Audiobook Review: Fairy Tales for the Fiercer Sex – by Alison Larkin, narrated by Alison Larkin
Hailed by the Times as "hugely entertaining", award-winning narrator Alison Larkin selects fairytales of strong, brave, independent, at times irreverent girls and women who take charge of their lives, go on their own adventures, rescue themselves, and sometimes even save the men they love.
These are not stories of helpless females shut up in high towers waiting around for a handsome man to rescue them while they sleep for years or brush their golden hair a lot. These heroines have far more to distinguish them than the fact that they (sometimes) end up married to a prince.
This is a collection of fairy tales that Alison Larkin has cleverly selected to showcase those tales where the woman is not simply a damsel awaiting saving, but a bad ass, independent woman capable not only of saving herself but also of doing it with style. I always shied away from fairy tales when growing up, longing for stories where women weren’t just props. Alix Olson’s line from her piece “Eve’s Mouth” about the prince finally arriving at Rapunzel’s tower always reverberating in my head “Our dear Rapunzel was nowhere to be seen, yes our dear Rapunzel had learned something keen. All that time alone kind of taught me how to cope so I shaved my head and I made me a rope”. (Yes, I did that and you should check Alix Olson out if you aren’t familiar with her work!) I particularly enjoyed Clever Grettle, a brilliant reimagining of the well-known Hansel and Grettle tale.
If you have never listened to Alison Larkin before then I can only feel sorry for you. She is a behemoth of the audiobook world - her distinctively dulcet tones and delectable English accent are a treat, and her portfolio of British classics is perfectly suited to her prodigious talents. The audio quality is professionally done and slips effortlessly into your ears, painting vivid pictures and bringing each tale to life.
This is a perfect gift to give the young minds in your life as an engaging example of stories with morals that will feed a feminist twist. It’s also a great escape for us slightly older feminists who sometimes need a reminder that we are bad asses in our own right!