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A Wolf at the Door and Other Retold Fairy…
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A Wolf at the Door and Other Retold Fairy Tales (13 stories) (original 2000; edition 2001)

by Ellen Datlow, Terri Windling

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5211419,506 (3.67)14
Member:DamienThomas
Title:A Wolf at the Door and Other Retold Fairy Tales (13 stories)
Authors:Ellen Datlow
Other authors:Terri Windling
Info:Aladdin Paperbacks (2001), Paperback, 166 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

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. 01
    Leaping Beauty: And Other Animal Fairy Tales by Gregory Maguire (fyrefly98)
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» See also 14 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
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 |
Windling, Terri ( )
  rahv7 | Jan 30, 2010 |
The Wolf at the Door is a collection of fairytales retold by prominent writers in the Young Adult and Fantasy genres—exactly the sort of thing that tends to catch my eye and nag at my mind until I simply cannot resist the prospect of picking it up and reading it. This has happened twice now, and neither time have I been impressed by the entries. I was hoping that I would understand the stories better now I am older, and while that was the case in a few instances, comprehension did not necessarily lead to love.

There are a few selections here that I do feel stand out, however. Two of them, Neil Gaiman’s “Instructions” and Gregory Maguire’s “The Seven Stage a Comeback,” are mostly poetic in form: the former is a series of directions on what to do when one stumbles into a fairy tale (“It’s always best to be prepared for these things, after all”), while the latter has the seven dwarves hatching a plan for a reconciliation with Snow White—or is it revenge for her departure that they desire? I’ve often avoided the work of these two authors because of their tendency to utilize unnecessary adult content, but both of their submissions here are perfectly clean, as well as being witty, whimsical, and wildly creative.

Unfortunately, the prose selections are not nearly up to this standard. In terms of content and reading level, they range from Garth Nix’s dark and gruesome “Hansel’s Eyes” to Jane Yolen’s “Cinder Elephant,” which would be better suited to a child in the nursery than an eight- or ten-year-old, I think. This last tale really disappointed me, because I know Yolen is capable of so much more. That said, I did love her description of the skinny stepfamily, with “hearts so thin, you could read a magazine through them.” Also, so many of the retellings were painfully cliché, including—believe it or not—Nix’s. He seems to be the kind of author other readers might find incredibly creative because he makes so many cosmetic changes to the story, but his characters are both inhuman and unoriginal. Blegh.

Nancy Farmer’s “Falada,” Delia Sherman’s “The Months of Manhattan,” and Kathe Koja’s “Becoming Charise” are all passable, but not at all the sort of stories I am likely to remember.

Then Patricia McKillip comes in and blows them all away.

I do not say this because I am campaigning to become her Biggest Fan Ever. (I am, but that’s beside the point.) When I first read this collection years ago, I had no idea who she was, and I still thought her version of “The Twelve Dancing Princesses” incredible. Unlike Nix, she makes relatively few cosmetic changes to the story, merely turning the Grimms’ old soldier into a young one, compressing the visits underground into one night, giving the princesses floral names, and making it explicit that they have pledged themselves to the dead. And yet—and yet, in sixteen brief pages she creates a fascinating interplay of light and shadow, with three-dimensional characters and thematic complexity. That’s it, Patricia. Show ‘em how it’s done.

Though I enjoyed the selections by McKillip, Gaiman, and Maguire, I would not recommend this collection overall. If one of your favorite authors submitted a story, check The Wolf at the Door out at your local library. Otherwise, let it be. ( )
3 vote ncgraham | Dec 31, 2009 |
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:35:45 -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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