29 January, 2007


A charming and rather surprising novel by Thomas Mann, Royal Highness. This was delightful: set in a comic operetta sort of principality in late 19th century Germany, it's a fairytale-ish sort of plot about the regeneration of the declining society when the Prince falls in love with a modern, liberated American heiress. Being by Thomas Mann, of course, it's full of gentle irony and reflection about the islated nature of royalty, but is nonetheless delightful. [4]

At the other end of the fairytale spectrum, Angela Carter's The bloody chamber was also fun: modern feminist retellings of fairy tales (without all the worthy seventies feminism that implies - awful memories of leaden retelling where all the princes are wusses and the princesses ride motorbikes). These were sexy and stylish and fun. I was particularly pleased by the sheer catness of the cat narrator of Puss in Boots. [5]

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