Sunday, April 2, 2017
The Djinn in the Nightingale's Eye: Five Fairy Stories by A.S. Byatt
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
This book contains five stories, all in the fairy tale vein. The first four read like your standard fables, and contain nothing really different than one would find in a collection of Grimm stories of Hans Christian Anderson. These stories would be suitable and understandable by kids. The last story, from which the book gets its title, is completely different. It’s set in modern times, and concerns an older woman who is an expert on stories, and what happens when she encounters a djinn (genie) during one of her trips. It’s rather slow to develop, but has some unique ideas. This one is probably not suitable for kids, because it focuses a lot on the woman’s desires as someone in the later years of life. I don’t think children would relate - not that I think this book is aimed at kids, but some people might think so, given the title and the genre.
Overall, I was disappointed in the book. None of the stories grabbed me, emotionally or otherwise. Of all of the stories, I probably liked that last one best, because it seemed to be the most original. But this is not a book I’d read again, or one I’d recommend, unless you’re just totally into fables and/or djinns.