February Reading Challenge :
A Book written by someone under 30
The moment I read it, my mind was working hard. Who- WHO is under 30? I, to be honest, never really paid attention on how old someone was when they were writing their books. But thankfully, as I browsed about the authors, I’ve finally found Adam Gidwitz who was born at 1982 and publishing his work at 2010 (which means, he was 28 years old when the book was published).
I read the translated one in Indonesian, with :
ISBN : 978-979-024-477-1
Translator : Khairi Rumantati
Publisher : Atria
Number of pages : 224
In this mischievous and utterly original debut, Hansel and Gretel walk out of their own story and into eight other classic Grimm-inspired tales. As readers follow the siblings through a forest brimming with menacing foes, they learn the true story behind (and beyond) the bread crumbs, edible houses, and outwitted witches.
Fairy tales have never been more irreverent or subversive as Hansel and Gretel learn to take charge of their destinies and become the clever architects of their own happily ever after.
A Tale Dark & Grimm was telling a story about two kids; twins, who have been so popular in a fairy tales world ever since decades ago; Hansel and Gretel. The book was consisted of some short-fairy tales from Grimm Brothers, which happened to be more dreadful than we used to know these days. All the fairy tales there were actually a series of Hansel and Gretel’s adventure; started from how they were born in an anomaly (which their father and mother have to sacrifice the loyal butler), running away from the house and finding the cake-house, and the other stories like going to the hell and also defeating the dragon.
YES. You read it well. A Tale Dark & Grimm told that Hansel and Gretel was never once getting lost in the forest, and they didn’t even spread the breadcrumbs on their way to get back home later. They DID run away from the house to find another home; where their new parents will truly love them- will never try to chop off their head in any conditions. But unlucky for them, all the found was a wicked witch who’s eating human’s flesh. YUCK. So that, they have to fight against the witch and throw her to the oven before running away; before continue their journey to find the best place.
It doesn’t seem right to say that A Tale Dark & Grimm is a tale (well- I know that sounds weird, but… yeah. that’s it). The way Adam Gidwitz wrote there was rather unique, making me questioned for several times whether he was really just re-telling the story about the real Hansel and Gretel or not. It was as if Adam Gidwitz just posted the whole story that Grimm Brothers has really written, before adding some remarks and comments as he read it. And I should say, that was quite fun to read; though some people was bothered with his way. It was, for me, fun and fresh; sometimes it was even making me thought something like “EXACTLY! Right? Right?” or “O- Oh. Oh. Oh! He was right. How stupid I was.” Like these example :
“For a momente she [Gretel] stopped and considered following the rain’s advice. But then she shook her head. “You’re being foolish,” Gretel told herself. “Rain can’t talk.”
No, of course it can’t. The moon can eat children, and fingers can open doors, and people’s heads can be put back on.
But rain? Talk? Don’t be ridiculous.
Good thinking, Gretel dear. Good thinking.
Maybe you know something about young people, and maybe you don’t. I, having been one myself once upon a time, know a few things about them. One thing I know is that if you don’t want one to do something – for example, go into a room where there’s a portrait of an unbearably beautiful princess- saying “It might cost you your life” is about the worst thing you can possibly say. Because then that’s all that young person will want to do.
I mean, why didn’t Johannes say something else? Like, “It’s a broom closet. Why? you want to see a broom closet?” Or, “It’s a fake door, silly. For decoration.” Or even, “It’s the ladies’ bathroom, Your Majesty. Best not go poking your head in there.”
Overall, I do agree with Adam Gidwitz when he was saying that this book isn’t really suitable for children. However, I also can’t see this for a young-adult. The way Adam Gidwitz telling the story was too simple; too simple even for me, who happens to love more details- so that I think it’s still suitable for the kids that way. But well, as the story itself was dark and had some bloods here and there, maybe A Tale Dark & Grimm should be read for someone at around 12 years old or above; who seems to understand better that it shouldn’t be tried at home.
My Rating : 6.5/10