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A Wolf at the Door and Other Retold Fairy…

A Wolf at the Door and Other Retold Fairy Tales (original 2000; edition 2001)

by Ellen Datlow

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5391618,630 (3.68)17
Title:A Wolf at the Door and Other Retold Fairy Tales
Authors:Ellen Datlow
Info:Aladdin Paperbacks (2001), Paperback, 166 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:children's fiction, young adult, fairy tale, fiction, fantasy, anthology, short stories

Work details

A Wolf at the Door and Other Retold Fairy Tales by Terri Windling (2000)

  1. 20
    Book of Enchantments by Patricia C. Wrede (fyrefly98)
    fyrefly98: Book of Enchantments is a better and more consistent book of new and retold fairy tales.
  2. 10
    Twelve Impossible Things Before Breakfast: Stories by Jane Yolen (cmbohn)
  3. 10
    Swan Sister: Fairy Tales Retold by Ellen Datlow (ncgraham)
    ncgraham: Datlow and Windling's other YA fairy tale anthology.
  4. 11
    Leaping Beauty: And Other Animal Fairy Tales by Gregory Maguire (fyrefly98)

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» See also 17 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
Hm. I really liked these. I've a lot of experience reading children's stories and 'fractured' and 'modern' fairy-tales, so it's not just the charm of the novelty for me. I simply have to disagree with the reviewers who rated this so much lower. And I'm very sorry I can't explicate exactly why I like this collection so much.

A little bit of the 'why' is that there's generally at least some humor in the stories. They often tend to pay homage, not only to the original of the specific tale they're updating, but to the fairy-tale tropes in general. But of course, because the tropes are almost cliches, the homage cannot be 100% respectful, and is actually more engaging when paid with tongue in cheek.

Another bit of the 'why' is that the tales are for all ages. They're not too sophisticated or violent or erotic for children age 8, and they're not too simplistic or twee for adults. In my opinion.

They're clever and fun and well-told. I will look for more by every contributor to the book, even if I'd passed when I encountered them in other collections like [b:Black Thorn, White Rose|863540|Black Thorn, White Rose|Ellen Datlow|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1178999095s/863540.jpg|848964] or [b:The Green Man: Tales from the Mythic Forest|249855|The Green Man Tales from the Mythic Forest|Terri Windling|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1311838445s/249855.jpg|242107] or [b:The Coyote Road: Trickster Tales|463033|The Coyote Road Trickster Tales|Ellen Datlow|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1361075524s/463033.jpg|451480]. I will also reread this book before releasing it. (PM me if you live in the US and would like to read it - I would love for it to a good home and will gladly ship it gratis.) ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Apr 14, 2015 |
This short story collection is much what I would expect from a Datlow/Windling compilation -- stories ranging from moderately good to very good, from familiar writers as well as lesser-known ones. The real gem of this collection is Neil Gaiman's poem, "Instructions," which was later published as a picture book. I enjoyed all of the other stories, but none of them stuck with me in the same way. This is a solid collection, recommended for those who love fairy tales. ( )
  foggidawn | Aug 31, 2014 |
A Wolf at the Door and Other Retold Fairy Tales is a collection of short stories that I selected from Cynthia Leitich Smith's list of children's and YA short story and poetry collections. I chose Neil Gaiman's Instructions as my short story for the purposes of this module, however, I read a few of the other stories and they were all wonderful.

Q5, P3

Q5 - As a huge fan of Neil Gaiman, I absolutely loved this story. Through his series of Instructions, he calls to minds bits and pieces of every fairy story you have ever heard, tidbits of wisdom that definitely apply to the magical realm and possibly even to the "real world."

P3 - I really wanted to give this a P4 rating or higher, but I kept thinking that because of the magical theme of these stories and the easy readability, the writing in this collection is rather simplistic and probably more appealing to the younger members of the YA spectrum - late junior high, possibly early high school. It does have a bit of a juvenile feel to it, so it might not be attractive to older teens. ( )
  Johanna_Talbott | May 21, 2014 |
This book is a collection of fairy tale retellings or fairy tale-inspired short stories intended for younger readers. These are the stories and their authors:

The Months of Manhattan by Delia Sherman, Cinder Elephant by Jane Yolen, Instructions by Neil Gaiman, Mrs Big: Jack and the Beanstalk retold by Michael Cadnum, Falada: The Goose Girl's Horse by Nancy Farmer, A Wolf at the Door by Tanith Lee, Ali Baba and the Forty Aliens by Janeen Webb, Swans by Kelly Link, The Kingdom of Melting Glances by Katherine Vaz, Hansel's Eyes by Garth Nix, Becoming Charise by Kathe Koja, The Seven Stage A Comeback by Gregory Maguire, The Twelve Dancing Princesses by Patricia A. McKillip

I admit, if this hadn't been a book club read, I probably wouldn't have picked it up on my own, and the reasons are threefold. First, even though I've been known to enjoy stories involving re-imagined fairy tales, it's not my preferred subject. Second, I'm not normally drawn to children's or middle grade books. And third, I'm generally not a big fan of anthologies or short story collections. One of the greatest joys of reading is being able to connect with the characters, and personally I find short stories are often too brief or are over too quickly for me to do that.

Still, another great joy of reading is being able to try new things, and I was glad for the chance to read something different for a change. This was a nice change of pace and a good opportunity to discover some new authors and their takes on the fairy tale subject.

I have to say, my feelings are mixed. There were stories I loved, and stories I did not like at all. Among my favorites were The Months of Manhattan (which I thought was the perfect story to open with) and The Twelve Dancing Princesses (likewise, the perfect closing story). As for the rest of the stories in between, there are a few that stand out, but I mostly found many of them to be mediocre.

The stories I tended to enjoy more were the fairy tale retellings that were more faithful to the classics, like Mrs. Big: Jack and the Beanstalk or Ali Baba and the Forty Aliens or Hansel's Eyes. These included elements from the original fairy tales that were immediately recognizable and gave me a frame of reference to which I could anchor myself while I read. Then there were those stories that were just downright "anything-goes" and made me wonder if the author even had an idea or simply slapped together a bunch of random fairy tale elements in an attempt to make their story sound as crazy as possible.

Granted, my feelings may have been influenced by my personal preferences that I mentioned at the beginning of this review, but I tried my best to form objective opinions. Overall, save for a few gems, the stories weren't too memorable, but the creativity and sheer range of styles in this book were impressive. Adults can certainly appreciate this, but I can see kids enjoying themselves a lot more with the stories in this collection, even (or perhaps especially) the ridiculous and nonsensical ones. ( )
  stefferoo | May 10, 2013 |
A few of the stories were interesting, but on the whole the book wasn't that great. ( )
  benuathanasia | Dec 12, 2012 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Terri Windlingprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Windling, TerriEditormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Cadnum, MichaelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Farmer, NancyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gaiman, NeilContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Koja, KatheContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lee, TanithContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Link, KellyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Maguire, GregoryContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
McKillip, Patricia A.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Nix, GarthContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sherman, DeliaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Vaz, KatherineContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Webb, JaneenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Windling, TerriIntroductionsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Yolen, JaneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0689821395, Paperback)

These are not your mother's fairy tales...

Did you ever wonder how the dwarves felt after Snow White ditched them for the prince? Do you sometimes wish Cinderella hadn't been so helpless and petite? Are you ready to hear the Giant's point of view on Jack and his beanstalk? Then this is the book for you.

Thirteen award-winning fantasy and science fiction writers offer up their versions of these classic fairy tales as well as other favorites, including The Ugly Duckling, Ali Baba, Hansel and Gretel, and more. Some of the stories are funny, some are strange, and others are dark and disturbing -- but each offers something as unexpected as a wolf at the door.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:04 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Gathers a collection of old fairy tales made new by various fantasy and science fiction authors.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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