Wednesday, June 18, 2008

BOOK: The Complete Fairy Tales by Oscar Wilde

The Complete Fairy Tales by Oscar Wilde

Once Upon a Time II challenge

The Importance of Being Ernest is a play I studied several times in university and I really enjoyed it. Last summer I read the highly lauded novel The Picture of Dorian Grey and found it too boring. One good and one bad. Fairy Tales is my deciding book and I'm leaning toward boring. There is nothing wrong with the stories, but I never became engrossed. I found the writing slightly dated but it wasn't too serious. Overall, just an OK read. I really think it is me though; the tales just didn't appeal to me.

It has taken me a month to finish this last book for the Once Upon a Time II Challenge. I finished the first half, a collection called The Happy Prince and then it took me until the deadline was looming to pick up The Pomegranate Stories. The Happy Prince includes the title story about a statue who gives his jewels to the poor people of his town; The Selfish Giant which was a story I first heard in one of those reader books my children have brought home in grade 1. And when I read back these summaries now, I like the stories. I haven't been able to pinpoint what disappointed me about the stories, but I would be put to sleep as I read each one. It's not as if I don't like short stories either, because I do. Maybe not being familiar with the stories first makes them seem strange as I'm not appreciating the repetitive quality.

Common themes to fairy tales include repetition of three, princesses and kings, ogres, connection with the magical world, dark themes. All the good stuff is here. I think I would appreciate them individually written in children's book. So it's not the story, it's the writing. I think my crush on Oscar is gone. I'm sure lots of people would like these stories so don't let my opinion here alter yours. The whole fairy tale genre has been hit or miss with me this challenge. I need to get back to my mysteries.

4 comments:

Lezlie said...

I stayed away from this challenge, because I know I can be weird with these kinds of books. I'm usually just luke warm with them. Kudos for giving it a shot and seeing it through!

Lezlie

Jeane said...

I admired the Portrait of Dorian Grey when I was in high school, but don't think I'd feel the same about it now. I have this same collection on my bookshelf; am looking forward to reading the fairy tales.

Trish said...

Bummer! I love love love The Importance of Being Ernest (the play and the movie). I have Dorian Grey on my "to read soon" list (on a couple of challenges). I'm sorry your crush is gone--it's disappointing when that happens.

Rhinoa said...

Rubbish that you didn't enjoy it as much as other stories you have read by him. The Happy Prince was always one of my favourite tales as a child, but my mum used to tell it to me and my sister from memory rather than reading it.