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Fairytales were the predecessors of what we know today as fantasy literature. While lacking the depth and complexity of fantasy literature, fairytales make for a genre that hasn't lost its popularity even in the 20th century. Just look at the popularity of the most epic fairytale ever written, Lord of the Rings. Now, fairytales are a classic genre aimed at a much younger audience than the readers of this website, so why would we possibly want to talk about them? The answer is simple: because of Neil Gaiman. More specifically, because of his version of Snow White.
Snow, Glass, Apples is a short story recounting the tale of Snow White from a different perspective. Generally the story is told as the troubled life of Snow White (spoilers ahead... although if you haven't heard the original story of Snow White, you're probably too young for this website), as she is constantly tormented by her evil stepmother until eventually she is assassinated and then later resurrected by the kiss of a young prince and they get to live happily ever after. In Neil Gaiman's version we see the story told by the stepmother.
Now you might think that it's heresy to tell the tale of Snow White from the antagonist's point of view, but you'd be wrong to think that. Snow, Glass, Apples does not disrespect the original story one bit. All it does, is ask questions. Questions, like what kind of woman has black hair, white skin, likes laying in a glass coffin, and can come back from the dead? Questions, like what kind of prince kisses a dead chick?
Do you see where this is going?
So in this retelling of the classic story we get to see what really happened, according to the stepmother, until we of course come to the usual ending which is illuminated in a completely different light. The absurdity of the idea that Snow White might have been a vampire coupled with the concept that the stepmother was the hero all along is simply surreal, and incredibly amusing. If you like dark humor, it's next to impossible to read this story without breaking out in laughter. Of course it's not really written as a comedy, but due to how surreal it all is, it comes off as a piece of dark humor rather than something that's meant to be taken seriously, even if the questions raised by the story make a lot of sense.
This dark, twisted story is without a doubt the best version of Snow White. Vampire chicks are awesome! (If you've played Baldur's Gate 2 and had the impossible desire to have Bodhi in your party the moment you first met her, you know exactly what we mean.) Although honorable mention needs to go to the 1997 horror movie adaptation Snow White: A Tale of Terror starring Sigourney Weaver as the stepmother and Sam Neill as Snow White's father. That movie tells a dark version of the classic story as well, and it is also awesome (though we prefer the vampire Snow White).
To summarize, if you like the story of Snow White but always felt that the original story was missing something or didn't make sense, go read this short story. If you like vampire chicks, then you should especially read it. Best Snow White ever!
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