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About the Author
The Rumpus: “What to Read When 2018 is Right Around the Corner”
NYLON: “50 Books We Can’t Wait to Read in 2018”
The Huffington Post: “60 Books We Can’t Wait to Read in 2018”
Esquire: “27 Best Books of 2018”
Bustle: “35 Most Anticipated Books of 2018”
ELLE: "21 Best Books of 2018
AV Club: "10 Books We Can't Wait to Read in 2018"
The Millions: "Most Anticipated: The Great 2018 Book Preview"
Cosmo: "Most Anticipated Books of 2018"
BuzzFeed: "The 33 Most Exciting New Books Of 2018"
BookRiot: "101 Books Coming Out in 2018..."
Bustle: "35 Most Anticipated Books of 2018"
Ms Magazine: "6 Feminist Reads for Winter"
Pajiba: "Most Anticipated Books of 2018"
Publishers Weekly: The Most Anticipated Books of Spring 2018
Named a Publishers Lunch Buzz Book 2018
Vulture's 6 Books You Should Read This March
"Starting this." ―Lorde
"Empowering, subversive. . . .Daniel Mallory Ortberg twists fairy tales into elegant garrotes. . . .There's not a single weak link in the cat's-breath chain of this collection. . . .incredible." ―The New York Times Book Review
"A wholly satisfying blend of silliness, feminist critique, and deft prose makes this a collection of bedtime stories that will keep you up at night for all the right reasons." ―Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Ortberg’s sly, scathing renditions. . . .strike directly at the heart. . . . .The book brings the shock of the new and the shock of recognition into play at the same time; it’s a tour de force of skill, daring, and hard-earned bravura." ―Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Dark and dreadful and persistently clever. Ortberg bloodily turns familiar tales inside out." ―Rainbow Rowell, No. 1 New York Times bestselling author of Carry On
"A collection of stories delectable, formidable, and nimble. As a fantasist and short story writer, Mallory Ortberg is without peer." ―Kelly Link, author of Get in Trouble
"Dear Reader: It would, truthfully, be simplest to call the stories in THE MERRY SPINSTER ‘retellings,’ but that word does not adequately capture their dark alchemy. Mallory Ortberg has created a Frankenstein’s monster of familiar narratives. . .[that swings] between Terry Pratchett’s satirical jocularity and Angela Carter’s sinister, shrewd storytelling, and the result is gorgeous, unsettling, splenic, cruel, and wickedly smart. I’ve never read anything quite like them, and I bet, Dear Reader, that you haven’t either." ―Carmen Maria Machado, author of Her Body and Other Parties: Stories
"Mallory Ortberg has a voracious appetite for poison apples, and a genius for finding the places in fairyland where all the bodies are buried. The Merry Spinster will ruin your most-loved fables, in the best possible way." ―Charlie Jane Anders, author of All the Birds in the Sky
"The secret to THE MERRY SPINSTER, I think, is that she never wanted to be your wicked stepmother--she was too busy. There are uncanny slivers of delight and recognition mixed here with the wit we all love Ortberg for, but here that wit is wielded with new force. If fairy tales are ways to describe the rules we don't dare put down on paper, in her hands they become ways to challenge those, or even to write new rules. I don't know if these stories are for bedtimes, but they are for us." ―Alexander Chee, author of Edinburgh and The Queen of the Night
"Mallory Ortberg has the sloe gin wit of Dorothy Parker and the soul of a Classics nerd. It’s like both of them sat next to each other in THE MERRY SPINSTER and gossiped away. The result is an absolute delight." ―John Scalzi, New York Times bestselling author of Lock In and Redshirts
“Mallory Ortberg is a treasure. Her writing is often surreal and twisted, as when she imagines classic plots through a modern lens…THE MERRY SPINSTER takes a darker turn for the wryly funny Ortberg, as she retells fairy tales and folk legends.” ―The AV Club
“Fairy tales get a feminist spin in this short story collection…This is...one with psychological horror and Ortberg’s signature snark…Can’t wait to ruin our favorite fables!” ―The Millions
“THE MERRY SPINSTER is just the ticket for those who want bedtime reading that comes with a bite of subversive fun.” ―Ms Magazine
“Sinister and inviting, familiar and alien all at the same time, THE MERRY SPINSTER updates traditional children’s stories and fairy tales with elements of psychological horror, emotional clarity, and a keen sense of feminist mischief.” ―The Rumpus
“Ortberg’s uniquely hilarious voice lends itself well to the dark and twisted milieu of fairy and folk tales and her reimagining of classics is predictably perverse, but also offers wonderful insight into the reasons why humans are so drawn to these stories of horror and loss.” ―NYLON
“The author of Texts from Jane Eyre returns with delightfully dark stories based on fairy tales.” ―BookRiot
“We could not be more excited.” ―The Huffington Post
“Look out, Angela Carter. There’s a new feminist fairy tale queen in town, and her imagination is as sharp as her wit. Ortberg, co-founder of the beloved website The Toast, takes her column ‘Children’s Stories Made Horrific” to new heights in this collection of twisted tales that will shock and delight you.” ―Esquire
“I always want to dive into the mind of Mallory Ortberg (co-creator of The Toast). Adapted from her 'Children's Stories Made Horrific’ series, this book provides some updates to well-known children's stories that change them into something else entirely.” ―Bustle
“Feminist fairy tales? Just what the doctor ordered. Texts From Jane Eyre and Dear Prudence agony aunt Mallory Ortberg conjures up the kinds of stories that will hopefully scary the bogeymen―with the emphasis on 'men'―away.” ―ELLE
“Mischievous, unsettling, and often feminist, the stories in THE MERRY SPINSTER are a delightful, ingenious spin on beloved classics.” ―Buzzfeed
"Beautifully turned out. Ortberg heads straight for the big game...primordial, oppressive, and funny." ―Boris Kachka, New York Magazine
- File Size : 1603 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print Length : 196 pages
- Publisher : Holt Paperbacks (March 13, 2018)
- ASIN : B074ZJW3SL
- Publication Date : March 13, 2018
- Language: : English
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Lending : Not Enabled
Best Sellers Rank:
#345,984 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- #789 in Folklore (Kindle Store)
- #966 in Fantasy Anthologies & Short Stories (Kindle Store)
- #1,042 in Fantasy Anthologies
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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My favorite story in this book was "A Thankless Child", which is one of the weirdest adaptions of the Cinderella story I've ever read. I would love to learn more about Ortberg's thought processes in writing it...heck, I'd read a study guide!
The author retells fairy tales, Bible stories, Shakespeare, and folktales. Sometimes she incorporates elements of several sources into one story. Her retelling of the Velveteen Rabbit will scare anyone who worries that their toys may come alive in the night. The story called Fear Not: An Incident Log is a very humorous and modern retelling of the Book of Genesis. Her retelling of The Wind in the Willows is full of witty dialogue. Many of the stories have been modernized, such as the title story, which is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast.
I have been trying to broaden my reading with more short story collections. I am also really enjoying retellings of fairy tales and folk tales. The writing here is sharp, funny, and skilled. One thing I did not like was the author’s mixing of pronouns and genders. I understand the point (I think) but I just found that to be a confusing device rather than something that enhanced my understanding of the story. I read another short story collection that is a retelling of fairy tales, which I liked much better. So, if you enjoy The Merry Spinster, you may want to check out Magic for Unlucky Girls by A. A. Balaskovits. It is as chilling as it is imaginative.
I read it on a quiet rainy afternoon when my entire life was more in flux than usual, which is often, and its plain and brilliant turns of language remind me of the King James Bible. A book that has horrible and wonderful things in it that you are somewhat complex to read and somewhat horrified and fascinated by.
A liminal book. Glad I didn't feel compelled to write it. Dark and not for kids, though it is for the kind of child I was and the adult I became.
Unfortunately, the book is just not good. I was incredibly disappointed. Their imaginative retellings are either way too on the nose or horribly vague.
The stories are horrific, but not in the fun, creative way. This writer has changed. What a bleak output.
Top reviews from other countries
“Since you have the goodness to think of me,” Beauty said, “be so kind as to bring me a rose.” This was in fact a greater inconvenience disguised as a simple request; in trying not to think of herself, as she so often did, she burdened everybody.