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Six-Gun Snow White Hardcover – February 28, 2013
This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
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About the Author
Catherynne M. Valente, acclaimed author of many books for adults, made her children's book debut with The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making. She lives on an island off the coast of Maine with her husband.
Earphones Award winner Julia Whelan grew up in the Pacific Northwest, but currently resides in Los Angeles. She is a former child actor, having appeared in multiple television shows, most notably ABC's "Once and Again." After receiving her college degree, she returned to acting and is pursuing a career in the film industry, as well as creative writing. Her audiobook credits include romance, supernatural thrillers, young adult and adult fiction. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Top customer reviews
"She forbade me to eat sweets or any good thing til I got thin as a dog and could hardly stand I was so damn hungry-- there, now you're beautiful, she said and I did not know if it was my dog-bones showing or my crawling in front of her begging for a miserable apple to stop my belly screaming that made me fair."
The other characters are sharp and two-dimensional, like shadow-puppets in Snow White's world. I thought that choice worked out well stylistically, but it gave you less to hang on to if you are the sort of person who connects to characters. Snow White herself is not so much a character as a set of actions and reactions, and I'm not sure I know how to describe the difference to you, but I know it's there.
That said, I really enjoyed this book, and Snow White, and the huntsman and the deer and the world, and all that. But I felt let down at the end. It was all entropy and glass coffin and it felt strangely abrupt. It's not bad, it's just not what I was craving from the story.
My favorite part of the book was when Snow White finds the town of women, Oh-Be-Joyful. It was run by crones and the best kind of witches, the kind with no magic but lots of experience.
"Life's still stupid but we got free of story out here under the beeches and the Big Dipper. We had enough of it, of things happening one after another and no end in sight. Of reversals and falling in love and tragic flaws and by God if I see another motif in my business I will shoot it dead. The stories that happen to people like us aren't worth my back teeth. So if you want it you can have a nice life here. You can wake up next to Jackson til the end of days and the raising of the glorious dead. You can eat squirrel pancakes out of Ephie's pan and watch the moon go up and down. It's a kind of magic, but then most things are. But story is an eager f****** beaver and someday soon someone will come knocking for you and you'd better just say no thank you is all I'm saying. Whatever's on the other side of that let me in will burn you hollow and lick the ash for the last of you. The worst thing in the world is having to go back to the dark you shook off."
"If I see another motif in my business I will shoot it dead." I think I have been waiting for two decades for a character to say that.
So what I'm saying about this book is that it's beautiful, and I found the ending unsatisfying, but perhaps that was the point.
Read if: You love Valente's work. You have a hankerin' for interesting commentary on all sorts of myths.
Skip if: You are an impatient reader, you want to love people in your books.
Also read: Rapunzel's Revenge for another old-west fairy tale.
While I do agree that the ending was abrupt and unexpected, I'm not going to fault it as I still found the conclusion to be satisfying. Overall an excellent short story with all the insight and wit you'd expect from Valente's work.
Still, the first 2/3's of the book are compelling. Snow White (named so because she isn't) is the half Crow-half White daughter of a rich prospector. When the prospector remarries, his new wife has decided ideas about what is beautiful and what is not. She will use her magic mirror to create a child more to her own liking...unless Snow White messes up her plans.
This Book's Snack Rating: BBQ Kettle Chips for the spicy-sweet, fairy tale old-west characters with a kick of human evil
Most recent customer reviews
I understand that this is a ‘retelling’ of Snow White set in the American Frontier, however, the first half of this book is told from the...Read more