The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories by Angela Carter
June to me seems to be the month of amazing reads. It’s just going from strength to strength here.
How have I never read Angela Carter before? How? I kept seeing her books everywhere, but I never picked them up or gave them much thought. However… Yesterday, I did pick one book by her up, from my college’s fiction library.
Oh. My. God.
I loved these stories so much. I read them all, slowly realising that this was how I wanted to be able to write, with bloodthirsty prose and sharp wit. I love Angela Carter’s style, and I could recognise all of the fairytales. My favourite, and definitely the strongest one, was The Bloody Chamber, though. A close second was the retelling of Snow White, which I can’t recall the name of (and I don’t have the book to hand anymore).
The way that sex and sexuality are presented in this collection is really interesting, too. The heroine of The Bloody Chamber is simultaneously presented as both a virgin and a sexual being, which I think could have a lot of feminist, ‘male gaze’ attributions to it. I won’t spoil you in this review because I try not to do spoiler reviews, but I might write you all an essay or something similar on my thoughts and the feminist connections that these stories may have.
But I digress. Before I go off on a tangent, trying to sound clever and worthy of the English Literature A-Level I’m currently working towards, I’ll draw this back to the main subject. I felt like I treated this a lot like a poetry book. I preferred some of the stories to others, and I felt like a couple of the stories were lacklustre, but I didn’t count those factors into my overall rating of the novel.
Angela Carter is someone I find really interesting, too, as I do with many female authors, especially those of her age. I’m definitely going to read more of her books and short stories, and see whether they’re all as good as The Bloody Chamber.
I’m pretty sure they will be, though.
I gave this book 5 stars, and I think it was well-deserved!