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Politically Correct Bedtime Stories: A Collection of Modern Tales for Our Life and Times [Hardcover]

James Finn Garner
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

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Book Description

15 Sep 1994
Anyone who is in tune with the times knows that Snow White took refuge with seven vertically challenged men, that Little Red Riding Hood, her grandma and the cross-dressing wolf set up an alternative household based on mutual respect and cooperation, that Goldilocks was a rogue biologist who specialised in the study of anthropomorphic bears, that the Frog Prince was not a prince at all, but a middle-aged, balding real estate developer with plans to drain the pond, and that the Emperor was not naked, but merely endorsing a clothing-optional lifestyle. You didn't know that? You mean that you or your children were lulled to sleep by classic bedtime stories that are discriminatory, prejudiced and demeaning to witches, animals, giants, dwarfs, goblins and fairies everywhere? Now at last you can remedy this cultural defect by reading 'Politically Correct Bedtime Stories', and find out what really happened when Jack climbed the beanstalk, when Cinderella went to the ball and when the wolf tried to blow down the houses of the Three Little Pigs. After all, if you were brought up on all that sexist, racist, sizeist, ethnocentrist reading matter, then you most certainly need to be made aware of the dangers, in these sensitive modern times, of expressing any kind of opinion at all.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 89 pages
  • Publisher: Souvenir Press Ltd; First British Edition edition (15 Sep 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 028563223X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0285632233
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 13.4 x 17.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 351,345 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

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Product Description


"Garner's droll reworking of favourite fairy stories." -- 'Time Out'

"It is one of those works which cleave an author instantly to your heart...
It is beautiful." -- 'The Times'

"The definitive, non-exploitative, non-patriarchalist (dontcha hate doing
that to the kids?) ... collection of bedtime stories." -- 'Daily Telegraph'

"Garner rewrites fairy tales... into culturally sensitive stories,
with all prejudices expunged." -- 'Daily Mail'

"Not only essential reading for adults of all ages, but is also
the wisest, funniest, most thoughtful thing."
-- 'The Observer'

It's hard to believe that James Finn Garner could improve upon perfection - but he has. -- Hans Christian Andersen

These stories are fables for our times. -- Aesop

We were fighting between ourselves to see who would read it first. -- The Brothers Grimm

About the Author

James Finn Garner is the descendant of dead white Europeans, is a writer and performer in Chicago. This is his first processed tree carcass.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
54 of 54 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I first purchased this book years ago on a whim and made the mistake of reading it on the train home: the other passengers were extremely unnerved as I was in hysterics after the first page and could not stop sniggering throughout the whole journey. The book now has pride of place on my coffee table and most visitors who leafed through it ended up buying a copy themselves. Is there any better recommendation than that? Wether you read about Snowwhite and the vertically challenged men or about little red riding hood setting up a commune with the wolf and her grandmother, this book is something for both old and young (possibly with a light advantage towards the former). A must buy (and an ideal gift for anyone.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars BRILLIANTLY FUNNY 6 Jan 2003
This book is for anyone who likes parodys or mocking the political systems. it is a 'value for money' book,as itwill have you laughing all the time (due to its humorous twists and phrases.) The book is composed of several 're-looks' at popular Fairy-Tales and Nursery Stories. I thoroughly recommend this book for everyone, as although it is based on Fairy Tales; its updated twists,endings and political humor makes it more adult- but keeping it light and not boring.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
When a bandwagon reaches the point that it is subject to satirical spoofs, it's a good indication that said bandwagon has traveled way to far. `Political correctness' is one such bandwagon, and this little book is a pretty good attempt at poking pins in its over-inflated rhetoric.

From The Emperor's New Clothes with disastrous consequences for our economically disadvantaged tailor to Chicken Little's (the name not being any attempt to classify said person as physically sized-disadvantaged) attempt to find a lawyer so she can sue whomever caused the sky to fall on her head causing her great emotional distress, the stories in this book will often bring a chuckle, and might cause one to reflect on the real world item the story is spoofing. The stories are modified from the traditional ones by more than just the insertion of `politically correct' language, as the endings are twisted into their own version of just how the politically correct version of the world would have things play out.

However, I'd recommend that this be read one story at time, with long days between stories, as they do become somewhat repetitive when read all at one gulp, losing some of their charm in the process. The insertion of the PC verbiage becomes expectable and not as funny, so that the occasional non-PC aside stands out, like his comment on the seven dwarves living arrangements (7 beds, 7 TV's, 7 stacks of dirty dishes) as possibly being the abode of a sloppy numerologist.

A fun little diversion, best when eaten in small bites.

--Reviewed by Patrick Shepherd (hyperpat)
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
By Kurt Messick HALL OF FAME
Bedtime stories are probably among the oldest forms of tale-telling there is in human history. Before epic poetry, before political speeches, before religious tales of awe, there were people sitting around campfires and living in caves, caring for their young, speaking soothing sounds to their young.
Bedtime stories were quickly discerned to be an excellent way in which to reinforce not only language skills, but culture and accepted morality, too.
So, why is it that fairy tales, the more-modern equivalent of these stories, became canonised and thus immutable by the likes of the Brothers Grimm, etc.? Just what does Hansel & Gretel or the Little Red Riding Hood mean for us today, beyond being good stories?
And, are they good stories? Should we teach children there are houses made of candy and cookies out in the woods? This is the kind of question addressed in this delightful little collection, Politically Correct Bedtime Stories
Now, before you get your knickers in a twist, realise that this is all in fun, but, as it is fun, highlights certain important points nonetheless. Political correctness can be stretched to the limits of absurdity, like almost anything carried to and beyond its logical limits. That is not to say that political correctness is all bad. But, we do approach a time when nothing can be said for fear of offending someone somewhere at some time.
James Finn Garner highlights this in his introduction, by saying if he has inadvertently displayed any sexist, racist, culturalist, nationalist, regionalist, ageist, lookist, ableist, sizeist, speciesist, intellectualist, socioeconomicist, ethnocentrist, phallocentrist, heteropatriarchalist, or other type of bias as yet unnamed, he apologizes and encourages your suggestions for rectification.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sleep Better, Offending Nobody 11 Mar 2013
By John M. Ford TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
"Once upon a time in the olden days, heavy-set middle-aged men would congregate in their elitist clubs, sit in overstuffed leather chairs, smoke air-choking cigars, and pitch story ideas and plots to each other." The resulting stories have been passed down to us as the mind-polluting bedtime tales used to warp the minds of our generation.

No need to continue this travesty. James Finn Garner has edited these stories with the ruthless, post-modern sensibility of a San Francisco school board. His diligence has midwifed the thirteen stories in this book.

The stories introduce the following inspiring role models:

The young person Red Riding Hood who set off to empower her grandmother with a basket of healthful snacks, even though said grandmother was perfectly capable of taking care of herself as a mature adult.

The Emperor, who had been turned into a vain and wisdom-challenged tyrant by a lifetime of belief in the absolute legitimacy of the monarchy and in the inherent superiority of males, was sufficiently enlightened to endorse a clothing-optional lifestyle.

The three little pigs, who set up a model socialist democracy with free education, universal health care, and affordable housing for everyone. Copyright notice: Despite any imagined similarities, these pigs are completely different from any pigs George Orwell may have disrespectfully written about.

The three codependent goats gruff. `Nuff said.

Three bears, who lived together in a nuclear family, even though the nuclear family has traditionally served to enslave womyn, instill a self-righteous moralism in its members, and imprint rigid notions of heterosexualist roles onto the next generation.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Just an amazing set of tales in good condition!
Published 17 days ago by likealittle
4.0 out of 5 stars A different fairy tale book
More entertainment for the parents than the child, especially grand parents who remember a time before "Pollical Correctness when mad!!!
Published 4 months ago by JERRI BASH
5.0 out of 5 stars totally love it, funny and right!
loved this, read it aloud to my sister and she laughed her ass off! the kids like it too and even giggle a bit even though i think its aimed at an older audience. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Kindle Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars A mirror to our political incorrectedness....
When I was a university student I heard about this book, however I lost track of it. Now that it came to me, I found the author's intended parody of modern times really enriching... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Alexei V. Lopez Enriquez
3.0 out of 5 stars Politically Correct Bedtime Stories
It was quite good, the stories were funny, but it was read too quickly didn't get much satisfaction from reading it
Published 6 months ago by Aisling Donoghue
3.0 out of 5 stars Amusing
Funny and novel for the first few stories but starts to wear thin by the end, not bad for 99p to pass some time
Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Quick and entertaining read!
Series of short stories are very funny. A great modern take on the traditional bedtime stories! Front cover makes the book look like a freebie from a Sunday newspaper but the gold... Read more
Published 7 months ago by jade
5.0 out of 5 stars great present
i ordered this for my brother for christmas and on flicking through it it is really funny and i think would entertain anyone who likes a sarcastic type of humor!
Published 7 months ago by elaine1705
5.0 out of 5 stars Politically correct bedtime stories
Great! A good and welcome twist on old stories. Tough girls who don`t have to be rescued by a prince!
Published 7 months ago by Hillside
5.0 out of 5 stars Bang tidy
This was a lighthearted purchase made for a bit of a giggle. My son read it through on the day of purchase, laugh aloud and quoting the text to us all. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Varan (da man) Komodsky
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