Title: The Merry Spinster: Tales of Everyday Horror
Author: Mallory Ortberg
Publisher: Holt 2018
Genre: Short Stories - Fantay
Rating: 4/5 stars
Reading Challenges: Random TBR Pick; Women Authors; Dancing with Fantasy and Scifi - Library
From Mallory Ortberg comes a collection of darkly mischievous stories based on classic fairy tales. Adapted from the beloved "Children's Stories Made Horrific" series, "The Merry Spinster" takes up the trademark wit that endeared Ortberg to readers of both The Toast and the best-selling debut Texts From Jane Eyre. The feature has become among the most popular on the site, with each entry bringing in tens of thousands of views, as the stories proved a perfect vehicle for Ortberg’s eye for deconstruction and destabilization. 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.
Readers of The Toast will instantly recognize Ortberg's boisterous good humor and uber-nerd swagger: those new to Ortberg's oeuvre will delight in this collection's unique spin on fiction, where something a bit mischievous and unsettling is always at work just beneath the surface.
Unfalteringly faithful to its beloved source material, The Merry Spinster also illuminates the unsuspected, and frequently, alarming emotional complexities at play in the stories we tell ourselves, and each other, as we tuck ourselves in for the night.
Bed time will never be the same.
This slim volume of fairy tale inspired stories was a recommendation from the podcast Reading Glasses. I finally picked it up at the library and sped through it in an afternoon. I loved the twists and modernization of classic stories. My favorite story was definitely “The Daughter Cell” based on The Little Mermaid. There’s a cheat sheet of influences in the back of the volume, but I loved piecing out each story as I read them. Ortberg has a wonderful talent for nods to the readers and our modern knowledge while keeping us squarely in the fairy tale realm. Really enjoyed this collection!
Next up on the TBR pile: