Reviewed by Crescenda Long
There is nothing I love more than a good fairy tale. Unfortunately, new fairy tales often leave me disappointed. Even the best original stories often lack that authentic fairy tale feel — that perfect blend of timeless wonder and deep, abstract disquiet. And so I approached Scott Thrower’s Fairy Tales for Unwanted Children with reservations.
Reservations that, in the end, were entirely unwarranted.
Not only are Thrower’s original stories absolutely authentic, but I think they may just be a masterclass on how all short stories should be written.
As far as podcasts go, Fairy Tales is very bare-bones: no voice actors apart from the narrator, admittedly clunky theme music, and sound effects that are a little overpowering at times. But none of that really matters. Fairy Tales for Unwanted Children is all about the stories, and they don’t need any embellishments to shine.
The fairy tales themselves run the gamut of traditional lessons in morality to darker stories with a more gritty, contemporary feel. There is a sweet melancholy that binds them all together as a collection — they are, after all, meant to be stories about children who don’t find their happy-ever-afters. And this overall atmosphere is enhanced by the perfectly spartan writing. Each bite-sized tale has been pared down to its sharpest, starkest language, still managing to paint emotional visuals without relying on an overabundance of adjectives. Thrower is a master at making every word count. This is storytelling in its simplest form. And when the storyteller is Scott Thrower, that’s all you really need.
Fairy Tales for Unwanted Children is an established podcast with over eighty-two episodes, which makes it perfect for binging. It’s quickly becoming my go-to for my daily commute, when I’m washing dishes, and when I’m getting ready for bed. And based on what I’ve heard, I’m very interested in Thrower’s book, Woodcuts: A Fairy Tale for Unwanted Children.
(For the record, D&S isn’t affiliated in any way with Scott Thrower or his podcast; I’m just honestly that impressed.)
If you love fairy tales — or even just great stories in general — I can’t recommend Fairy Tales for Unwanted Children more.