Saturday, September 10, 2016

Review: Tales of the Peculiar

Tales of the Peculiar Tales of the Peculiar by Ransom Riggs
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Folklore and folktales have been a little ruined for me lately, on account of my having taken a particularly dreadful folklore class last spring that promised an interesting anthropological look at the genre, only to turn into so much of the professor relying on crappy PowerPoints, creepy NPR podcasts with Fred Armisen or someone talking about how calamari is really pork bung (of course he'd have you believe that, so I don't), and only one interesting lesson in which she lectured us for an hour before putting on one of Star Trek: The Next Generation's best episodes.

Thanks to this defictionalized-at-last printing of the Tales of the Peculiar, I'm able to finally look at folklore in a more positive light again. All the tales in this short compilation feel real - and sometimes, more real than any Grimm's fairy tale. The stories are set all across Europe from Scandinavia to Iberia, and even on other continents too. Our favorite invisible boy Millard, as the editor, interjects his own notes (like the one that talks about one story not having a satisfactory ending, so it's become just as traditional to make up your own) and footnotes, Jasper Fforde-style. And, most importantly, this book includes a story that perhaps answers my biggest burning question yet about the peculiar world: the origin of the ymbrynes.

If you loved Riggs' original trilogy as much as I did, you owe it to yourself to check this book out - sooner rather than later, too, to get yourself suitably hyped up for the movie, now less than a month from hitting theaters. Can't wait!

#StayPeculiar, my friends.

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