From the irresistibly droll mind of Jim Knipfel comes These Children Who Come at You with Knives, and Other Fairy Tales, a series of twisted fables that echo with pinpoint acuity. A masterful storyteller whose memoirs and novels have earned him widespread acclaim, this is Knipfel’s first foray into the short story, and he delivers in spades: this wickedly dark satire on the notion of happily ever after turns the traditional fairy tale on its head. Among the array of lonely losers wallowing in discontent, the enterprising reader of this volume may meet a talking chicken who learns the world has little patience for intelligence, a foul-mouthed gnome set on world domination, and a magical snowman wrestling with the horror of being alive. In These Children Who Come at You with Knives, Knipfel’s singular and brilliantly funny mind reinvents the bedtime story and offers up a wildly entertaining meditation on the perils of human nature.
The title of Knipfel's offbeat collection of creepy stories makes one thing immediately clear this, thankfully, isn't a typical collection of fairy tales. While there are the standard fantastical elements talking animals, elves, and even a princess thrown in for good measure these twisted stories horrify the reader, provide ample shots of humor, and, of course, offer lessons: in the title story, it's intimated that a gnome should not be ignored, for he will seek revenge. "Six-Leggity Beasties" makes it clear that people should be nice to their neighbors, because they may need help when cockroaches take over their home. The talking chicken of "The Chicken Who Was Smarter Than Everyone" may think she's smarter than everyone, but she can still be tricked. Funny, sarcastic, and disturbing, Knipfel's stories will cause readers to squirm in their seats and laugh out loud at the same time.