Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Review: Spinners by Donna Jo Napoli and Richard Tchen
by Donna Jo Napoli and Richard Tchen
YA, Fairy Tale
For: Once Upon Time Challenge
3 of 5 stars
Fascinating. Napoli takes a fairy tale and makes it makes sense. She gives it a backstory, a logic, that feels real. When those 'ah-ha' moments happen (like when you realize so-and-so is really her/him from the fairy tale, or this event is really that moment, or a 'so that's why' dawning) they are smooth and seamless. You saw them coming, but they were still an 'ah-ha.' Even a strange tale like Rumplestitskin is...believable...is that the right word? Even Rumplestitskin had a story and a heart.
So why wouldn't this be a 5 star book when I am full of astonishment and a very very strange sense of satisfaction?? Well. Simply because it wasn't enjoyable. It was, in fact, dark and dreary and all but hopeless. And the end was sudden, messy, and tortured.
Should you read it? I have no idea. Do you like fascinating character studies that make you wonder if perhaps that twisted fairy tale might have started out with a poor tailor? Do you mind not having a happily ever after that leaves a sweet taste in your mouth? If so, you might very well find this book valuable. I did, to a certain extent...but I also threw the book at the end. I guess I wanted a little more reward for what I had suffered while reading about these people.
I'd like to note, in a purely venting sort of way, that the tailor didn't deserve what he got in the beginning, but his blindness in the end erased my sympathies for him. The young woman was a B. Saskia got the short end of the stick - but you shouldn't make promises you can't keep.
And just by word of warning, it opens with a sex scene. How 'bout that for audacious? Usually you gotta wait for that kind of stuff. ;)