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Glasgow Fairytale [Paperback]

Alastair D. McIver
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
Price: 8.86 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

5 Oct 2010
'A breath of fresh air. Original, funny and more than a little subversive - it'll make you laugh out loud...' Fairytales happen. They happen in Glasgow. They're happening now. They're happening to TV heartthrob Reggie King, whose magic mirror manipulates him into unspeakable villainy...They're happening to Jack Cameron, who faces losing the love of his life, Rapunzel, and who has unanswered questions about his destiny, and about some magic beans he threw into the Clyde...They're happening to Ella McCinder, who dreams of marrying footballer Harry Charmaine...They're happening to Wee Red Hoodie, who has a decision to make about where her loyalties lie...And they're happening to Karl 'Snowy' White, who is whisked into a topsy-turvy world of freaks and magic, with only the hope of seeing his Love again to cling to. United by the bonds of friendship, and in the face of a common enemy and a dark secret from Rapunzel's past, our heroes find their stories becoming one.

Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Black and White Publishing (5 Oct 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845023307
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845023300
  • Product Dimensions: 15.7 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 882,652 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Alastair D. McIver was born and grew up in Dumfries, and has also lived in Ayrshire and London. He has lived in Glasgow since 2002, where he is a stalwart of the storytelling community. He has a huge enthusiasm for bringing the world's oldest and newest stories to life in the oral tradition. Glasgow Fairytale is his first novel.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Once Upon a Crazy Imagination 18 Sep 2011
By Lari
This book is completely original and fairly weird. Slightly disturbing in places, even more so because it's clearly set in a recognisable Glasgow, with recognisable modern issues living side by side with familiar fairy tale characters. Not a Disney type fairy tale at all, and certainly not for younger readers, but all the better for that. Let's all claim back the true darkness and weirdness of fairy tales!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not a Grim tale at all 11 Dec 2010
By Zog
I was a bit reticent about this book to start with, thinking it might be a bit provincial, but the joke on page five cliched it - I was hooked. The author succeeds in linking the whole gamut of fairytale characters in this comic story. It's certainly an adult tale and there are some well observed cameos throughout. It gets a bit convoluted in the middle section of the book, but resolves itself well in the end. Very entertaining, but some of the jokes will no doubt be lost on those south of the border.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely brilliant 19 Dec 2011
I loved this book! Alistair D McIver is a very clever, articulate and witty author and this entertaining wee story was written giving a modern, Glaswegian twist to some famous well known fairy tales. Really, unless you're familiar with the Glasgow 'vernacular' and sense of humour I doubt you would get the essence of the book. We have a very dry wit and way with words that only a local would 'get'. The story begins with Jack reluctantly meeting a drunk on the bus who gave him some 'magic beans' and goes on to tell of how the beans land into the river Clyde forming the beanstalk through the 'Squinty' bridge, and later Jack climbs the beanstalk, defeats the giant, grabs the golden eggs and rescues Thumbelina (Thumbsie). A further number of weird and funny characters are then introduced into the story who are painted well in to their individual tales. Disagreeing with a previous reviewer, I think there is enough written about each character to give a decent background to their individual stories. The characters (apart from the Big Bad Wolf, who thinks he's posh, and is evil, condescending and deceitful)all talk in the Glasgow patter which the author has captured down to a 'T'. So what if there are talking animals in the story? We have them in animated films, so why not a book. Although some parts of the tale are a bit dark - not for very young readers,the story has a happy ending - of course, bringing all the characters together into the excellent finale. Very well done, and like the description on the cover - 'like a breath of fresh air'.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A truly grim fairytale 23 Oct 2011
I was really looking forward to reading this book when I picked it up in the shop as a cheer-me-up treat after a painful dentist appointment. It stood out on the shelf, the premise sounded fantastic and I love modern day adaptations of fairytales. Sadly when I did I was very, very, very disappointed.

The pacing for the book is just dreadful. It jumps around from scene to scene far too quickly and some events just seem completely out of the blue whilst others just do not contribute at all to the plot. I got the impression that maybe the author was trying to imitate the style of fairytales, since their plots tend to move quite fast, but those stories are often short. This is a novel, albeit a slightly short one and so you would think the time would be taken to develop the plot. Instead, any problem that occurred were resolved almost immediately. Everything mentioned in the blurb on the back of the book is solved within the first third of the story. There was very little tension anywhere and any that does exist is usually destroyed by a convenient solution which comes out of nowhere. The way the final issues of the story are resolved really irritated me because there was no previous indication that certain characters would change sides at the last minute. The specific one I am thinking about really should have had some hint of something happening, even if it was Jack saying, 'I have a proposition for you' a couple of scenes beforehand. It would also give that previous scene a point too.

The characters really needed more development. We don't learn much about any of them. They are all quite one dimensional. The thing that annoyed me the most was the non-existent build up for any of the relationships.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny Fairy Tale Mashup 7 Dec 2010
By Amazon Customer - Published on
I am especially excited to tell you about this book because the author, Mr. McIver, has been a long-time member of my fairy tale community on LiveJournal. We've had quite a few talks about fairy tales and folklore, so I am just thrilled to see his storytelling in action here.

The story starts as several fairytales begin to act upon one another, with often hilarious results--as, for example, Reggie King decides to take out Snowy White (in a nicely done gender reversal) to be the bonniest man in Glasgow--and he hires none other than Ella McCinders to get the job done.

I won't give too much away, but I will tell you that this is one of the funniest adaptations I've ever read, mixing stories and rearranging the elements to fit McIver's own Glasgow. I giggled out loud frequently, and the Cinderella ball scene is my favorite every Cinderella dance. Also: Best Frog Prince Ever.

McIver's penchant for telling stories is apparent in his prose, which is excellent for reading aloud. As an American reader, I had to sometimes slow down to read the Scottish dialect, but even then it wasn't so heavy that I had trouble understanding it.

Overall: Loved it

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