference is left out to Judy Garland, hairdressing, pink flamingos, Broadway musicals... the parade never ends. Also, all the boys are portrayed as traditional princes but they live in what appears to be modern times, which may be cute at first but quickly becomes annoying. Finally, what's most grinding is the repetitiveness of all the stories (whether this is due to the tales that were chosen or an inherent characteristic of folktales I don't know). Here are the best lines in the entire book (the final lines of "Beauty and the Beast"):

...To his amazement, the person standing before him wasn't a beast at all, but the handsomest man he had ever seen. "Beast," he said in bewilderment. "Were you under a spell all this time?"
"No," answered the Beast."You were. Now the spell is broken, and you're free. You can leave or stay -- you can do anything you want.
"I want to stay with you," Beauty said, and he smiled."On one condition."
What's the condition?" the Beast asked.
"That tonight, after dinner, " Beauty replied, "you'll be Beauty, and I'll be the Beast."
"Anything you want." the Beast promised him. And as beasts do, he kept his word.
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