Short Story Review: The Lady or the Tiger? (1882)

The Lady or the Tiger? by Frank R. Stockton

This was the king’s semi-barbaric method of administering justice. Its perfect fairness is obvious. The criminal could not know out of which door would come the lady; he opened either he pleased, without having the slightest idea whether, in the next instant, he was to be devoured or married. On some occasions the tiger came out of one door, and on some out of the other.

Oh, wow, okay. I absolutely loved the prose. I’ve never even heard of this before it popped up on my feed today, but apparently it’s a classic short story from the 1880s. How groovy! I definitely recommend giving this a read.

The Lady or the Tiger? follows the tale of a barbaric king after he learns his daughter has a secret lover and so subjects him to a trial by chance. If he picks one door, he gets eaten by a tiger; if he picks the other door, he has to marry a woman who is not his daughter. The story is framed in a talking-to-the-reader kind of way, with a philosophical twist (kind of reminds me of The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas, actually). The prose is just so lush that it draws you right in.

Read it online here.

3 Mini Audiobook Reviews: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (1820), Nick and Charlie (2015), Serpentine (2020)

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

It is remarkable that the visionary propensity I have mentioned is not confined to the native inhabitants of the valley, but is unconsciously imbibed by every one who resides there for a time. However wide awake they may have been before they entered that sleepy region, they are sure, in a little time, to inhale the witching influence of the air, and begin to grow imaginative, to dream dreams, and see apparitions.

Oooooh, at last! What a perfect October read. I’ve seen the film, of course, but I haven’t ever got around to the book. So glad I finally did. I also recommend the audiobook. The narrator’s absolutely class and it’s a great hour-long Gothic horror bit of escapism. 

Nick and Charlie by Alice Oseman

This was my first Alice Oseman read and now I’m going to have to start all of her others asap! ♡

Serpentine by Philip Pullman

I read the original His Dark Materials so long ago that I don’t remember as much as I’d like, so getting back into the world of Lyra with this short story was really nice. I definitely want to reread the whole series again, as well as finally getting to La Belle Sauvage. The note at the end by Philip Pullman is really nice, too. ♡