In Sleeping Beauty’s Bed by Mitzi Szereto
Reviewed by Geoff Nelder
Published by Cleis Press, 2009
My review copy of Mitzi Szereto’s erotic fairy tales came sizzling through my letter box in time for me to read over the Christmas period. Of course I was travelling around the UK visiting relatives and many an eyebrow lifted at the sight of the book along with its saucy cover image. For the more prudish relative I explained that I was doing research because each tale has the historical background of the literary and folklore in fascinating detail before we are treated to a fictionalized interpretation by Mitzi herself. Prurient relatives begged to have a read for themselves.
I have known since my English Literature classes that unadulterated versions of Chaucer (such as the Miller’s Tale) and Shakespeare were more ribald than young eyes were allowed to see. Unlike many historical tomes on the subject, Mitzi Szereto’s prologues to each tale is just long enough to be of academic interest yet short enough to whet appetites.
The story telling is pretty much in the style of the tales you would have heard as a child but with the naughty bits included and with a more subtle adult vocabulary. In some tales such as Rapunzel, a contemporary feel sneaks in. In most of the stories there are twists you don’t expect. Right from the first story, Cinderella, the Prince on finding the delicious young girl, enjoys her in a most surprising way. Little Red Riding Hood, too is given a treatment beyond the obvious. Reading all fifteen tales along with the vastly informative introduction, will both educate, tease your lateral thinking and excite you.
Readers are reworded with not instant but satisfying gratification. Congratulations to Mitzi Szereto and Cleis Press for this delightful addition to anyone’s erotic bookshelf.