Review: The Merry Spinster


THE MERRY SPINSTER by Mallory Ortberg (ARC Review) Pub Date: 3/13/18 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
Mallory Ortberg, author of Texts From Jane Eyre, has created another wonderfully unique book. This compilation of short stories retelling a variety of everyone’s most beloved fairy and folk tales is not one the reader will soon forget.
The main reason I would love a hard copy of this book and perceive it as a valuable read is I like that this book changes my perspective on classic stories. I will never think of The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, and the other classic stories the author reinvents, the same way again. Ortberg gives her horror twist on stories, such as The Velveteen Rabbit, and also includes with that, some gender-neutral characters (The Frog Prince) and feminist scenarios (Beauty and the Beast, Little Mermaid, The Six Swans, etc.), where the damsel in distress pretty much just kills everyone (not really — well…). If you have a dark sense of humor, you will get a kick out of this book. If you don’t (which I don’t think I do — but every avid reader gets used to reading gory and horror scenes, right? Have I become immune?), you’ll probably enjoy this because of the different perspective the book provides.

I can’t leave this review without a complaint because I’m sure you’re wondering (okay, maybe not, but here I go anyway) why only the four stars? This story sounds amazing, so why isn’t it a five-star read? Mallory Ortberg is a terrific writer and I thoroughly enjoyed each short story — which is why I’m really upset that each story was so short. Some parts lacked enough detail and I had to read it a few times to make sure I understood what was happening. I didn’t want each story to end. I think that each story could have been elaborated more and maybe made into a series of short books instead of just compiling them into stories with not enough story. I understand it fits with the theme of keeping them like the children’s versions, but still, some parts were left wanting.
Otherwise, a great read and will recommend this for those looking for something short and fun.


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