This is a collection of stories beautifully retold in Cunningham’s masterful prose. Stories that are haunting in their original form (i.e., “The Monkey’s Paw”) are even more haunting with Cunningham’s treatment, which delves fully in to their darker connotations and vividly imagines what the implications would be of truly living in these worlds and making these choices.
In some ways, these stories are more adaptations than retellings. With the exception of his retelling of “The Stalwart Tin Soldier,” most of the stories keep very close to their original versions but simply go more in depth, revealing character quirks, motivations, and proclivities only hinted at in the stories we know.
If you’re looking for something truly new in your retellings, this might not be for you. But if you are looking for beloved tales told exceptionally well, you may have come to the right book.