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Poison Hardcover – 18 Apr 2013

4.0 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (18 April 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575092971
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575092976
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 2 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 412,441 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

The fairy tale retold with a welcome bite of cynical realism. Disney eat your heart out. (Claire Nicholls SCI FI NOW)

Poison is Pinborough's take on Snow White, and while all the recognisable furniture is there, she takes the story in directions that would have Walt Disney's (apocryphally) frozen head spinning in its cryogenic chamber. Loads of fun and very saucy with it. (INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY)

Pulls you into the fantasy world from the first word. A fairy-tale for grown-ups that should delight and shock in equal measure. (SCI FI BULLETIN)

Sarah Pinborough's reimagining of the classic fairytale will enchant you. Expect the unexpected as Pinborough uses her own winning-brand of magic to entice the reader. (PRESS ASSOCIATION)

More Grimm than Disney, Poison is a fun, fresh take on Snow White with a sucker punch of an ending. If you're a fan of Once Upon a Time or Snow White and the Huntsman, you'll find Poison very palatable indeed. There's enough sex and skulduggery here to satisfy fans of Pinborough's other works too. (Geek Planet Online)

Poison proves that fairy tales are no longer just for children. This is an intelligent, dark and enthralling read. I am absolutely left wanting more. (THE ELOQUENT PAGE)

Poison by Sarah Pinborough is everything you know about Snow White and, what's more important, everything you don't know about her. The characters are dark and extremely natural - the story could have happened anywhere. Even though it's set in the original fairy tale type world, it is astounding what Sarah Pinborough did with the story. To explain it better, she knew when to use blood and when to use glitter. (La Penseuse Surnaturelle blog)

An altogether darker and sexier version of a story we know well. Poison is a treat of a read to devour in one sitting, ideal for readers of all genres who are looking for something a little dark and different. (ONE MORE PAGE)

Sarah Pinborough strays true to the classic tale of Snow White but has managed to put her own very sexy stamp all over it. It's dark, dangerous, thrilling, adventurous and devilishly sexy. (FICTION FASCINATION)

A nice shake up to the traditional Snow White fairy tale. (SISTER SPOOKY)

The twisting of the tale is genius and the interweaving of other fairy tales, but with a Sarah Pinborough twist, was fantastic. This ain't no Brothers Grimm and it ain't no Disney story! (BOOK GEEK SAYS)

When you hear the phrase 'fairy tale', what does it make you think of? Disney? Princesses, witches, a handsome prince? In Poison, Sarah Pinborough brings us all of this and more, viewing the story through grown-up eyes and telling it for adults, while still playing with the conventions we grew up with. Poison is a really enjoyable read; it's a fairytale reimagining in the most full-blooded way, very different in tone from something like Angela Carter but, I think, quite similar in the way in which female characters are foregrounded and empowered, for good or evil. (ADVENTURES WITH WORDS)

This is not a fairy-tale for children but definitely one for the grown-ups who like their stories a bit darker than they remember. Poison is a wonderful retelling of Snow White, it is inventive and sexy and really fun to read. (BOOK CHICK CITY)

It's a dark, contemporary retelling of the fairytale and is perfect for fans of Snow White and the Huntsman and Once Upon a Time. Fast-paced and completely addictive, Poison is a joy to read and I was hooked from chapter one. I love twisted fairytales, and this is just that! (WONDROUS READS)

A lovely, well written, beautifully illustrated retelling of a family favourite fairytale with a new twist. (LYNN'S BOOK BLOG)

A wicked, delicious and sexy fairytale and well worth reading. (GAV READS)

Pinborough is the master of the darkest sort of romance, passion so filled up with bile, bitterness, lost hopes and desperation that the narrative is incredibly compelling and very human. The characters are simultaneously both fantastic and believable. It is dark, but in a delicious sort of way; like good chocolate or a fine wine; at no point do we have gratuitous nastiness, all the energy in Poison has gone into making us care about the characters (before making them suffer) rather than adding horror for the sake of it. (STARBURST)

Poison puts a surprising (and sexy) new spin on the story. (THE TELEGRAPH)

Book Description

A beautiful, sexy, contemporary retelling of the classic Snow White fairy tale, illustrated by Les Edwards.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Like a lot of adults, I don't usually read fairy tales. However, due to the popularity of shows like Grimm and Once Upon A Time, fairy tales are now once again in vogue and are being read not only by children.

In the first of what is a trilogy of adult fairy tales, Sarah Pinborough has written a version of Snow White that has enough elements in it to appear familiar to those of you who read this as a child, but is retold in a way that will open your eyes to questions that your younger self never knew it had.

The story is set in a timeless fantasy world of multiple kingdoms that we expect to see in a fairy tale. The king goes to war, leaving behind his beautiful young queen alone with her step-daughter. The queen decides the key to making her new life bearable is to get rid of the beloved Snow White.

For me, the most interesting aspect of this story was the queen. Pinborough successfully gives this often flat character some much needed dimension, and her motivation to destroy Snow White is more profound than pure vanity. The queen does not hate Snow White, not initially anyway. Snow White represents the freedom that the queen never had growing up in a strict court environment, before being forced to marry a man twice her age. Jealousy and resentment blossom in the queen's heart.

The queen's nemesis is not the Snow White you've seen before. Put aside the twee images of a pretty maid frolicking with rabbits, fauns and bluebirds. Instead, you have a raw earthy heroine, who prefers breeches to dresses, rides like a man and likes nothing more than drinking and singing bawdy tavern songs with dwarfs.

I actually found myself empathising with the queen far more than with Snow White.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Taking its cue from the Brothers Grimm, this version of Snow White is dark and sexy and brutal, but certainly not the one that most of us might remember. There's a wicked queen, a handsome prince, a beautiful and spirited princess, dwarves and a poisoned apple but the similarity to Disney ends there. I don't tend to read fairy tales (even the bedtime ones I read to Matthew are several years in the past) but thoroughly enjoyed the mixture that Sarah has created - modern sensibilities (more explicit sex, swearing, clearer motivation) blended seamlessly into a timeless fantasy world of castles, kingdoms and magic. The locations are well described and atmosphere is used well, characterisation is well done and whilst I enjoyed the free-spirit of Snow White (we never find out what her real name is), I think I preferred the evil step-mother Queen Lillith more, who struggles with the darker aspects of her personality. The prince is a heartless cad (leading to a bleak ending that made me want to read the next two books immediately), the dwarves (especially Dreamy) are wonderfully realised and the pace never slackens. With some wonderful illustrations from Les Edwards throughout, clever chapter titles and the usual Pinborough wit much in evidence, this is an entertaining read and recommended.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Beautifully crafted story - I adore twisted fairy tales, particularly those with adult themes and this one was dark and intensely satisfying - I will certainly be on the look out for others in this series. I recommend for fans of the Book of Lost Things, Once Upon a Time and Grimm.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
How do you make a fairy tale sexy, get Sarah Pinborough to write it. You know you're in for something different when the evil queen performs a sex act on the king in the opening chapter. This is Snow White with all the Disney taken out and a whole lot of Pinborough put in, if you've read any of Sarah's other work you know what I mean.

Some interesting foreshadowing going on throughout this tale as well, or maybe that should be PRE-shadowing, as I get the feeling although this is the first in a trilogy of fairy tale re-telling's, it is not the first chronologically. All I'm saying is I think the Huntsman and the Prince are important characters and might well link these three tales together.
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Format: Hardcover
I purchased this at the hardback book launch last night and made the mistake of starting it on the way home. It hooked me so fast, I really had to carry on reading from 4am this morning.

It's a fairy tale, which takes the familiar and adds poisonous twists in the telling. These are the characters and stories which most of us will know, given a psychological depth and then woven together. And it is fun; in a darkly, sexy, way.

As a child, I distrusted illustrated books, as those pictures often gave the game away. Here, Les Edwards's illustrations illuminate the text without being spoilers.

In this instance, I think reading it in the beautiful hardback edition, really adds to the experience. At 200 pages, it's light and easy to carry, and the turning of the physical pages took me back to the experience of reading books as a child; when stories were set in far off kingdoms, with kings, queens, princes, princesses and delightfully malevolent witches--and there was magic in the dark forest.

This adult child wants the next two books in the trilogy. Now, please.
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