36. These Children Who Come At You With Knives – Jim Knipfel
I shall start this review with a warning: Don’t read these stories out of order. I mean: Read these stories in order. Mr. Knipfel has a recurring character with a grudge that only makes sense if you read the stories in order, damn it. I mean, it didn’t like totally kill the experience of reading the book to arbitrarily skip around, but I regretted it and normally I don’t, hence the warning.
The collection is prefaced as a group of fairy tales, and they are sort of fairy tales, maybe a bit less so than, say, Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes are fairy tales but the spirit is comparable. I truly enjoy fairy tales, in particular because of the dark humor and random brutality that the original versions tended to include. Why yes, I will hack off my heel to fit into that glass slipper, what a great idea! Oh honey, don’t you think sending our children into the woods to starve to death is a better idea than trying to take care of them? I do too! And my personal favorite Grimm story of all time: “The Mouse, the Bird, and the Sausage” where the mouse, bird, and sausage live together and all have jobs, and then they switch jobs, and it all goes horribly wrong. I’ve never found another person who has read “The Mouse, the Bird, and the Sausage” on purpose. I’ve definitely prompted people to read it, but I’ve never come across anyone who recognized the story when I brought it up. Maybe someday. My prince will recognize a fairy tale about anthropomorphic food and animals living and dying together in Germany. My favorite tale in Knipfel’s collection is called “Maggot in a Red Sombrero,” which is a clever name (unlike The Shitty Beetles) and a very enjoyable tale about a relationship that develops in one woman’s fridge. Another story involves a Monkey named “Misery,” which is a really awesome name for a monkey, although now that I think about it, that name has been taken by a pig before. Hmm.