I gave myself another few days with Alison's Wonderland and they were days well spent. Sometimes when I read themed erotica I worry that the subject matter will take over and the erotica will get lost while trying to connect the two. Thankfully, this was not the case here.
I finished up this collection with a sigh of satisfaction and I've already reread some of my favorites. When last I left you, I'd only ventured through Moonset. Now I have to collection as a whole to draw on and complete the review.
I read Alison's Wonderland just as you would read a collection of fairytales. Which, is to say I read them before bed every night. Each tale reminded me of the fairy tale it was about, but with a new face to the characters. Little Red of Riding Hood fame became Ruby, and the Wolf who had big teeth became Wolff, the bartender with the same big teeth, but now he had multiple jobs…running a bar, running a tow truck service, and screwing Red (Ruby). The old woman who lived in a shoe with so many children and didn't know what to do morphed into the late thirties female exec who sublet her apartment to two male tenants who she doesn't know what to do with; however, it doesn't take her long to come up with something to keep them occupied.
The second half of the book solidified the intricate blending of fable and erotica. In Gold, On Snow, voyeurism vies with revenge as the Queen watches her nemesis Snow White with her dwarves and plots her downfall; while Heidi Champa reminds us in After the Happily Ever After that even in fairytales you have to succumb to reality eventually. The editor's own Rings on My Fingers, was a wonderful penultimate tale, where her characters seem to embody what the collection itself is about; turning the traditional ideas of what will make you happy on its head and learning to ignore those who will try to change that.
I recommend this book to anyone who has a love of fairytales and a passion for flying in the face of tradition. Go job Alison. An eccentric blend of tradition and erotic, what is right versus what is right for you.