Saturday, October 6, 2018

Can't Catch Me: And Other Twice-Told Tales

Can't Catch Me: And Other Twice-Told Tales is a collection of short fiction by poet and author Michael Cadnum. Originally released in 2006 by Tachyon, it's 181 pages and available in ebook and paperback formats.  The book's 18 stories (5 of which are original to this collection, by my count) are retellings/twists on mythology or fairy tales. 

I love anthologies and collections because you get a broader sense of an author's style and capabilities, and if a story doesn't appeal for whatever reason, there's another one coming along in a few pages. For this reason, I often skip around when reading anthologies/collections and try to take notes during my reading. Unusually for me, I read this collection straight through, cover to cover.

The basic stories are so well known that to most readers, they'll be almost cultural background noise.  Jack and the beanstalk/Jack the giant killer, Humpty Dumpty, Goldilocks, the gingerbread man and the others are instantly recognizable, but many of them are so deftly twisted, they become quite original.  I especially liked the ones told from another viewpoint. Mrs. Big (Jack and the Beanstalk) was outstanding and so was Naked Little Men (The Elves and the Shoemaker).  I would say all the stories rate 3-5 stars and for me the overall rating is a solid 4 stars.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes

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