Anyone who is in tune with the times knows that Snow White took refuge with seven vertically challenged men, that Little Red Riding Hood, her grandma and the cross-dressing wolf set up an alternative household based on mutual respect and cooperation, that Goldilocks was a rogue biologist who specialised in the study of anthropomorphic bears, that the Frog Prince was not a prince at all, but a middle-aged balding real estate developer with plans to drain the pond, and that the Emperor was not naked, but merely endorsing a clothing-optional lifestyle.
You didn't know that? You men that you or your children were lulled to sleep by classic bedtime stories that are discriminatory, prejudiced and demeaning to witches, animals, giants, dwarfs, goblins and fairies everywhere? Now at last you can remedy this cultural defect by reading Politically Correct Bedtime Stories, and find out what really happened when Jack climbed the beanstalk, when Cinderella went to the ball and when the wolf tried to blow down the houses of the Three Little Pigs.
..... Inner front cover.
Spurred on by the overwhelming success of the million-copy best seller Politically Correct Bedtime stories, James Finn Garner continues his quest to liberate 'classic' fairy tales from their archaic sexist, ageist, classist, and environmentally unsound prejudices. "If we can cleanse these stories and put an end to the lies our children are spoon-fed while being spoon-fed," the author argues, "the world may finally become a decent place for persunkind and other, equally important species."
In Once Upon A More Enlightened Time, Garner tackles many demeaning, culturally biased viewpoints through his retelling of well-known tales such as 'The Princess And The Pea', and 'The Tortoise And The Hare', and 'The City Mouse And The Suburban Mouse'. He has striven to fashion these bedtime stories into literature that is totally free from bias and purged from the influences of a flawed culture past in hopes of freeing our social consciousness from these blights.
If this book fulfills its purpose, no longer will ants, grasshoppers, pusses in boots, and other citizens of nature bear the burden of our insecurities. No longer will mer-people suffer because of their unique evolutionary niche. And no longer will capable young womyn sleep their lives away waiting for princes to rescue them.
....... Inner front cover.
Please excuse me for not typing my usual 'first sentence' and 'memorable moment', instead I thought I'd post some of the meanings that I found particularly funny in Garner's 'Politically Correct' dictionary (which is to be found in he Enlightened Time book) all of which put together form a rhyme.
- B is a Beast with its animal rights.
- F was a Forester, now staffing McDonald's.
- V is a Valentine, tool of oppression.
- Z is for Zombie, the differently dead.
Not for children and certainly not to be taken too seriously but rather 'with a pinch of salt', I found both these books to be cleverly written and quite humorous though I have to admit the 'joke' did wear thin after a while.
Thought provoking in that it made me think about certain issues, not least of which was the use of certain words that may or may not be seen to be offensive, I think these stories did more to mock the whole idea of 'political correctness' whilst given a somewhat unique twist to the classic stories of my childhood.
My favourite story/book?
I have to say that, on the whole, I did find the Bedtime Stories more amusing and preferred the style of writing which, to me, seemed more free flowing and natural whereas in Enlightened Time it felt as if the author was trying too hard to put across the 'silliness' of political correctness whilst remaining funny. Then,of course, if I'm being honest, Bedtime Stories contained more of my favourite stories such as The Emperor's New Clothes and Rapunzel as opposed to Hansel And Gretal and The Tortoise And The Hare, two of the stories featured in the second book.
KEEP IT OR NOT? Husband dearest's books, they will be going back on the shelves.
The 22nd and 23rd book read as part of my 100+ Reading Challenge. We also have POLITICALLY CORRECT HOLIDAY STORIES on our shelves which will no doubt be read as part of any Holiday Reading Challenge I may take part in.