10 Mar 2011


Another two for the price of one post. From the politically correct series of books by JAMES FINN GARNER I bring you ......

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.


Misha said...

I like the name , "Politically Correct Bedtime Stories" :D Both the books seem to be very amusing and original.

GMR said...

OMG...politically correct bedtime stories? Oye....but they do sound potentially funny. Agreed on the other potential...to wear thin. Humor books can be like that. Too short and you're not satisfied reading wise...too long and you're looking for a dark cubby to hide it in. Great share....happy reading!

BookQuoter said...

I have always wondered why we read these stories to our kids, or why we sang the lullaby songs that are equally politically incorrect. (Jack fell down and broke his crown or when the bough breaks the cradle will fall... you know what I mean?) Thanks for letting me know there is such a book as this.

Dorte H said...

Ha, I am reading Jasper Fforde´s Nursery Crime series - fairy tales, but hardly politically correct. Very funny, though.

Kelly said...

Some of those original fairy tales (think Brothers Grimm) were really quite scary and gruesome!

I think these would be fun, but in small doses. PCness wears thin quite quickly for me.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

This sounds fun. I can see how it could get old, but if it was spaced out, might not be bad. Hm... might pick it up for a laugh.

NRIGirl said...

Not sure if I will ever come across that book ..Petty Witter, but I admit I am so glad I read your post - which is beyond funny by itself.

Thank you!

Jenners said...

I'm reading the first one for a reading challenge and you made me excited about it! YAY!

Rudy said...

Another great post, Petty! You are powering through the 100+ reading challenge!

Boonie S said...

This is very amusing. Thanks.

All the best, Boonie

Arti said...

Loved the title, Once Upon A More Enlightened Time!! The tortoise and the hare story is one of my all time favorites!!

PS:I will definitely put up a post on Goddess Laxmi, the Goddess of wealth sometime next month!!