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Grimm's American Macabre Paperback – October 25, 2016
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About the Author
Monette Bebow-Reinhard uses the pen name of Lizbeth Grimm. This is her fifth published work of fiction, and first short story collection. Ever since learning she was a Grimm, back when she was five, she’s wanted to put out a collection like this. Learning that the Grimms Brothers didn’t write their own but collected and wrote down the oral tales, she decided she, too, had to include some other voices here. Each of her children contributed—CarrieLynn, Adam, and Bennett are also Grimms, after all—and all are talented writers. When living, contributor Nancy Byng was involved with the theater group in Abrams, Wisconsin and adapted her story into a play. One author is MIA, but Bebow-Reinhard hopes she will be in touch when the book is out. The Falks of Abrams agreed to have their names included as the ones who inspired a story based on a real nature legend of the backwoods. One is a ghost story she’d heard as a kid, and another she found without a name attached. All have been further edited. Bebow-Reinhard earned a master’s in history; she also writes movie scripts, nonfiction and has edited for others. She currently lives and works in Madison, Wisconsin. Her other novels, all historical, are Felling of the Sons, Mystic Fire, Adventures in Death & Romance: Vrykolakas Tales, and Dancing with Cannibals See more at www.grimmsetc.com
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Top customer reviews
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MBR comes full circle in these books. Like the last story, the first has elements they can lead the reader to think of a hansel and Gretel. Child goes to grandma's house only to be fattened up, but there's a twist.
Another connection to the original Grimms is the use of Nature in stories. Originally the woods were the scary parts and the humans decent, but this is a modern telling. Nature is dying out, and humans are the case. It's no longer a case where heartbroken parents leave their children in the woods because they can no lie ne'er feed them, its children pouting about having to live by rules, and things not being handed to them, or trying to fit in and finding the means to do so.
There are also tales about trying to find ways back to nature, like End of the World, or what is happening to our world ... are we mutating, like The Revolution.
There are cautionary tales, and tales of hope, weird tales and cute ones. Both adult tales, and those that would appeal to children. With the modern twists, young adults will find the stories relevant... living in a world of gadgets, and instant gratification, or latchkey children with parents working all the time, or wanting too much from you.
So, interesting read, but don't go into this book thinking you know what you'll get. This Isn't your Grandmother's Grimms Fairy Takes after all
The supernatural is present in all the stories. You will find cannibals, vampires, a futuristic technological world, ghosts and nature spirits. Life lessons are interwoven with the characters’ trials and many errors. There are references to classic fairy tales, such as Hansel and Gretel, in stories adapted to a modern context. They often provide social commentary and insight into human nature.
My personal favorite is ‘Hiding in Caves’, which portrays the suffering of a lonely girl through beautiful imagery. Her symbolic journey into the woods to confront and heal her troubled psyche tugged at my heartstrings. Those stories that err further on the dark side than my usual taste would take me are tongue in cheek and I still enjoyed them.
The collection comprises wit, imagination and character. At the end I regretted that there were no stories left.
Lizbeth Grimm utilizes foreshadowing cleverly with each story, often using one story to foreshadow another. This collection truly comes together as a cohesive text, the stories intertwining and playing off each other as you read. Considering Grimm has woven the stories of other authors into this collection – from story to story and author to author – the consistency of the flow and arc of the book is a feat. The voices are blended well; they’re different, but complimentary. Among the collected authors, Grimm includes her three children, which truly bring the Grimm lineage and tradition of storytelling full circle.
Each story is filled with subtle messages, giving the collection an overall unified theme, that readers will pick up on in their own way. Throughout, the collection provides a takeaway lesson for all, but not one definitive lesson that feels forced on the audience. It shines a spotlight on the unpredictability of nature and the cruelty of the modern world, playing up the conflict between technology and modern-day progress and innovation, and the simple, savage nature of survival instincts and the natural world.
Readers will feel a deeper connection to these stories because they seem familiar. The tales are new in their specifics, but will feel like coming home to old friends. There is just enough similarity to draw on the nostalgia felt for the old Brothers Grimm tales.
Though not every story will speak to every reader, every reader will take something away from this collection. It starts with a bang and continues the pace through most of the text, however, the collection closes on a softer note, losing a bit of the overall steam created.
This is a diverse and modern take on Brothers Grimm-esque fairy tales, and is a unique edition to the family tradition of storytellers.
The only small criticism I have is that all the stories tend to have the same tone and perspective. But to be fair, so did the tales the ones in this book were modeled after.
I received a free copy from the author to review.
Most recent customer reviews
What a great surprise, it was so diverse.Read more