Book Review

Review: Through the Water Curtain and Other Tales by Cornelia Funke

Through the Water Curtain was a lovely selection of fairy tales and folk tales from a number of countries. I wouldn’t say it was hugely diverse, and there were a few I recognised, but it they were the kind of short stories that I enjoy.

Water Curtain

Title: Through the Water Curtain and other Tales from Around the World
selected by Cornelia Funke
Pages: 224
Publisher: Pushkin Press
Publication Date: 8th October 2019

This set of short tales is very much as expected – a range of short stories in a very traditional bare bones, folk tale manner. It’s a way of storytelling that I really enjoy – storytelling as straightforward facts, no matter how ridiculous it may seem – something that may not work for everyone.

I haven’t read Funke’s Mirrorworld series and, although it’s nice to hear how an author selected the tales that influenced their work, I didn’t really have much interest in reading about that alongside these stories.

The choice of these tales also largely seemed to be governed by how they had affected Funke’s own writing, or because they appeared to show independent women. For some reason, they were limited to those from Japan, Vietnam, Siberia, and Europe. I’m not sure why ones from the Americas, Australia or Africa weren’t included – perhaps they just didn’t play a part in Funke’s influences. And, in a short collection, there’s wasn’t room. But still, some nice stories, some of which I hadn’t read before.

3.5 stars

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


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