These Children Who Come at You With Knives by Jim Knipfel

Posted: 13th September 2010 by Mister Critic in Books

Reviewed by Mister Critic

I had so much hope for this book. The concept of a collection of modern, humorous, adult fairy tales sounded so good. It seemed to be getting good reviews, the title grabs you, and look at that cover. So much potential.

And yet, so much disappointment. The author captured the “feel” of a fairy tale written by the Grimm Brothers. I have been reading the original Grimm’s fairy tales to my daughter lately and it is interesting to see how dark the stories are compared to the sanitized versions we grow up. Mr. Knipfel’s stories carry the same dark theme but in today’s world.

However, overall the stories were not that funny, not that poignant, not that clever and just not that good. Some stories elicited a slight chuckle here and there, but over all I did not find it very funny. I am not a big fan of gross or potty humor and the author drew from that well quite a bit. it was hard to tell if the author was including that type of humor because he thought it was funny or was trying to be ironic about how some people find that stuff funny. Either way, just wasn’t my kind of humor. And I didn’t find the moral behind any story all that interesting. Maybe I just didn’t get, but it there wasn’t anything that was that mind blowing about his stories. In fact, as I sit here to review this, I can barely remember most of these stories. They just weren’t that interesting.

Instead, the general feel of the book reminded me those times when you tell a story when you are really tired or drunk and at that moment you think it is really funny, but when you think back on the story in the rational, sober light of day it really wasn’t funny and in fact didn’t make much sense either. This book was like that for me.

I would like to see see a great comedy group like those who did Wet Hot American Summer and The Ten, picking up the general idea of the book and then improving it into a great comedy. Like I said, there is so much potential in this idea, but for me, this book squanders that potential and will not live happily ever after.


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