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The Bloody Chamber: And Other Stories Paperback

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The Bloody Chamber: And Other Stories + The Classic Fairy Tales (Norton Critical Editions)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (January 1, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014017821X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140178210
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,631 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"A wonderfully written book, ironical, cerebral, elegant."
—Joyce Carol Oates, The New York Times Book Review

"She writes a prose that lends itself to magnificent set pieces of fastidious sensuality … dreams, myths, fairy tales, metamorphoses, the unruly unconscious, epic journeys, and a highly sensual celebration of sexuality in both its most joyous and darkest manifestations."
—Ian McEwan

"Carter not only switches her narrative into the wholly explicit but turns the passive predicament of the heroine into one in which the convention of female role-playing seems to have no part, only brisk and derisisve common sense, the best feminine tactic in a tight corner. The tales are retold by Angla Carter with all her supple and intoxicating bravura."
The New York Review of Books

"She was, among other things, a quirky, original, and baroque styleist, a trait especially marked in The Bloody Chamber – her vocabulary a mix of finely tuned phrase, luscious adjective, witty aphorism, and hearty, up-theirs vulgarity."
—Margaret Atwood, The Observer

About the Author

Angela Carter (1940 -1992) wrote nine novels and numerous short stories, as well as nonfiction, radio plays, and the screenplay for Neil Jordan's 1984 movie The Company of Wolves, based on her story. She won numerous literary awards, traveled and taught widely in the United States, and lived in London.

More About the Author

Angela Carter (1940-1992) was the author of many novels, collections of short stories, plays, and books for children.

Customer Reviews

In fact, I wonder if Carter influenced Filipacchi's work.
Since then I've read two of her novels and two books of short stories, and this one remains the best by far.
Tess Avelland
This is a beautiful book of short stories by a brilliant writer.
Darnell Schmoe

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

87 of 88 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 19, 1999
Format: Paperback
On hearing that the writing style of Tanith Lee, one of my favorite authors, had derived in part from that of Angela Carter, I hastened to find a good collection and explore the similarities. I read this book, and while I am not going to compare and contrast the two styles, I am going to rave about Angela Carter. In the collection "The Bloody Chamber" she reworks five familiar fairy tales as well as spinning myriad tales from the werewolf theme and a tragic love-story out of the vampire myth. Each of the stories has its own unique perspective that works both as a stylistic trick and as a function of the story, such as having Puss-in-Boots proudly recount his own exploits, or having Beauty lost to the Beast at a game of cards. The stories are written sensually, reveling in their lush usage of language; the opening of "The Erl-King" smells of rotted leaves in October, "The Lady of the House of Love" casts haunted shadows at the reader's feet. One or two read like deconstructions of familiar tales, such as the surreal "The Snow Child" or "The Werewolf," while others are the old stories, stripped to their framework and then refleshed with Angela Carter's rich prose. All are absorbing, seductive, to read; if words are food, then this is highly caloric chocolate of the finest quality. (The bittersweet tint only adds to the flavor.) Enough of my raving; read the book yourself. For my part, I will be scouring my library for more of Angela Carter's work. You can never get enough chocolate.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By "villette" on February 12, 2001
Format: Paperback
"The Bloody Chamber" is a work of literature which transcends genre and unearths the thinly veiled erotic elements of the fairy tale form. Each of the ten stories in this collection are as rich and sensuous as red velvet, it is quite possible to open the book at any page and find yourself immersed in the beauty of the prose. Highlights include the eponymous novella "The Bloody Chamber" (Carter's subversive re-telling of the "Bluebeard" story) and "The Lady of the House of Love", which illuminates the notion of a decaying European aristocracy behind the myth of the vampire.
Carter presents us with two contrasting (yet not conflicting) versions of the "Beauty and the Beast" story with "The Courtship of Mr Lyon" and "The Tiger's Bride". In the former, the fierce nature of the beast is curbed by the gentleness of the female protagonist, whilst in the latter, the heroine discovers the liberating power of the repressed animal aspect of her sexuality. Each story has a feminist flavour, exploring both male and female sexual desire, and the darker domains of eroticism. A book which will increasingly be hailed as a masterpiece in years to come.
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52 of 58 people found the following review helpful By CoffeeGurl HALL OF FAME on September 15, 2000
Format: Paperback
Do you have the courage to enter Angela Carter's quirky realm of magical realism? She is brilliant. BRILLIANT! I love these short stories -- or rather, fairy tales that everyone is familiar with. The stories have very familiar themes, like tragic love stories, werewolf stories and Cinderella-like stories. Of course, Angela added her own ingredients in the stories. There are a lot of elements of sex and a large dosage of magical realism. They are so mind-boggling disturbing that I found myself thinking about them long after I finished reading them. My favorites are "The Lady of the House of Love," "The Snow Child," and "The Werewolf." I marvel at Carter's imagination. She is truly gifted. Her writing style sort of reminds me of Amanda Filipacchi -- a brilliant French novelist. In fact, I wonder if Carter influenced Filipacchi's work. I highly recommend The Bloody Chamber. This isn't for the faint at heart; this is dark literature at its finest!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By C. Donaghy on May 8, 2005
Format: Paperback
In Angela Carter's The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories, the author re-creates the fairy tales of old, melding them into feminist tales of love, loss, lust, and sexuality. While her stories find their genesis in the childlike versions of Sleeping Beauty, Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White, and others, Ms. Carter transforms these fantastical stories into adult renditions where vampires prey on virgins, where children lie down with wolves, and a Count "thrust his virile member into the dead girl". In each of these stories, Ms. Carter creates an unexpected, erotic feel which is intertwined with mystery and an adult edginess that goes far beyond the original versions of these fairy tales. She also is very adept at giving the reader just the right amount of clues, never being too obvious, and respecting her reader's intelligence in unraveling the webs she weaves with these stories. Ms. Carter additionally has an ability to take what could be mundane aspects of her stories and infuse them with richness which keeps the reader involved in the story, compelling them to read on. Finally, Angela Carter is a master of symbolism: the young officer in The Lady of the House of Love as the true measure of life and freedom, the kiss in The Company of Wolves as the conquest of men, the clothing in The Snow Child as a representation of power. In every story within the pages of The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories Angela Carter's brilliance come through, and her readers are rewarded with lush, rich, compelling, adult stories of adventures born from our childhood fairy tales.
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