By Michael J. Tresca

ISBN-10: 1937051536

ISBN-13: 9781937051532

We all know the tale of the Pied Piper, yet there's extra to the tale: What occurred to the rats? What occurred to the youngsters? whilst a spell is going awry in a rat-baiting festival, scrap discovers he's a bit of either. during this whimsical coming of age story, a operating conflict among Black's gang of pickpockets and Piper's summoned vermin spills out into the streets of Calximus urban. Scrap and his partners needs to navigate the aristocracy and underworlds of rodent and human alike to resolve the secret in their roots. alongside the best way he'll make associates of rat and guy; live on cats, goblins, ogres, and witches; and if he's clever adequate, variety adequate, and believes adequate, Scrap simply may perhaps keep the dominion ... and himself.

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Stranded on a remote island together, a snooty Finding Love and Fulfilling Dreams 37 socialite and coarse sailor immediately find themselves at loggerheads – until their enmity gives way to passion. More recent variations have modified the tale somewhat, as well as the degree of antagonism between the pair. 10 Things I Hate About You (Gil Junger, 1999) updates ‘King Thrushbeard’ for a teen audience, or, more accurately, Shakespeare’s variant, ‘The Taming of the Shrew’. The narrative challenge is issued by a well-meaning yet overprotective dad, who affirms that only if his oldest daughter gets a date for the prom can her popular younger sister attend.

What these heroines share is a mutual sense of awkwardness that may attract amusement yet also makes them both endearing and inspiring. None conforms to the conventional stereotype of approved ‘femininity’ in terms of their dress and demeanour, yet neither do they rely on the idea that a man is the answer to their troubles. In fact, they each provide the solution to their problems through their own resources and abilities. As ‘Cinderella’ stories go, we would be hard put to find more empowering messages.

It is this ominous question that hovers unsettlingly around many of the rom-coms featuring haughty heroines. Contemporary ‘Cinderella’ tales may progressively aim to reconcile romantic concerns with the need to forge good career prospects, but the anti-feminist warning, unsubtly stated by Frank, is that a career alone is worth nothing at all. The Devil Wears Prada (David Frankel, 2006) similarly centres on the relationship between a ruthless female boss and her apprentice, albeit one that is platonic in this case, and with a boss who never quite defrosts.

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Awfully Familiar by Michael J. Tresca

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