It is hard to really find a motif within the Truly Grim Tales because they are eight stories in the one book. There is a repetition of using underdogs as the main character to see a different side of the original stories.
The eight stories presented in Truly Grim tales create darker and twisted side to classic fairytales. They show the real struggles of the characters. Galloway shows different struggles to unravel parts of the stories we have never seen in hopes of allowing our own type of imagination to connect the story.
Truly Grim Tales are simply not a lot of fun to read, though (or perhaps because) they certainly live up to the title. The emphasis seems to be purely on making the tales grim, rather than adding new perspectives. I found the resulting stories to be leaden and often revolting, rather than fascinating. Unless you enjoy grimness for the sake of grimness, I would advise skipping these tales in favor of Patricia C. Wrede's remarkably clever and creepy retelling of an old ballad, "Cruel Sisters" (in The Book of Enchantments) or Vivian Vande Velde's equally clever Rapunzel retelling, "Straw into Gold" (in Tales from the Brothers Grimm and Sisters Weird). For dark novel length retellings, Donna Jo Napoli's Zel (Rapunzel) and The Magic Circle (Hansel and Gretel) are a must.
Truly Grim Tales is a less classical "Happily ever after" fairy tale, but is more realistic(from a fantasy perspective) and true to the original darkness of the Grimm Fairy tales. I would suggest this book to all those who like to think outside of the box and be amazed at how different something common from our childhoods can be and still hold our interest and show us something new about the original tales that we might not have thought of before.
|Title: Truly Grim Tales|
Author(s): Priscilla Galloway
ISBN: 0-7737-5846-1 / 978-0-7737-5846-9 (Canada edition)
Publisher: Fitzhenry and Whiteside
Availability: Amazon Amazon UK Amazon CA