‘Skin by Michael Cadnum

Image result for troll's-eye view book cover

Title: ‘Skin
Author: Michael Cadnum
In: Troll’s-Eye View (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Fairy tales, Villains
Dates read: 19th February 2019
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Firebird Fantasy
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: I breathed metaphors into the nodding poet’s ear.

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Rumplestiltskin has always seemed such an odd name for one of the “fair folk”, but was it his real name? Here Michael Cadnum offers an alternative point of view to the classical fairy tale.


I never quite realised how weird a name ‘Rumpelstiltskin’ is. It’s just a name that has always been. But when you read a cute little short story about how odd that is, you start to realise that it is quite an absurd name…

There were two things that I loved about this short story.

The first was the fact that Rumpelstiltskin started out as kind of a benevolent figure. He is constantly helping and assisting others towards a greater future. This is so completely at odds with the original and my understanding of him that I was kind of taken aback. Even his assistance of the girl spinning straw into gold came from a good place. It was just her attitude that turned it into something more sinister.

I don’t like the idea of eating babies. I thought I should start with that, since I actually loved the fact that a baby was eaten in this story… it kind of seemed like justice to the annoyances of the previously thought of victim of the story. A poetic kind of revenge.

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Image source: Amazon

3 thoughts on “‘Skin by Michael Cadnum

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