Fables 8-13

wolvesJust a quick note to say that I’m continuing to read the Fables series. This time I read volumes 8-13, Wolves through The Great Fables Crossover. I’ve continued to enjoy these in a general way, and I’m engaged by the conceit that the Fables are people, not stories, and don’t adhere to our ideas of how they are “supposed” to behave. (This sometimes means that they behave the precise opposite of what we would suppose — which is almost as constraining. But I guess that’s nitpicky.) The wrap-up of the great war with the Adversary was creative and well-done, given the “third alternative” of Haven. And I am curious about how Geppetto will fit into Fable society, given that neither he, nor they, want that to happen.

I am a little bit bored by the roles of the women in this series. Snow White and Rose Red are both fully fleshed-out characters, but over time they have both turned into women who would fail the Bechdel test, if you feel me. Beauty has never been convincing in her political role, to me. Frau Totenkinder is the only one I really like; she feels like she’s straight out of Buffy. I suppose Cinderella is badass, but that’s about all she is; it feels like a fantasy. Why should this be? Don’t they have any women writing this stuff?

I wasn’t so sure about the crossover issue. Was it because I have never read any of the Jack stuff, or was it because it really was confused and extraneous? Who the heck are the Literals? I mean, I get the idea, but does that make any sense at all? I was relieved to be finished with that one.

And now I’m almost caught up with Teresa (and the end of the series so far.) What should I read after that?

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4 Responses to Fables 8-13

  1. Teresa says:

    I think there have been a couple of volumes since the last one I read, but I’m done with the series unless I get wind of a turnaround. There are a couple of good threads in the next few issues, but it lost steam.

    I didn’t read the Crossover issue at all, so I can’t answer your questions about that. (I dislike Jack and heard it was more of a Jack issue.)

    I’m pretty sure that Other Jenny would tell you (and me) to read Hawkeye–the first trade edition was just published, and I’ve asked my library to order it. We’ll see what they do.

    • Jenny says:

      Oh, yeah, you’re right! I’ve been reading Other Jenny’s enthusiasm about Hawkeye and thinking about it vaguely skeptically because (for whatever reason) that seems more comic book than graphic novel to me. I don’t know particularly why that should put me off, though. Maybe I’ll get my library to order it, too.

  2. For real women in fairy tales or fables I always turn to A. S. Byatt. She has several books which contain fairy-tale-like material by now, one of my favorites of which is “Elementals.” As you probably know, “elementals” are magical beings or magicians who can control one or more of the four elements. Or, for a venture into the realm of magic from a younger reader’s point of view, you can indulge in the Skulduggery Pleasant books (which have a young female heroine who takes a magical second name), of which there are a number in the series by now. They also come with an excellent series of CD recordings; my young nephew entertained us adults with these on a road trip once, and I have to say that even from an adult’s point of view literature-wise, they were worth listening to.

    • Jenny says:

      Elementals is next on my list to read by Byatt, as it happens! I’ll probably try to get to it this summer. Thanks for the recommendations!

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