An Atomic Moo Book Review of Sarah Pinborough’s Dark Fairy Tale
Sarah Pinborough’s dark fairy tale, Poison, is one of those books who’s reading experience I really don’t want to spoil for anyone, but I also know that somehow I’m probably going to spoil it all the same. So, for what it’s worth… Spoiler Alert!
Published by Titan Books (2013), Poison is a darker (adult) spin on the classic Snow White fairy tale, also made popular by the 1937 Disney film. However; Pinborough doesn’t rely on the classic cartoon for her story. Instead she diverges from the popular versions of the tale (retaining an evil queen, helpful dwarves, and even a handsome prince) to make a fresh (if not amazingly creepy) version of the Snow White story that is vastly more interesting than anything put out by the Walt Disney Co.
In Poison; the King has gone to war and left his beautiful young (second) wife in charge of his castle, and his teenage daughter; Snow White. Holding true to the classic tale, Snow White and her step mother don’t exactly get along, and after a failed murder attempt Snow flees the castle to go hide with the dwarves who work the kingdoms mines. Then a apple bearing crone shows up, followed by a prince, and somewhere’s in beteween is a lot of sex, violence, and magic. Sorry folks, but there’s a lot of unexpected surprises in this book that are better if read.
“Dark and brilliant,” would probably be the best way to describe Poison. It’s explicit content wrapped tightly around the classic fairy tale frame work. Though Pinborough puts her own spin on the story, she doesn’t shy away from the magic mirrors and lamps, the ginger bread houses, and evil witches, that drive the old stories. In fact, it’s the way that she uses these classic concepts, woven together with erotism and dark humor, that makes this story that much more sinister and enjoyable. Then there’s the ending. I’m not going to spoil anything, but the last chapter to Poison was probably one of the best conclusions to a novel I’ve read in a long time. Disturbing, sure, but brilliant all the way until the end.
Poison is now available in all major book stores, or you can get your copy at Titanbooks.com!