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Black Heart, Ivory Bones Paperback – 1 Mar 2000

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Avon Books (1 Mar. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380786230
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380786237
  • Product Dimensions: 20.4 x 13.5 x 2.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 764,109 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


An anthology of fairy tales for adults reconsiders a collection of well-known tales, and dissects the darker and more universal themes.

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Once upon a time there were two girls who dearly loved fairy tales . . . and as they grew, they never lost their taste for magical, mythical stories. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Kurt A. Johnson on 5 Aug. 2003
Format: Paperback
This book is an anthology of twenty short stories, each something of a retelling of a classic fairytale. The stories are all very well written, with the leadoff story being written by the sensational Tanith Lee. As a matter of fact, my absolute favorite story is Tanith Lee's reworking of the story of Repunzel.
These stories run the gamut between humorous and upsetting. Some of the storylines are too much for young children, but none are unnecessarily violent or sexual. Overall, I was very impressed with the quality of these stories, and I recommend it without reservations.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 13 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Good stuff. 11 July 2001
By Hillary - Published on
Format: Paperback
Out of sheer boredom and lack of something better to read, I picked up this book and began reading it (it was on the shelf of a friend of mine . . . dusty and abandoned. I think I felt sorry for it). Honestly, I had my doubts. After having read numerous versions of politically correct fairy tales, I thought this would be along the same vein and completely cliche' and overdone.
Surprisingly (and most wondrously) I was wrong. This is not just a bunch of fairy tales made into gory, sex laden adult fiction. It is a great collection of short stories written by people with real narrative talent. My hat goes off to the editors for finding such gems and putting them into one easy to digest book. I have (since reading this book) gone onto other books in this series and have been just as pleased. An added bonus (as well) that I thought I would add in: throughout this series, you will find a few short stories by Neil Gaiman thrown in there. They are wonderful. He is one of my favorite writers out there, and his shorts stories are great. If you decide to venture out and buy any of the Windling/Datlow collaborations, make sure you check out his stories in particular. He's just so GOOD (yum).
Overall, I would hand this book over to anybody to read. It's fun, it's got some good stuff, and it's not hardcore sci fi/fantasy stuff like you might suspect. It's very realistic and entertaining, and you'll FLY through it.
Do yourself a favor and delve into this. You'll be glad that you did. Happy reading!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Not bad at all. 8 Dec. 2001
By Kelly (Fantasy Literature) - Published on
Format: Paperback
It's wonderful, first of all, that there are people writing these kinds of stories and making anthologies of them. I give the concept a couple of stars just for the principle of the thing.
That said, there are several standouts. My personal favorites are:
"Rapunzel", in which Tanith Lee oddly goes bright-and-happy on us, presenting the delightful tale of a prince who spins a tall tale about his chosen bride, knowing "the Dad" (that's the King to you and me) is a sucker for fairy tales.
"Big Hair", another take on Rapunzel, which takes place in modern times, in the beauty-pageant circuit, yet follows the old story almost exactly.
"And Still She Sleeps", a Sleeping Beauty retelling set in an alternate, magic-rich nineteenth-century England, and full of insight about the nature of "true love". Ends not happily, but perfectly.
Also check out "Black Thorn, White Rose." It's even better!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A New Direction 21 July 2000
By Margaret Summer - Published on
Format: Paperback
What a fine, and sometimes startling, collection of stories. Poetry also. This book is one to read and then keep handy, because you'll end up referring to its entirely original versions of old classics; a book that is fun to give to others, good to read aloud. Stories you won't forget. Alas, that the series has drawn to a close.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A Stellar Anthology 9 Oct. 2000
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
Datlow and Windling (whose other compilations have included Silver Birch, Blood Moon and Black Swan, White Raven) have outdone themselves yet again with this latest treasure trove of modern and retold fairy tales. Containing both marvelous poetry and haunting prose, it is a must have for lovers of fantasy stories. Reader's will enjoy stories such as Tanith Lee's (author of Black Unicorn)"Rapunzel" and Bryan Kanar's "Dreaming Among Men", a vivid and wonderful native american story. This is a collection definately worth picking up!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Showcases the sinister, the sensual, and the sometimes sadistic roots of our childhood fairy tales. 17 April 2010
By Elizabeth A. Hart - Published on
Format: Paperback
This lovely book, Black Heart, Ivory Bones, is a collection of fantasy and horror tales edited by my two favorite ladies of their respective genres Ellen Datlow (horror) and Terri Windling (fantasy). This is one book in a series of six volumes of, as they call it, reconsidered fairy tales. These fairy tales are rewritten to change the focus of the originals or perhaps just to sharpen the point of them to showcase the sinister, the sensual, and the sometimes sadistic roots of our childhood fairy tales.

Some of my favorites were "Rapunzel", "Big Hair", "The King with Three Daughters", "And Still She Sleeps", "Goldilocks Tells All", "The Red Boots", "You, Little Match Girl", "The Cats of San Martino" and "The Golem". And, yes, one of those ("You, Little Match Girl") was by the infamous Joyce Carol Oates, whose work I normally find too harsh to stomach, this particular piece though was one of the most profoundly powerful in the collection. The other piece that was the best in my opinion was "And Still She Sleeps" which brings up the very valid point that if true love's kiss is supposed to wake someone, and the only people available to kiss them were people that had not known them to love them in life, how are they ever to be kissed awake? True love is not determined on beauty alone.

My husband does not enjoy re-written fairy tales so I thought I would bring up his complaint since I don't have any of my own to voice. He says that authors that write these sorts of stories just seem to take the characters in them and drop everything else to make them act out something completely different. I don't completely agree with him because, though some stories do that, such as Big Hair, at the same time they do keep to the spirit of what the original story was trying to say, even if in a more modern, dark or surreal way.

If you enjoy reconsidered fairy tales, short stories of a more modern bent that take your old fairy tales and give them new and interesting life, then I would say definitely give this book (and the others in this series) a whirl. You won't be disappointed.
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