Apparently Angela Carter's most famous work, The Bloody Chamber is a collection of short stories retelling for an adult readership some of the old, gruesome fairytales.
I am an admirer of Carter's imagination and her use of language, but was a little disappointed in this book. Maybe it's because I don't know how to read short stories in collection? I do tend to read them one after another, and like eating a box of chocolates the appetite gets sated quite quickly. Or, like in this book, there isn't enough variety in the fillings?
Too many werewolves and catafalques, too much blood, too many white roses.
Not enough different themes (there must have been more in all those scary traditional tales)
Try these one at a time, don't read from start to finish in one sitting, as I did on a day at the seaside.
On the theme of "It's a wise child that knows its own father", this book is a comedy of confused paternity and identity.. Twins are swapped through three generations on both the bastard and legitimate side of the family, and the tale is quite bawdy, even lewd at times, with scenes of high farce.
Some themes will be familiar to those who have read Nights At The Circus, such as magic, music-hall, and clocks.
Poor proof reading has allowed some spelling mistakes through, such as correspondent shoes, instead of co-respondent, and scones instead of sconces.
In spite of these little flaws this is another wonderful example of Angela Carter's uniquely brilliant and quirky imagination.
It's over 15 years since I read it, so my memory of the details fails me, but I do remember it as one of the most enjoyable books I have read and one I am happy to recommend.