A Wild Swan: And Other Tales

  • by Michael Cunningham
  • Narrated by Lili Taylor, Billy Hough
  • 2 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Here are the moments that our fairy tales forgot or deliberately concealed, reimagined by one of the most gifted storytellers of his generation, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Hours. Rarely have our bedtime stories been this dark, this perverse, or this true.
The beast stands ahead of you in line at the convenience store, buying smokes and a Slim Jim, his devouring smile aimed at the cashier.
A malformed little man with a knack for minor acts of wizardry goes to disastrous lengths to procure a child. A loutish and lazy Jack prefers living in his mother's basement to getting a job until the day he trades a cow for a handful of magic beans.
In A Wild Swan and Other Tales, the people and the talismans of lands far, far away - the mythic figures of our childhoods and the source of so much of our wonder - are transformed by Michael Cunningham into stories of sublime revelation.

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What the Critics Say

Praise for The Snow Queen: "Clean and sharp as an ice crystal; a brief but profound and poetic meditation on love, death and compassion from a master craftsman of language." (Observer)
"Michael Cunningham's resonant new novel...is arguably [his] most original and emotionally piercing book to date." (New York Times)
"The pursuit of transcendence in all kinds of forms - music, drugs, a McQueen minidress, and those things less tangible but no less powerfully felt - drives Michael Cunningham's best novel in more than a decade." (Vogue)
Praise for The Hours: "The Hours is a book which heightens the perception of the reader. Cunningham's craftsmanship is overwhelming." (Robert Farren, Independent on Sunday)
"An extremely moving, original and memorable novel." (Hermione Lee, TLS)
"Engrossing, imaginative and humane." (Richard Francis, Observer)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Bringing Fairy Tales Alive

Would you consider the audio edition of A Wild Swan: And Other Tales to be better than the print version?

The print version has illustrations and it would be such a shame to miss these. But the stories are easy to follow on audio and it definitely adds another dimension.


What was one of the most memorable moments of A Wild Swan: And Other Tales?

I loved the retelling of Rumpelstiltskin. Cunningham really inhabits the psyche of the character and makes him entirely credible.We really feel sympathy for this deformed man who just wants to have a child to love.


What does Lili Taylor and Billy Hough bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

The wonderful rhythm of the language.


If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Once Upon a (Not-So) Happily Ever After


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- Sharon

Book Details

  • Release Date: 19-11-2015
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Limited