This is a collection of short stories ranging from 2 pages long to 42 pages long. The stories are, in essence, a retelling of fairy tales: Bluebeard, Dracula, Beauty and the Beast, Red Riding Hood, Puss in Boots etc.
They are transformed by the author's sensuous and luxuriant prose and by a powerful eroticism. Puss in Boots is told from the cat's point of view and imbued with the physicality of a feline. The title piece, the Bloody Chamber, reconstructs Bluebeard and describes with delight the mingled pleasure and disgust as the heroine surrenders her maidenhead to her new husband. The Lady of the House of Love is a vampiress who lures young men into her bed, simultaneously seducing and murdering them.
The theme of this book is the interplay between erotic sex and carnal death and Carter's beautiful gems of stories celebrate the animal in mankind.
Wonderful words. November 2012; 149 pages
June 2015: I think Carter is best at short stories. Although I thoroughly enjoyed Wise Children and Heroes and Villains, both of which are short novels, The infernal desire machines of Doctor Hoffman which is close to a full-length novel I found rather tedious: too much fantasy, too much sex and ultimately not enough story.
- Having reviewed over 1200 books on this blog, I have now written two myself. Motherdarling is a story about a search for a missing Will which reveals long-hidden family secrets. The Kids of God is a thriller set in a dystopia ruled by fascist paramilitaries. Both are available as paperbacks and on Kindle through Amazon. I live in Canterbury, England. I lived for more than thirty years in Bedford. Having retired from teaching; I became a research student at the University of Bedfordshire researching into Liminality. I achieved my PhD in 2019. I am now properly retired. I love reading! I enjoy in particular fiction (mostly great and classic fiction although I also enjoy whodunnits), biography, history and smart thinking. Follow me on twitter: @daja57