Book Review: Rags & Bones: New Twists On Timeless Tales

Rags & Bones: New Twists on Timeless Tales ARC Review

Published: October 2014


The best writers of our generation retell the classics.

Literature is filled with sexy, deadly, and downright twisted tales. In this collection, award-winning and bestselling authors reimagine their favorite classic stories, ones that have inspired, awed, and enraged them; ones that have become ingrained in modern culture; and ones that have been too long overlooked. They take these stories and boil them down to their bones, and then reassemble them for a new generation of readers.

Today’s most acclaimed authors use their own unique styles to rebuild these twelve timeless stories:

Sir Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene – Saladin Ahmed

W. W. Jacobs’s “The Monkey’s Paw” – Kelley Armstrong

Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu’s “Carmilla” – Holly Black

“Sleeping Beauty” – Neil Gaiman

The Brothers Grimm’s “Rumpelstiltskin” – Kami Garcia

Kate Chopin’s The Awakening – Melissa Marr

Rudyard Kipling’s “The Man Who Would Be King” – Garth Nix

Henry James’s “The Jolly Corner” – Tim Pratt

E. M. Forster’s “The Machine Stops” – Carrie Ryan

Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto – Margaret Stohl

William Seabrook’s “The Caged White Werewolf of the Saraban” – Gene Wolfe

Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Birth-Mark” – Rick Yancey

And six illustrations by Charles Vess


This collection of stories was utterly mind-blowing.

Amazing authors + retellings of classic stories = a genius anthology.

Entering into this book, I was familiar with all the original stories (English 101, finally came in handy.) I was excited to see my favourite classics were included: Otranto, Carmilla and The Monkey’s Paw. I couldn’t have been more pleased to see that Kelley Armstrong was behind the re-telling of The Monkey’s Paw. Kelley is one of my favourite authors. She is the kind of writer that can twist any story and make it her own. To date, there is not a single thing Kelley has written that I didn’t love. With that being said, it isn’t really shocking that her story was my favourite from this anthology.

While reading this collection of thought-provoking tales, I liked that I could see the connections to the original stories. However, it is completely not necessary to read the originals prior to reading this collection. I can not stress that enough! If you haven’t read any of the originals, IT DOES NOT MATTER!

Each story was captivating, and well written. There were quite a few renditions I enjoyed more than the original tales. Kami Garcia crafts an intelligent and enthralling interpretation of Rumpelstilskin. Margaret Stohl, as always lures her readers in within the first few words, completely captivating them. Neil Gaiman is a master storyteller. Melissa Marr is absolutely stunning, as always.

I found it particularly neat that each story ends with a note from the author explaining why they chose to interpret a classic story. I loved this collection. I predict it will stand the test of time and remain as one of my favourite anthologies.

Fun Suggestion: A neat way to explore classic stories—read the modern interpretation, and follow with reading the original and compare your reactions to each version.

Thank you, Hachette Book Group for the review copy.

About Maison Moonchild

A Canadian gal that firmly believes words can change the world. An avid reader, writer and Halloween enthusiast. She has a special interest in communications and writes for pleasure and profession. She moonlights as a metaphysical maven with a knack for creating magical crystal jewelry and holiday accessories.
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Thanks for the read.

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