Title: Up the Down Beanstalk: A Wife Remembers
Author: Peter S. Beagle
In: Troll’s-Eye View (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Comedy, Easy reading, Fairy tales
Format: Short story
Publisher: Firebird Fantasy
5th sentence, 74th page: The things they believe about us down there!
We all know about Jack’s journey up the beanstalk – but what really happened up there? The giant’s wife reveals all!
I love different points of view on fairy tales. And Jack and the Beanstalk is an incredibly well-known tale. The fact that this story is told with him as a kind of villain made this thoroughly enjoyable. After all, if you think about it… how does the good guy end up killing someone and stealing things? There is nothing very virtuous and “good” about this at all.
Although Jack is mildly cast in the role of villain… he is also looked upon with favour by the giant’s wife. After all, it is all from her point of view, and the frustrated affection she feels towards her husband (ew, who is called Harvey?) highlights her independence and intelligence. The fact that Jack is as quick-witted and quick-footed as the giantess and an equal match for her just made everything all the more entertaining. Especially when you consider the brilliant ending of this story.
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