Trying to Live Happily Ever After by Clive Lilwall

I received an advance review copy of this book for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily. Thank you to Booksirens and Clive Lilwall for this opportunity.

I was very intrigued by the concept of Trying to Live Happily Ever After: bringing fairytales into the modern age is right up my street and, on the whole, Clive Lilwall did not disappoint.

With 17 short stories in total I must admit I did not enjoy every tale.

Cinderella, in my opinion, was just as vapid as her stepsisters and it felt like her owning an old model of a mobile phone justified her to get “the prince”. Granted, this may have been Lilwall’s aim to show how we associate technology with social standing. However, I would have appreciated a stronger role model as opposed to the slightly kinder but still materialistic Cindy we received.

Unfortunately some of the fables were also lost on me but that may be because I am not familiar with the originals.

Nevertheless, some of Lilwall’s tales will possibly stay with me forever. Red’s granny getting saucy under a wolf skin; Hansel and Gretal getting fat and baked in a whole new way and, of course, the blunt, shameless, no-holds-barred adaptation of The Emperor’s New Clothes, starring a certain “president”.

The writing is overly simplistic at times but this only highlights the roots of these tales as stories and fables.

The writing does not need to be complex when human actions and consequences are under the spotlight in such a humorous, satirical and thought provoking manner.

These are not the fairy tales you remember, they’re not even revolting-rhymes-sort-of-for-kids. Not in the slightest. You have been warned.

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