The Merry Spinster, Tales of Everyday Horror by Mallory Ortberg

Those teeth!

Those teeth!

After reading and hearing so many good things about this book I couldn't wait for my hold to finally come in at the Library.  I actually finished this about a week ago when my youth department was still decorated for early spring/Easter.  Reading the short story The Rabbit while sitting at my desk eating lunch was a very creepy experience.  I swear all the stuffed bunnies were staring at me.  Like they knew what I was reading.  Like stuffed bunnies talk.  

The Merry Spinster, Tales of Everyday Horror is a short story collection that takes our well-loved and well-known childhood stories and makes them dark, creepy, and chilling.  The title story, The Merry Spinster is a play on the Beauty and the Beast tale.  In this version, it's Beauty's mother, not father who stumbles upon the Beast.  The mother, a rich executive, heads to the city to take care of some investments.  While on her way home, she became horribly lost and ran out of gas.  After wandering around trying to find help she stumbles across a great house that is all lit up but no one answers the door.  What does she do?  She walks in. 

Guess where this is going?

After helping herself to some dinner the mother decides to tour the house and grounds.  The bottle of wine that she drank at dinner may have helped with that decision.  Wine bottle in hand, she heads out to pick the roses that she promised to bring her daughter Beauty.  When the Beast, or Mr. Beale in this version, confronts her about stealing and trespassing, the mother is pretty unapologetic.  True to the tale, the mother has to give up Beauty to come live with Mr. Beale.  

Unfortunately for Mr. Beale, he didn't do any research on his new bride and he had no idea what he was getting in to.  

Not every story was a winner for me.  Not going to lie-The Thankless Child went right over my head.  

The Rabbit was deliciously creepy.  That one I enjoyed the most and I don't want to spoil any of it.  I don't think I'll look at stuffed animals the same way again.  Overall this was a great collection and I didn't realize how much I liked short story collections until I read this.  

Since this book was published the author has transitioned genders and now goes by Daniel Mallory Ortberg.  

You can get the book here: