on June 20, 2003
One of the funniest and wittiest fairytales I've read all year. And it's original to boot.
Okay, we have a young goosegirl. She's rather plain, she's not overly fond of bathing or combing her hair, she's poor, alone in the world, and so on...a common peasant. When she shows kindness to a hideous old hag (who happens to be her fairy godmother and who, it may surprise you to know, is not in disguise) she is transformed into a glorious beauty who cries diamonds and brushes gold dust from her hair.
And now we have a goosegirl who is not only beautiful, but filthy rich...and pursued by a prince and a king. But when the goosegirl, Alexandria, refuses to marry either of her suitors, her gift becomes a living nightmare as they lock her in a tower and vow to keep her prisoner until she chooses one of them.
Hmmm. Bachelor number one is a cruel king who rules his country with an iron fist and a cold heart. He has had two other wives who have both died of mysterious causes. He enjoys polishing his weapons and killing small animals. Bachelor number two is a handsome young prince with no intelligence, wit, or conversation. Actually, he is as dumb as mud and, if he is chosen, he will probably be assinated by his rival. As you can see, it will not be an easy choice for our fair goosegirl.
What it will be is a romp through the lands of fairy with a brief nod to several beloved fairytales (Rapunzal, Cinderella, and lots more) that just might end with happily ever after...and true love.
on June 13, 2006
I had seen really good reviews about this book and was excited to read it. I read it in about two-three hours (it's suprisingly short), and although I enjoyed it, was a little disappointed.
The book starts out funny and engaging, promising that a good story follows. I was immediately surprised, however, at how short the whole tower scene was. We have barely even gotten to know any of the characters before Alexandria is whisked off by her geese. The rest of the book continues this way; the setting changes very quickly and we are left wanting to know a little bit more about the setting and our characters' personalities.
The language used in this book is also very annoying and a bit confusing; it's sort of a medieval dialect mixed with a little bit of other random speech. There are also a few continuity problems that can be spotted throughout.
While I thought it was very clever how Kindl was able to incorporate so many different fairy tales into one novel, I was really not impressed by the ending. She moves the story along so fast that it makes the ending, although a bit predictable, very unbelievable. The book keeps leading up to something; and then it ends, a bit disappointingly.
If you want an amusing, light, fun little read, then I would recommend Goose Chase. I think this book would be more appropriate and suprising for younger children. I did have fun reading it, but if you really want to read an excellent, more engaging re-telling of a fairy tale (or tales), I would really recommend something else.
on May 8, 2002
The author of the quirky yet appealing OWL IN LOVE and THE WOMAN IN THE WALL, does it again with a fractured fairy tale loosely (very loosely) based on the story of the Goose Girl. Told in the first person, the heroine (Alexandria Honoria Fortunato)'s distinctive and spunky voice adds to the book's charm as she recounts her attempts to flee from suitors both milquetoast and monstrous. Her fairy-godmother-granted good looks (never mind her ability to brush gold dust from her hair and laugh diamond tears) make Alexandria suspect her suitors' motives. Never mind. After a cross-country flight that includes man-eating ogresses, wicked duchesses, daring prison escapes and re-captures, Alexandria discovers her true identity and, of course, True Love. Sure, you knew she'd Get Her Man in the end, but sometimes it's not so much the destination as the fun of the journey. Fans of Ella Enchanted will eat this one up.
on January 1, 2013
I first bought this book at Goodwill. It looked cute and I am a huge fan of fractured fairy tales. This story did not disappoint. It is full of wit, adventure, magic, ogres, a great gaggle of geese, and and king and prince fighting for the hand of a maid with golden dandruff...that's right dandruff. The Goose girl also grows throughout the story. At first she is a feisty young woman who wants absolutely nothing more than to live in her little cottage away from the world and tend her geese. She believes the king is a monster (he did kill her canary) and the prince a half-wit. But as circumstances have it, she makes a great escape with the aid of her geese only to find herself on the adventure of a lifetime, thrown together with a person she wants nothing to do with. Through time she learns that perhaps things aren't really the way she is led to believe the way they are. Perhaps there is more to gain than just her cottage and rolling grassy meadows for her geese. It's a great read if you are looking for something light-hearted or just need a little laugh.
on January 27, 2005
Alexandria is an orphaned goose girl living quietly with her flock of 12 geese. One day, an old woman asks for some food and, poof, Alexandria is suddenly "as lovely as the dawn" with diamonds for tears and gold for dandruff. She attracks the attention of the local prince (a rather dull fellow with little in his head but her beauty) and a neighboring king (for an idea of him, the opening line "The king killed my canary today" should tell you all you need to know), who promptly lock her in a tower when she refuses to marry either of them. With the help of her dedicated flock, she escapes. And that's just the first three chapters!
Original story, well written characters, fun for all to be had!
Patrice Kindl, known for "Owl in Love" and "Girl in the Wall," turns her attention to a highly original like-a-fairy-tale fantasy story, in which the tried-and-true elements are given a wry new spin.
Alexandria Aurora Fortunato (also known as "Goose Girl") lives alone in a cottage with her twelve geese, until the day when she does a favor for an old woman who turns out to be a fairy godmother type. Before she knows what's happened, she's gifted with exquisite beauty, diamond tears, and "gold dandruff." This turns out to be less of a blessing than she expected. Soon she's trapped in a tower, and forced to choose between the sadistic King and a kindly but idiotic Prince.
With the help of her geese, Alexandria escapes from the tower, and promptly stumbles into the grasp of omnivorous multi-headed ogresses. She manages to get them to employ her as a cook, only to find that they've captured the Prince as well. The two of them (with the geese, the fourteen of them) stumble from one misadventure to another, to the core of a political takeover and a long-past magical spell...
The basics of old fables and legends are expertly combined with a bright, independent but not cocky heroine to make a very original tale. This is not a feminist tale in the conventional sense of the word, in that Kindl seems to have affection for her male characters as well as her female ones, and that Alexandria is simply smart, matter-of-fact and independent. "The combination of great beauty and great wealth is a monstrous cruel handicap for a girl who simply wants to tend to her own affairs and her own Geese," she informs the reader. The Prince is also a good character; at first he merely seems to be a slow-witted parody of the typical Prince Charming, but as the story unfolds, we see his sweet nature and his caring for Alexandria. This is one of the few fantasies where the love interest has significantly fewer brains, but is deemed "worth it" anyway.
The writing style is pseudo-ye-olde, with a distinctly ye-olde flair but never making the dialogue stilted or hard to read. Instead, it adds to the peculiar charm of the story that modern English never could have. The comments and dialogue are, at the same time, extremely witty and well-written; the melodramatic tone of fairy tales is relentlessly mocked. At one point, as she and her geese plummet towards the ground, Alexandria wails, "O woe! O! O! OW!" The ogresses are hilarious, especially when Alexandria feeds them a horse's saddle. No loose ends are left dangling; small hints of the heroine's background are present throughout the book. And of course, no geese are as talented and brainy as hers are, without a specific reason for being so.
A charming read for those of you who enjoyed "Spindle's End" and "Ella Enchanted."
Patrice Kindl's Goose Chase is not a fairy retold, nor even two, or three...I tried counting the number of fairy tales incorporated or alluded to and came up with over ten. They're all mixed in so seamlessly and cleverly as to create a new fairy tale, familiar and original all at once. I did feel that there were a few loose ends at the conclusion, but it doesn't detract from the overall enjoyable reading experience.
The fairy tale allusions that would by themselves make a good story are greatly augmented by the narrative voice of the protagonist, Alexandria Aurora Fortunato, which is witty, sensible, frank, and compelling in its freshness. Her judgment isn't always as sound as she thinks it is, but she always has the sense to admit her errors and laugh at herself. She tells her tale in what at first appears to be typically fairy tale-ish language, but what could be somewhat overwrought is becomes amusing, as it is gently mocked througout. Fairy tale sentimentality meets reality with humorously absurd results. Alexandria, immediately before hitting the ground after a long fall, cries, "O woe! O! O! OW!"
Although not well indicated by its cover-- which, incidentally, is of ducks, not geese, Goose Chase IS a fantasy novel, and will probably appeal to those who liked the tone of Gail Carson Levine's Ella Enchanted and maybe Tanith Lee's Wolf Tower and Vivian Vande Velde's The Rumpelstiltskin Problem. Recommended to everyone who enjoys reading young adult fantasy, updated fairy tales, or just books with strong female protagonists.
on November 14, 2004
This is a story that is based on many others. Though fantasy is not my favorite genre, I thought the story turned out to be interesting to me. The way the author began the book was rather humorous. The main charecter of the story was kind of spunky. I very much liked the main character, Alexandria Aroura Fortunato. At first when I read the description about this book on the book jacket, it was confusing why being lovely as dawn was one of her problems. I was thinking, how could she not want to be lovely as dawn when everyone else always wants to be? After I read more of the paragraph, I started to think, "Maybe it's one of her problems because of her being so lovely, the dim Prince of Dorloo and the cruel King Claudio of Gilaboe are courting her. Another thing that had me stumped was the fact that she was exeedingly rich, yet she is locked up in a tall tower and knew no freedom. This forced me to read the book. Unlike some other readers have written, I didn't feel the story was full of suspense, but it certainly didn't lack it. The way Alexandria referred to the gold dust combed out of his hair as twenty four karat gold dandruff caught me into a fit of laughter. The other rather humorous event in this book is when the prince in a very sweet voice is talking to Little Echo. The ending of this book was total surprise. I think this book has no age limits.
on August 18, 2001
Patrice Kindl's herione, the orphaned goose girl is locked in a tower where a dimwitted prince and a cruel king from two neighboring countries ask her hand in marraige. Her problems have all been created by a hag who makes her more beautiful than the dawn and gives her the gifts of tears which turn into diamonds and hair which produces gold dust when brushed. She longs for her twelve goose friends, who she cares for as her mother's last request. With the help of the geese, she escapes from the tower only to find herself in more sticky situations and narrow escapes with the companionship of the dimwitted prince. The ending has a small twist. This novel will keep you laughing through the whole book. Also recommended Gail Carson Levine's Ella Enchanted.
on October 10, 2012
This is a "smash up" of The traditional Goose Girl story and Rupunzel.
If you don't need to take your fairy tales "straight up" then you'll probably enjoy this modern take on the two stories. Enjoy the heroine as she uses wit and dry humor to maneuver her way through irritating circumstances.
See how tedious it is to be gorgeous and desirable. Consider how appealing normal really is when you don't have the choice to live a quiet life with no riches and no men yammering on about your beauty & fighting
for your attention. Patrice Kindl's writing is always engaging.
She takes the stale and unrelateable and breathes new life into it, creating
something shiney & new without losing the moral of the story.