Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Die, Snow White! Die, Damn You!: A Very Grimm Tale (audio book) by Yuri Rasovsky, featuring a full cast

Die, Snow White! Die, Damn You! is a retelling of the Snow White story, with elements from a few other stories, such as “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” “Hansel and Gretel,” and even “Aladdin.” I really enjoyed Yuri Rasovsky's Sweeney Todd and the String of Pearls, and so I was looking forward to listening to this. Unfortunately, it didn't work for me at all.

This was a full-cast production, almost like a play, but with very little in the way of sound effects. The voice acting was fairly good, probably one of the best things about this audiobook. I'd likely have enjoyed it even more if Rasovsky had either refrained from including German words and phrases or if more of the cast had been able to pronounce those words and phrases without mangling them. Despite using the English version of Snow White's name in the title of the audiobook, Rasovsky named her Schneewittchen in the production. Everyone pronounced it as Shnee (rhymes with knee) vitshen, even the people who could pronounce the other German words just fine (maybe they were aiming for production-wide consistency?). It grated on my nerves a little.

The way the various story elements were blended together was pretty nice (although the Goldilocks reference was completely unnecessary), and the production even made use of some of the less popular aspects of the Snow White story, such as the stepmother eating the huntsman's evidence that he killed Snow White.

However, the humor almost never worked for me. It was generally very sexual. The new duchess is going to have to have her virginity inspected by a bunch of old guys! Wink, wink, nudge, nudge, I wonder how they're going to do that? The first monster Schneewittchen encounters in the forest tells her he won't eat her because he only eats good wives (and so he's always starving, haha), but then chooses to attack her in another way...by raping her. I guess? She was so bored by the experience that I didn't even realize at first what had happened.

During one of her attempts to kill Schneewittchen, the evil stepmother pretended to be a lamp seller and used a gratingly awful Chinese accent. Then there was the ending. I actually gasped when I realized what the big twist was going to be that would allow everyone to have their “happy ending.” A great big spoiler warning here: Rumpelstiltskin arranges things so it looks like the evil stepmother has finally managed to kill Schneewittchen. Previously, he hid Schneewittchen at the gingerbread house, where she began to gobble up everything in sight. When the stepmother asked the mirror who the fairest of them all was, it told her that she was...because Schneewittchen had eaten herself into a 200-lb. weight gain. But not to worry, Schneewittchen still got the sex she wanted, because fat is beautiful in the Ottoman Empire. Rumpelstiltskin just arranged to have her marry someone there.

So this was mostly a disappointment.

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