Monday, 19 September 2016

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books: Ransom Riggs - Tales of the Peculiar - Book Review (Penguin) (Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children)


*A new set of stories from the world of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children*

In this collection of fairy tales, Ransom Riggs invites you to uncover hidden legends of the peculiar world. A fork-tongued princess, a girl who talks to ghosts, and wealthy cannibals who dine on the discarded limbs of peculiars are just a few of the characters whose stories will have you hooked.
Featuring stunning illustrations from world-renowned artist Andrew Davidson, this compelling, rich and truly peculiar anthology is the perfect gift for fans - and for all lovers of great storytelling.
Tales of the Peculiar is a beautifully illustrated collection of fairy tales that draws the readers back to the world of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. It is a lovely volume of ten short stories that all start with a fantastic black/white full page of woodblock engravings by Andrew Davidson. 

This golden striking book cover has also been designed by Andrew; it is absolutely stunning, just like the overall production of the book. The illustrations will lead you into a transcending world of fables, myths and mysteries that will pull at the peculiar strings of your fantasy brain. 
I'm not usually a big fan of short stories, but I am a very big fan of Ransom Riggs. All of the short stories exist within his previous novels and give you a fantastic taste of each whether you are a new reader or a previous fan. They are a mixture of beloved fairy tales and legends that the peculiar children grew up hearing; all have been written by and about people with peculiar talents and afflictions. 
The tales are mostly folklore and are meant, primarily, to be punchy and packed full of good stories. They delve into important aspects of peculiar history, such as how Miss Peregrine’s time-looping predecessors came to be through the short story of "The First Ymbryne". The tales are set in a distant era before peculiars lived in time loops. It concerns strange dealings between a peculiar village and a group of disarmingly polite cannibals. 
My favourite story is "The Girl Who Could Tame Nightmares" which is a deliciously dark fairytale told in a clever and imaginative way. It will pick you up and suck you into a bubble of wonderfully weird brilliance which will stay in your dark hungry hearts for some time. 
All of the stories are twisted and filled with a strange and quirky humour which suits me just down to the ground. You can start at any place in the book and easily follow the flow of the narrative. I am confident that you will love all of the stories. There is certainly a great selection to read aloud, but only if you are Peculiar. 
This is a fantastic book to introduce to the world. The characters and the story will soon be seen on the big screen at the end of this month. It has been directed by Tim Burton and stars Eva Green, Samuel L. Jackson and Judi Dench. It looks like an amazing film so check out the movie trailer below. 
Ransom Riggs grew up in Florida but now makes his home in the land of peculiar children—Los Angeles. He was raised on a steady diet of ghost stories and British comedy, which probably explains the novels he writes. There's a nonzero chance he's in your house right now, watching you from underneath the bed. (Go ahead and check. We'll wait.) If not, you can find him on Twitter @ransomriggs.
Andrew Davidson graduated from the Royal College of Art with a Masters in Graphic Design. Davidson has worked as an illustrator in a number of different disciplines, but craft and design have always been the cornerstones of his work. His varied career has included wood engravings for The Iron Man byTed Hughes, more than twelve sets of stamps for The Royal Mail, and the glass etched doors for the Centre Court at Wimbledon. He is married to his wife Julia, and has two sons, Lewis and Hugh.

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