Title: The Merry Spinster, Tales of Everyday Horror
Author: Mallory Ortberg
Page Count: 190 pages
Genre: Fantasy // Fiction
Rating: ★ ★ ★
Publisher: Henry Holt & Company
Release Date: March 13, 2018
Buy It: Chapters Indigo
From Mallory Ortberg comes a collection of darkly mischievous stories based on classic fairy tales. Adapted from their beloved “Children’s Stories Made Horrific” series, The Merry Spinstertakes up the trademark wit that endeared Ortberg to readers of both The Toast and their best-selling debut Texts from Jane Eyre. The feature 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 their 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.
Bedtime will never be the same.
The Merry Spinster is not so merry! Haha, so ironic. I’m sure that was titled this way on purpose. I have a bit of a conundrum with this book. I loved the first story. It was excellent! Creepy and wonderful. But then I really struggled through the middle stories. The next 3 or 4 I was just a bit… bored with them? But I persisted and kept reading. The last 3 stories I ended up loving again! It was a bit of a mix of stars in this book for me so I had to settle on the middle of the road average rating.
If you’re a fan of fairy tales with twists then this collection is for you! The twists are dark and a bit gruesome but what else do you expect from horror? The writing is excellent. The author really has a unique voice. I wish I had more to say but I really just loved that very first story the best!