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The Bloody Chamber [Paperback]

Angela Carter
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 16.50
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Book Description

May 2 1996
From familiar fairy tales and legends – Red Riding Hood, Bluebeard, Puss-in-Boots, Beauty and the Beast, vampires, werewolves – Angela Carter has created an absorbing collection of dark, sensual, fantastic stories.

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Review

"A wonderfully written book, ironical, cerebral, elegant."
—Joyce Carol Oates, The New York Times Book Review

"She writes a prose that lends itself to magnificent set pieces of fastidious sensuality … dreams, myths, fairy tales, metamorphoses, the unruly unconscious, epic journeys, and a highly sensual celebration of sexuality in both its most joyous and darkest manifestations."
—Ian McEwan

"Carter not only switches her narrative into the wholly explicit but turns the passive predicament of the heroine into one in which the convention of female role-playing seems to have no part, only brisk and derisisve common sense, the best feminine tactic in a tight corner. The tales are retold by Angla Carter with all her supple and intoxicating bravura."
The New York Review of Books

"She was, among other things, a quirky, original, and baroque styleist, a trait especially marked in The Bloody Chamber – her vocabulary a mix of finely tuned phrase, luscious adjective, witty aphorism, and hearty, up-theirs vulgarity."
—Margaret Atwood, The Observer

About the Author

Angela Carter (1940 -1992) wrote nine novels and numerous short stories, as well as nonfiction, radio plays, and the screenplay for Neil Jordan's 1984 movie The Company of Wolves, based on her story. She won numerous literary awards, traveled and taught widely in the United States, and lived in London.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
I remember how, that night, I lay awake in the wagon-lit in a tender, delicious ecstasy of excitement, my burning cheek pressed against the impeccable linen of the pillow and the pounding of my heart mimicking that of the great pistons ceaselessly thrusting the train that bore me through the night, away from Paris, away from girlhood, away from the white, enclosed quietude of my mother's apartment, into the unguessable country of marriage. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars fantastic and lurid. Sumptuous prose. June 3 2004
Format:Paperback
I'm writing this because I don't want the fool in line behind me to have the last word.
I know nothing about the factual aspects of Carter's life and could care less- I'm in it for the stories, the tales, the language. These are excellent reworkings of classic stories, boldy reworked to highlight and examine the feminine elements at play in the tale. I'm not gonna get all lit jargony on your ass. The stories themselves are taut, well-paced, superbly detailed and all atound marvelous to read (though the first one- the reworking of the Bluebeard story- is my least favorite).
These stories inspired me to attempt my own reworkings of various tales. I'm not soliciting here- I'm just demonstrating that this book is an inspiring little collection of polished gems. Reasonably priced too.
Also, as a final tempt- If you know a young woman who is imaginative and literary minded, and you want to reinforce those qulaities (quite task in this day and age) you should get her this. It will be a step up from Anne Rice novels and the lyric sheets to those Cure CDs.
Pick up 'The Sadean Woman,' too. It's an interesting feminist appraisal of the infamous Marquis and an illuminating read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Vampires All? March 24 2003
Format:Paperback
To begin, with the exception of the eponymous story at the beginning , these stories are the stylstic masterpieces of a miniaturist virtuoso. These renarrated fairy tales are nuanced stories that give the reader pause to reconsider his or her sexuality and the inherent violence and danger attendant upon it.-And then, perhaps, to reflect that the fairy stories in their original form were less explicit forms of the same thing for children....As the writer Djuna Barnes puts it in Nightwood, "God, children know something they can't tell; they like Red Riding Hood and the wolf in bed!"
The first story, is, to my taste, the only failure here. It's a bit too heavy-handed and obvious, and the imagery and phraseology borrow too much from Poe, particularly from his "The Fall of The House of Usher." They leave you straining for an impact which is just not there. That said, the rest of the stories are erotic/metaphysical gems in which the reader can peer into his or her own sexuality in its many (mostly crimsoned) facets.
There is a subtle but deep undertone here that, in some way, our sexuality makes us all otherworldy ghouls and outcasts from the civilized world. As the narrator puts it in "The Lady of the House of Love," "The end of exile is the end of being."-In other words, our sexuality metamorphoses (one of Carter's favourite words and themes)us into vampires, werewolves and sadistic murderers, if only in our imagination, and frequently in life.
An exqusite book to pique anyone's interest into his or her sexuality and its implications, both in the realms of action and imagination
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5.0 out of 5 stars grown-up fairytales Feb. 18 2003
Format:Paperback
up until recently, i had heard ms. carter's name mentioned in conversation but i'm all the happier for having finally read a collection of her short stories. we've all heard about the adult fairytales which exist & many of us have even read a few here or other. whether you picked up one of anne rice's trilogies written under a pseudonym or found another author's collection of modern fables, you'd have to admit that almost all of us were intrigued by the grown-up fairytales at one point in time or another. well, i'd like to say for starters that i've read the anne rice books & a few others who have taken classic myths, legends, or fairytales & given their twist to the story but none of them have captivated me nearly as much as the bloody chamber has done. it's difficult to say which story perhaps is the best although i love the company of wolves. this having been my favorite film for nearly a decade, i was excited to see that ms. carter wrote the original short story as well as the screenplay. some of the others great stories which i love are ofcourse the book title, the courtship of mr. lyon which is simply gorgeous, & the tiger's bride. although i don't want to pidgeon hole her writing in any particular category but she remind me a bit of joyce carol oates or margaret atwood although i enjoy ms.carter's work a bit more i believe. her attention to detail is almost divine & the ironic humor here only makes the read that much more pleasurable. although not quite graphic, there are layers of sensuality are fleshed out on every page which are tastefully done so as not to offend too many readers. although not excesseviley gory, her books are often steeped in violence which may not be suitable for all readers. excellent read highly recommended. it's a shame we no longer angel carter in the world of literature & i'm sure her writing is greatly missed by many.
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5.0 out of 5 stars grown-up fairytales Feb. 18 2003
Format:Paperback
up until recently, i had heard ms.carter's name mentioned in conversation but i'm all the happier for having finally read a collection of her short stories. we've all heard about the adult fairytales which exist and many of us have even read a few here or other. whether you picked up one of anne rice's trilogies written under a pseudonym or found another author's collection of modern fables, you'd have to admit that almost all of us were intrigued by the grown-up fairytales at one point in time or another. well, i'd like to say for starters that i've read the anne rice books and a few others who have taken classic myths, legends, or fairytales and given their twist to the story but none of them have captivated me nearly as much as the bloody chamber has done. it's difficult to say which story perhaps is the best although i love the company of wolves. this having been my favorite film for nearly a decade, i was excited to see that ms. carter wrote the original short story as well as the screenplay. some of the others great stories which i love are ofocurse the book title, the courtship of mr.lyon which is simply gorgeous, and the tiger's bride. although i don't want to pidgeon hole her writing in any particular category but she remind me a bit of joyce carol oates or margaret atwood although i enjoy ms.carter's work a bit more i believe. her attention to detail is almost divine and the ironic humor here only makes the read that much more pleasurable. although not quite graphic, there are layers of sensuality are fleshed out on every page which are tastefully done so as not to offend too many readers. although not excesseviley gory, her books are often steeped in violence which may not be suitable for all readers. excellent read highly recommended. it's a shame we no longer angel carter in the world of literature and i'm sure her writing is greatly missed by many.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars a collection of "grown-up" fairytales
I first read this book in college and it has become one of my all-time favorites. In this collection of short stories, Angela Carter takes the fairytales, nursery rhymes, and the... Read more
Published on Nov. 6 2002 by Mr. Ugly
4.0 out of 5 stars Gory but entertaining
This book is very well written and I really enjoyed some of the stories. I found some of them a bit too gory for my taste. But the Bloody Chamber is great and The courtship of Mr. Read more
Published on Oct. 5 2002
4.0 out of 5 stars Unique
Before it was trendy to adapt fairy tale themes into adult fiction, there was Angela Carter.
In _The Bloody Chamber_, Carter works with a variety of fairy tale and folkloric... Read more
Published on Feb. 18 2002 by Kelly (Fantasy Literature)
5.0 out of 5 stars Tales as rich as blood red roses
"The Bloody Chamber" is a work of literature which transcends genre and unearths the thinly veiled erotic elements of the fairy tale form. Read more
Published on Feb. 12 2001 by "villette"
5.0 out of 5 stars Carter's Creations Are Carefully Crafted
Listen up kiddies, Tanith Lee has NOTHING on Carter, neither does anyone else who supposedly writes in THE GENRE. Read more
Published on Dec 6 2000 by Janine Koenig
3.0 out of 5 stars Shiny new dresses
Carter's collection of reworked faerie and folk tales is quite amazing. She succintly carves out the heart of the story and places it in a new form. Read more
Published on Sept. 30 2000 by "blissengine"
5.0 out of 5 stars Quirky, disarming, witty, sexy -- magic realism at its best!
Do you have the courage to enter Angela Carter's quirky realm of magical realism? She is brilliant. BRILLIANT! Read more
Published on Sept. 16 2000 by CoffeeGurl
4.0 out of 5 stars Sensuous and seductive
What a lush and disturbing collection of stories! My brilliant, London-dwelling sister lent me her copy and I have been entranced. Read more
Published on Aug. 8 2000 by Renaaah
5.0 out of 5 stars Delicious, witty, shivery, unseelie...a dark delight.
I discovered Angela Carter via the fantasy/horror film "The Company of Wolves," for which she wrote the screenplay, adapted from one of the short stories in "The Bloody Chamber. Read more
Published on July 24 2000 by Tess Avelland
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