Title: Little Red
Author: Wendy Wheeler
In: Snow White, Blood Red (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Fairy tales,
Format: Short story
5th sentence, 74th page: I wish you would buy me riding boots and dungarees.
In this modern retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, the wolf is far more terrifying than the original. There is a far more modern setting. And the grandmother is just a lingering memory watching over the horrors of her granddaughters life.
This short retelling of Red Riding Hood lost half a point because of the creep factor. The creep factor still made the story thoroughly enjoyable and a perfect addition to a series of adult fairy tale retellings. But I didn’t like the feelings I got when I finished it. Hence the deduction of half a point.
I actually really enjoyed the shifting of a wolfish predator from traditional fairy-tale land to a modern day setting. Not only did it work immensely well, but it increased the sense of warning and horror that I’m sure the original story would have had. After all, the original fairy tales were not happily ever afters and nice. They were horrible, ended with some pretty intense torture and murder half the time and were mostly designed to show you how wrong your reality can go if you don’t heed the warnings.
And this story did exactly that. It showed the horrors of the modern world and what one person’s downfall can do to another. How predators and wolves lurk around every corner, and even with the thin veneer of civility, you can still be in a lot of danger. Did I mention that there was a pretty high creep factor in this story?
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