I had mixed feelings about A Tale Dark and Grimm (enjoyed the stories, the running commentary less so) but was nevertheless excited when the publisher sent me the companion volume In a Glass Grimmly. After having read it, I had a similar reaction.
The bulk of the stories – fairy and folk tale inspired – are quite good. I particularly liked the chapter on the mermaid which was suspenseful and even haunting.
But I have to say, I again quickly grew tired of the author commentary. And the whole be who you are and don’t try to please others message was put on a bit heavy by the end.
As I noted in my review of the first book, it could just be the humor of the commentary is not for me (but for a younger, sillier audience) but the attempts at humor the running commentary is supposed to provide just grew stale for me.
It should also be noted that Gidwitz is not afraid to pile on the gore and violence. I didn’t find any of it disturbing or dangerous but wanted to note it for any sensitive types or those wondering about age appropriateness.
Putting that aside, Gidwitz has a great imagination and really brings fairy tales and folklore to life for this generation. These books really are entertaining romps through the classic fairy tales but with Gidwitz’s unique style and perspective.