BOOK REVIEW – JAMES FINN GARNER – POLITICALLY CORRECT BEDTIME.STORIES. 1994 Souvenir Press

The traditional tales told by Hans Christian Anderson & The Brothers Grimm get a tongue in cheek PC make over here, and many of the classics are covered. Cinderella, Rapunzel, Jack And The Beanstalk, The Pied Piper Of Hamylin, etc.

The idea is clever, but after you read a few stories the formula is so simple that you could write the rest yourself – the stories and jokes are given very straight treatment – Snow White’s Seven Dwarfs become vertically challenged men, the Beanstalk is swapped for Jack’s cow as an argument in favour of vegetarianism. 

Princes are not seen as rescuers, but as capitalist exploiters, sexist in their lust of the ladies in the stories, The Pied Piper doesn’t evict rats but hippies, gypsies and bikers – he doesn’t steal the children when left unpaid – he stirs them to revolution in favour of a worker’s co-operative.  At times, this reads like the very propaganda the author makes fun of.

Nicely illustrated, and a good idea, but for a short book, it gets quite tedious in a very short space of time. 

Arthur Chappell

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