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Publisher's Summary

Fairy tales for our times from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Hours.
A poisoned apple and a monkey's paw with the power to change fate; a girl whose extraordinarily long hair causes catastrophe; a man with one human arm and one swan's wing; and a house deep in the forest, constructed of gumdrops and gingerbread, vanilla frosting and boiled sugar. In A Wild Swan and Other Tales, the people and the talismans of lands far, far away - the mythic figures of our childhoods and the source of so much of our wonder - are transformed by Michael Cunningham into stories of sublime revelation.
Here are the moments that our fairy tales forgot or deliberately concealed: the years after a spell is broken, the rapturous instant of a miracle unexpectedly realized, or the fate of a prince only half cured of a curse. The Beast stands ahead of you in line at the convenience store, buying smokes and a Slim Jim, his devouring smile aimed at the cashier. A malformed little man with a knack for minor acts of wizardry goes to disastrous lengths to procure a child. A loutish and lazy Jack prefers living in his mother's basement to getting a job, until the day he trades a cow for a handful of magic beans.
Re-imagined by one of the most gifted storytellers of his generation, our bedtime stories been this dark, this perverse, or this true.
Program contains music composed specifically for the audiobook by Billy Hough and his bandmates in GarageDogs. Billy Hough says: "The original piece 'A Wild Swan' was written as a gift to Michael, due to my incredibly strong reaction to hearing these beautiful stories for the first time. I enlisted the brilliant Lili Taylor to alternate the stories with me, and wrote a series of short pieces of music, for their eventual inclusion on this album. I wanted to use the music to illustrate the tension between the ancient and the modern, much in the same way Michael has done in the stories themselves."
©2015 Mare Vaporum Corp. (P)2015 Macmillan Audio
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Critic Reviews

"Over and over, [narrators] Taylor and Hough offer up the prettiest rose for us to sniff and at just the right moment, let the thorn prick us. Their pacing is immaculate." (AudioFile)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Beth Anne on 03-27-16

fairy tales updated for the modern adult set

there was only one story i didn't love in this collection. really well conceived, clever, sometimes edgy stories that put traditional fairy tale stories on their heads.

loved it.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful


By R. Belanger on 03-24-17

Not what I expected

What disappointed you about A Wild Swan?

It was too crass. I only got through two stories, and just couldn't listen to more.

Would you ever listen to anything by Michael Cunningham again?

Not sure--might sample it.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from A Wild Swan?

It wasn't the scenes, per se, but the words used. To describe the scenes. I couldn't identify with any of the characters.

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