The Bloody Chamber is a masterfully written series of short stories by the late, great Angela Carter. Re-imagined fairy stories at their finest, this amalgamation of chilling tales shows Carter at her finest. Her frighteningly wicked and illustrious vocabulary is used to paint beautifully haunting scenes of “winter and cold weather” and fearlessly writes with astonishing detail. The detail can, at times, appear shocking and somewhat trite, but the pornographic scenes are definitely important to reflect the harshness of the reality she has carved.
The stories vary in length (the first is about 46 pages long, the Snow Child is only 2), but that doesn’t mean one is of less value than another. That couldn’t be less true. And what is so wonderful with her work is her subtle links between one tale and another, so that her entire collection is a subtle collection of intertextual references weaving between themselves, paying clever homage to their originals and counterparts, whilst establishing themselves as fully original stories.
One could pour hours over this collection and still find things to talk about (indeed, I studied two from this book for my A Level English Coursework), but equally, one could easily sit back and read it without having to pay too much attention to her details.
While playing to the cliché, I can honestly say (or rather, warn) that this little bundle of joy is not for the faint of heart.
My rating: 4/5 stars