This is the book I picked for the “something metal” category of the whimsical reading challenge.
This book was written by the brains behind Wicked (Gregory Maguire), which I haven’t read yet, but I do have on my shelf somewhere. I am an absolute junkie for reinterpretations of the classics. This one, as you might guess from the title, is a retelling of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.
I want to start off by saying that I absolutely loved this book. As in loved it. He made some really original alterations (such as casting Lucrezia Borgia in the role of wicked stepmother) and yet still remained faithful to the arch of the story. His treatment of the dwarves can only be described as epic… little stone men that burrow through anything and live forever… Doc, Grumpy, Bashful, Sneezy, Sleepy, Happy and Dopey become Blindeye, Heartless, Deaf-to-the-world, MuteMuteMute, Bitter, Tasteless and Gimpy. Politically correct? Probably not, but still massively entertaining!
My one criticism, and it’s only very minor, is that I found the character of Snow White quite two-dimensional in comparison with the others. She was just a bit…. Nondescript. But in a way, I’m quite glad he refrained on focussing entirely on Snow White, because that’s exactly how the story is usually told. By bringing the rest of the ‘cast’ he highlights different angles in the story, which I found really enjoyable.
His narrative tone takes a couple of chapters to get used to as he alters it depending on who the chapter is about, but once you get stuck in it really just adds more depth to the characters. He has this way of describing things that just transports you to the dusty Italian farm or the creepy woodland or the decadence of Rome. It really is a fairy tale for the modern reader HOWEVER there is a mention of sex with an eel, so it’s not really a book for the younger modern reader.
Hope you’re all having a great week so far! If you’ve got any book recommendations or whimsical reading updates for me, then leave me a comment below,