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Daydreams of Angels

Heather O’Neill

Average Review Rating Average Rating 7/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Riverrun

Published : 2016

Copyright : Heather O’Neill 2015

ISBN-10 : PB 0-85705-402-3
ISBN-13 : PB 978-0-85705-402-9

Publisher's Write-Up

A cherub breaks all the rules when he spends one night with a girl on earth.
Snow White and Rose Red forge a unique way to survive the Paris occupation.
A soldier is brought back to life by a toymaker, but he's not grateful.
And a child begins the story of a Gypsy and a bear, who have to finish it themselves.

These are old stories, but not as you know them. These are set not in the forests of Europe or fantasy worlds, but on the battlefields of World War Two and the wilderness of downtown Montreal.

With her blazing imagination, irreverent humour and arresting prose, Heather O'Neill twists them anew: more magical for their realism, more profound for their darkness; captivating, witty and wicked.

'Takes the classic trope of a lost soul in search of salvation and gives it a parade of original twists... O'Neill's dark fairy tales will be right up your alley. Keep this collection on the nightstand, and you'll be sure to kick your dreamscape up a notch.'

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Ben Macnair (211120) Rating (7/10)

Review by Ben Macnair
Book Source: Not Known
Rating 7/10

The novelist Heather O’Neill tackled, successfully the short story genre with her 2015 release Daydreams of Angels. Her two novels, Lullabies for Little Criminals, and The Girl Who Was Saturday Night looked at lives lived on the edges of society, of lives that were not as they could have been, written with style and sympathy, and she brings all of her gifts to the twenty short stories that make up the collection.

Some of the stories start with toys, and personify them, such as opener The Gypsy and the Bear where toys are imbued with the qualities given them by their owner, before he abandons them to their fate, and they learn about love, about friendship, about success. Dolls looks at the fate of Dolls left out at a jumble sale, and the various fates that will befall them, because once it is dirty, a doll will never be clean.

Then there are the tales that set in the modern world, such as Swan Lake for Beginners where a group of scientists clone the ballerina Rudolf Nureyev, where none of the clones live up to the potential of the original, because he was simply a one off. The tale of heart-break, government cover-ups and over-spending, scientific malpractice, and morality is short, but packs a lot in.

Where Babies Come From finds two children finding answers from their Grand-mother, about the type of woman their mother is. She is a night-baby, prone to creativity, poetry writing and wanting to be by herself. Although these are described as Twisted Fairy Stories, they are more twisted than anything. Like most fairy-tales, they have a moral, and look at human egos and failings, but there are no happy ending. There are no Prince Charming, no rescuers, just life going on for each of the characters, very much as it had been. Although, The Dreamlife of Toasters might make you look at how you make your Breakfast.
Ben Macnair (21st November 2020)

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