The Cabinet of Curiosities: 36 Tales Brief & Sinister

  • 3 min read
by Stefan Bachmann, Katherine Catmull, Claire Legrand, Emma Trevayne
illustrated by Alexander Jansson
Review by Lina
PS: Just as a warning, whatever you do, do NOT read the book I have suggested before bed. It may give you nightmares because some of it’s kind of gory.
Here’s a brief summary of this book. It’s a collection of 36 slightly gory short stories. They’re a collection of short stories brought together by curators who want to show the world how alive stories can become. The curators are the authors of the stories. They are kind of pretending to be characters themselves by writing letters to each other themed on the stories. 
One thing I liked was that they were kind of funny but in a gory way. One of my favorite stories was “The Sandman Cometh” by Claire Legrand, based on a fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm. It was a quest and it showed that you didn’t have to be brave to do something hard. In fact, Harvey, the main character, was given six tasks to complete to free his family after an awful wish. So even though he messed up on one, the Sandman actually–seeing that he completed the others well–was quite merciful. Although it was a bit of a challenge, Harvey freed his family.
There was one I hated because I think it’s going to give me nightmares. “Jack Shadow,” by Emma Trevayne, was about a shadow that was a living being, sort of. So he kills other shadows in order to take their places. He is kind of like Slappy from the Goosebumps books–very overconfident and expects everyone to bend to his will, although he is way more murderous and way more dangerous because for shadows the normal laws of gravity and physics don’t always apply. If you are easily creeped out by things like that, I’d suggest not reading it before bed or skipping it entirely.
I’d recommend this book to anyone who likes creepy but not-so-creepy stories and who does not have problems with very gory books. The book is practically a nightmare machine for some people. Make sure you have a good degree of resistance to nightmares before you read this. Overall it’s slightly darkly funny but a good book. 

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