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Practical Magic and The Probable Future are two of her best, and they both contain all the best parts of adult fairy tales: magical realism, curses that past through generations, and murder and mayhem. Like Hoffman, it was hard to pick one Gaiman book so I kind of cheated and picked two.

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These are two of his best, or at least two that would be good to start with if you've never read him before, and it's impossible to write a list of adult fairy tales without including Neil Gaiman. If you are unfamiliar with him, a one-sentence introduction to Neil Gaiman: the Tim Burton of the written word, both in terms of dark whimsical style and in terms of appearance-- if you look at pictures of the two men, they definitely share the same hairdresser.

And that hairdresser may be Edward Scissorhands. It may seems strange to include this book on the list because I said I wanted to avoid the big-shots in favor of giving some exposure to lesser-known titles-- and everyone and their mother has seen the movie. But, the book's audience is far less expansive than the film's.

Book: Once upon a crime

The book is the rarest of rare gems: It is entirely different from the movie and yet they are equally good. My only explanation for this is that the author wrote the screenplay as well. The book contains all of the movie's humor, sardonic wit, creativity, and genuine charm, with some added twists and clever angles that I will be annoyingly vague about, because it's best if you just read it. The one-sentence description: This is more steeped in Native American folklore than the Grimms or Hans Christen Anderson--yet it contains many familiar motifs, which only goes to show how fairy tales resonate across cultures.

12 Books to Quench Your Fairy Tale Thirst - Penguin Teen

The longer description: Don't be daunted by this book's obscurity. This book is no less worthy, and its lyricism will sweep you along for the ride in the tale of its anti-hero, an alcoholic professor who is trying to bury the past. We all know how these things work--nothing interesting happens if the past stays buried. Martin, Philip Pullman, Emma Donoghue.

Ultimately, between authors who resemble Edward Scissorhands and authors who resemble Santa looking at you, George R. R Martin , the moral of the story seems to be that if you want to write an adult fairy tale, the key to success is looking like you crawled out of one. At least, it can't hurt.

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What also can't hurt is that, between the Grimms, Anderson, and more, they all have a history to draw their stories from--a history that is far richer, stranger, and more compelling than anything that Disney could conjure. US Edition U. News U. HuffPost Personal Video Horoscopes. Newsletters Coupons. Terms Privacy Policy. Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. Briar Rose by Jane Yolen.

The Great Night by Chris Adrian. The Princess Bride by William Goldman. Bone Game by Louis Owens. Help us tell more of the stories that matter from voices that too often remain unheard. Join HuffPost Plus.


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MORE: Books. Today is National Voter Registration Day! Cinder is a cyborg and a second-class citizen, and when she falls for Prince Kai, trouble ensues. From the author of Ella Enchanted itself a retelling of "Cinderella" , this spin-off plays with both the Snow White story and Cyrano de Bergerac.

Faerie Continuity

This comic-book series — available in graphic novel form — is an amazing mash-up of dozens of different tales. The noir-esque story is set in a clandestine New York neighborhood called Fabletown.

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The long-running series has some material suitable for more mature readers, but the serialized format and amazing artwork make this is a great choice for reluctant readers. The tale adds depth to the original fairy tale about a young soldier who knits!

The Envious Neighbour Story in English - Bedtime Stories - English Fairy Tales

The book includes knitting patterns for teens looking to pair a hobby with their reading habit. Alyss Heart is heir to the throne in Wonderland, until her aunt Redd kills her parents, causing Alyss to flee to our world through the Pool of Tears.


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With plenty of battles and some sci-fi touches, this is a good one for boys.