Cover Image: The Valiant Little Tailor

The Valiant Little Tailor

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Member Reviews

It's a meandering tale, with Chevillard going off on lengthy tangents, which took away my focus from the main story, triggering my boredom switch.

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I recall "The Valiant Little Tailor" from my first book of fairy tales, with its beautiful and colourful illustrations, and the quirky and courageous little man that becomes a hero by accident and self-confidently proclaims a mundane task, killing seven flies, as if it were the most heroic deed ever, on par with Hercules' feats.

So I was so expecting to enjoy this retelling, which promised to tell the "true" story from the little tailor's mouth and humour in spades. Whilst it did fulfill the first promise, it was a difficult read, so meandering and so full of tangents and digressions I would get lost and lose interest all the time; often not knowing what exactly the point was, and other times getting bored at the tone of the narrator, that was more acid and gratuitous garrulousness peppered with cheap shots at the Grimms for no reason that I can tell than be a contrarian. What was the point of insulting the Grimms' female sources, for example?

And the humour wasn't doing it for me either. I love irony and parody, but here I wasn't laughing as much as feeling unimpressed and wondering what I was missing that the promised humour didn't seem to be there for me. In the end, it was a hard-to-read stream of consciousness-style retelling that I'm still not sure had a real plot as much as was an opportunity to talk and talk endlessly.

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I genuinely had no idea what was happening most of the time. I don’t think that is the author’s fault necessarily, but perhaps the translation wasn’t as clear as it should be. Perhaps my comprehension isn’t as clear as I thought. All I know for sure was that reading this book was a wild ride and I did not have a seat belt.

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