Verdict: The book's layout is colorful, its illustrations mirroring those of a children book, but, as its subtitle states, this is not a book for kids.
Part satire, part parody, part fantastical allegory, Bryan Paul Richards collection of seven tales is difficult to categorize stylistically. If you’re looking for a different sort of read, look no further.
The writing ranges from broad satire to sharp, culture-savvy observations and one-liners. Some tales are takeoffs on the familiar models–Snow White, Hansel and Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood, and Rapunzel, except here “Rapunzel” is incredibly horny, her prince well endowed. You can imagine the rest. “Little Red Riding Hood” comes close to being pimped out by BBM (I won’t reveal what that stands for) and grandma has her own agenda. “Hansel and Gretel” is told from the perspective of a bird. “Snowbite” satirizes Craigslist meet-ups and describes Snowbite’s complete takeover of the dwarf’s residence, jabbing at our obsession with designer clothes in the process.
Three other stories seem to come directly from the author’s imagination. “A Wig’s Love” takes place in Bavaria and concerns a man with a perfectly bald head and a very special wig that glows as it rejects suitors. “Sleeping Celeb” is a wide ranging skewering of reality shows, celebrity coverage and over the top televised events (like Oprah’s goodbye). “Joe No Tear” is a Kafkaesque journey into a murky nightlife of drugs, dancing, heavy beats, a quest to feel something by a narrator who feels nothing. Think Scorcese’s early film “After Hours”.
Several pieces are in The Wiz mode, updating a classic using an inner city slant, with all its attendant stark manipulation and harshness. The author’s has a penchant for mixing standard fairy tale ‘once upon a time’ structure with caustic and salacious descriptions and character names. Some end rather abruptly and tragically, underlining just how much death and damage occur in traditional fairy tales.
The book’s layout is colorful, its illustrations mirroring those of a children book, but, as its subtitle states, this is not a book for kids. Further info can be found at www.fuffys.com.
Reviewed by Joe Del Priore
BA in English. Teacher. Mailman. Currently enjoying retirement. Eclectic reader. Eclectic writer for almost thirty years. Published indie author.