Book Review: The Rumpelstiltskin Problem

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The Rumpelstiltskin Problem The Rumpelstiltskin Problem by
Published by in 2000
Pages: 128

Have you ever wondered just what was going on when that odd little man with the long name stepped up and volunteered to spin straw into gold for the miller’s daughter? If you stop and think about it, there are some very peculiar and rather hard-to-explain components to the story.
Vivian Vande Velde has wondered too, and she’s come up with these six alternative versions of the old legend. A bevy of miller’s daughters confront their perilous situation in very different ways — sometimes comic, sometimes scary. Most of the time, it’s the daughter who gets off safely, but sometimes, amazingly, Rumpelstiltskin himself wins the day. And in one tale, it is the king who cleverly escapes a quite unexpected fate.

My Review:

The Rumpelstiltskin Problem is the perfect novel for anyone who loves retellings of fairy tales. Split into 6 different retellings, it explores all the different ways in which the original Rumplestiltskin doesn’t make any sense (hint: there are a lot of ways). I really loved all the different stories. The characters in each, even though they were all based on the same originals, are so different, and the explanations for all the strange things actually make sense.

This is a really short novel – I read it in less than an hour last night before going to bed. It reads like one of those fairy tale books you read as a kid (I remember we had the Blue Fairy book) but it just makes so much more sense.

There’s not much else that can be said, other than go read it. I’d especially recommend it to anyone looking to retell a fairytale themselves.

Leave a Reply

2 Responses to “Book Review: The Rumpelstiltskin Problem”

  1. Madigan McGillicuddy says:

    I love Vivian Van Velde, but I've never even heard of this one! Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

  2. Anne says:

    You're welcome! I only know her through the Once Upon a Time series, but I feel I definitely need to get to know her better.

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