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on 25 September 2000
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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on 6 January 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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on 22 December 2017
Hilarious and clever. I bought 2 more as gifts
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on 14 March 2017
Not quite the hilarious of the reviews that persuaded me to purchase this book but mildly amusing nevertheless and worth a read.
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on 8 January 2018
Simply genius, great present for anyone
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on 7 August 2017
Brilliant. Funny. Well-thought.
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on 3 September 2009
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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on 11 November 2017
A fantastic piece of satire, I've had this book for years and still enjoy reading it when in need of a chuckle. It ridicules the lengths we go to, to be politically correct, and yet every story is still recognisable as the original fairy tale.

Warning: Sense of humour and understanding of irony required to read this book!
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on 11 March 2013
"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.

After reading these stories I felt wearily enlightened and cleansed of my biased attachment to linear left-brained thinking. You will feel the same. Not that it is appropriate for me to claim to know what you will be feeling. Remember one thing. These stories are Not Funny. Not one bit.
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on 29 December 2005
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.
In this volume, we have the following stories, revised and updated for the modern reader:
- Little Red Riding Hood
- The Emperor's New Clothes
- The Three Little Pigs
- Rumpelstiltskin
- The Three Codependent Goats Gruff
- Rapunzel
- Cinderella
- Goldilocks
- Snow White
- Chicken Little
- The Frog Prince
- Jack and the Beanstalk
- The Pied Piper of Hamlin
I shall recount part of the tale of the Frog Prince below, so you can get a sense of the style of the rest of the stories in this book, which present Little Red Riding Hood teaming up with the wolf against the violence of the hunter, the three pigs living in a harmonious collective, and of course, the frog prince: Once, there was a young princess who, when she grew tired of beating her head against the male power structure at her castle, would relax by walking into the woods and sitting beside a small pond. There she would amuse herself by tossing her favourite golden ball up and down and pondering the role of the eco-feminist in her era.
Well, to cut a not-so-long story even shorter (and to avoid infringements by limiting my take to a fair-use length!), the princess and the frog agree to terms, but when the frog approaches for a kiss, the princess feels harassed; however, she relents, and the frog transforms into a businessman who wants to make the pond into a golf course and condo development... The princess eventually decided that she really didn't need a prince after all, particularly one like this, and turns him back into a frog.
'And while someone might have noticed that the frog was gone, no one ever missed the real estate developer.'
Of course, apologies are due to real estate developers, those who wear tacky golf clothing, and those caught in an inter-species spell.
Fun for children of all adult ages.
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