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Book Review // The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter

The Bloody Chamber & Other Stories by Angela Carter {Goodreads}
Published by Penguin Classics in 2015
75th Anniversary paperback edition; 162 pages {BookDepository}

The Bloody Chamber & Other Stories is a collection of short stories by Angela Carter in which she gave new life to some of the most famous fairytales, mainly Beauty & The Beast.

This was my first time reading anything by Carter and I have to say I was completely blown away by her incredibly powerful and atmospheric language. And what is more important: they are focused on women, on their sexuality and their fierceness. Carter writes bold women, independent, who learn and seek what they desire. It gives such strength to the stories and tinges them with a triumphant tone. And oh how much I liked that!

Carter discusses so many themes: wildness in women, marriage, sexual awakening, decay and transformation and of course, gender. To say the stories are clearly feminists would be an understatement. She writes so right in your face in such a brutal way that is impossible to not feel compel by the stories. She doesn’t hold anything back and the effect she creates is one not easy to forget. And all the while she delights her readers not only with gothic elements that sent chill down my spine but also an evocative writing style that made me picture everything within my mind, from the setting and the characters of each story to the feelings they are experiencing. My favourite stories were Puss-in-Boots, The Lady of the House of Love, The Courtship of Mr. Lyon and The Company of Wolves.

I would highly recommend reading this collection if you enjoy: (1) fairytales or fairytales re-tellings, (2) beautiful writing style and (3) powerful women please pick this up, you won’t regret it. I certainly didn’t and I own another collection by her that I’m dying to sink my teeth into because… you know… awesomeness and all that.


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