Rags & Bones, Paperback Book
4 out of 5 (1 rating)


One of Amazon's Top 10 YA novels for 2013. Featuring stories by Neil Gaiman, Garth Nix and the authors of Beautiful Creatures, Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, this is a unique and imaginative collection for readers of all ages.

There are some stories that will always be told, tales as timeless as they are gripping.

There are some authors who can tell any story. In RAGS & BONES, award-winning and bestselling authors retell classic fairytales and twisted tales in the way that only they can.

With magic and love, they bring these stories - whether much loved or overlooked - back to life.

Read 'Sleeping Beauty' as only Neil Gaiman can tell it.

See 'Rumpelstiltskin' through the eyes of Kami Garcia. And learn of Rudyard Kipling's 'The Man Who Would Be King' from the inimitable Garth Nix.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 384 pages, illustrations
  • Publisher: Headline Publishing Group
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Fantasy
  • ISBN: 9781472210555

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This short story collection is an anthology of twelve retellings of fairy and otherwise classic twisted tales by American authors whose names were mostly unfamiliar to me, the exception being Neil Gaiman, who is a) British and b) a well-known author on these shores. The idea behind the collections sounds intriguing: each author was asked to contribute a retelling of a story which has influenced them in their life, with the inspirations ranging from Grimms’ tales of ‘Sleeping Beauty’ and ‘Rumpelstiltskin’ to Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu’s ‘Carmilla’ and Rudyard Kipling’s ‘The Man Who Would Be King’ to E. M. Forster’s ‘The Machine Stops’ and Edmund Spenser’s ‘The Faerie Queene’ - eclectic, to say the least, but this is half the attraction of the book. As a result, the stories on offer here defy categorisation, with settings in the far distant future, the present day, in fairy-tale land or in the past where people can be transported from one place to another by magic; the one thing they have in common though is generally a little twist that keeps the reader hooked. Not all the stories are successful, in my opinion, but there are more hits than misses, and some outstanding contributions, for example ‘Millcara’ by Holly Black, ‘That the Machine May Progress Eternally’ by Carrie Ryan, ‘The Sleeper and the Spindle’ by Neil Gaiman and ‘New Chicago’ by Kelley Armstrong; these are entertaining and thought-provoking in equal measure. At the end of each contribution the author in question offers a little insight into why a particular tale had been chosen as inspiration and into the creative mind of its author. I think everyone will find something to their liking here, and maybe even seek out some of the originals. The book is complemented by seven original drawings by the American illustrator Charles Vess, based on nowadays obscure but in his view groundbreaking books.Make no mistake: when I saw the cover I thought this was a book for children, but the content of this book places it squarely into the adult fiction branch. Well worth a read.(This review was originally written as part of Amazon's Vine programme.)

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